Twice Militant: Lorraine Hansberry’s Letters to The Ladder
A new exhibition, Twice Militant: Lorraine Hansberry’s Letters to “The Ladder,” examines a lesser-known aspect of the life of the award-winning author of the landmark play A Raisin in the Sun, who died in 1965 at the age of thirty-four. The exhibition features documents and publications addressing Hansberry’s identification as a feminist and a lesbian, and will be on view in the Herstory Gallery of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art from November 22, 2013 through March 16, 2014.
Hansberry’s thoughts on the burgeoning gay rights and feminist movements in the late 1950s were articulated in several contributions she made to The Ladder, the first subscription-based lesbian publication in the United States. Twice Militant will feature her letters to the editor, a short story published under the pseudonym Emily Jones, and early issues of The Ladder, on loan from the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Historical Society in San Francisco, as well as related primary documents from the Lorraine Hansberry Papers at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York.
The Herstory Gallery in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art presents exhibitions related to The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, on long-term view in the adjacent gallery. The iconic work, celebrating the achievements of women throughout history, includes a floor on which appear the names of 999 mythical and historic women, including Lorraine Hansberry.
The exhibition has been organized by Catherine Morris, curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and is presented with support from the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation.