This Day in History: 1959-03-11

Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark play, A Raisin in the Sun, premieres on Broadway. It is the first play written by a Black woman to be produced on Broadway, as well as the first with a Black director, Mr. Lloyd Richards, and featuring a cast in which all but one character is Black. The production would be nominated for four Tony Awards: Best Play – written by Lorraine Hansberry; produced by Philip Rose, David J. Cogan; Best Actor in Play – Sidney Poitier; Best Actress in a Play – Claudia McNeil; and Best Direction of a Play – Lloyd Richards. Publications such as The Independent and Time Out have listed it among the best plays ever written. Learn more.