sRacism is a major issue that has affected the United States since its discovery. Racism is the hatred by a person of one race pointed at a person of another race. The United States has grown up to improve as a whole but this process is a long way away from completion. Some citizens still believe that African-Americans are inferior to Caucasians and that they should be slaves. In the 1950s, whites and blacks were segregated to a point that they could not go to the same schools or even use the same bathrooms. Chief Justice Earl Warren abolished the segregation of schools in May of 1954. The desegregation of schools has helped people of all races grow up together in a non-hostile environment where they can develop relationships with people of other races. Throughout the play A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry criticizes the racial and discriminatory climate of America in the 1950s and early 60s.
It becomes obvious to the reader that the racial tension Hansberry experienced growing up reflected on the way her literature is written. Moss and Wilson state that, Lorraine Hansberrys South Side childhood, particularly her fathers battle to move into a white neighborhood, provided the background for the events in the play (314). Hansberry experienced many of the situations she placed the Younger family at first hand. Hansberrys father, Carl Hansberry, was put in a similar circumstance when he moved his family into a predominately white community at the opposition of the white neighbors. He eventually won a civil rights case on discrimination. Speaking of the United States, Adler states, A Raisin in the Sun is a moving drama about securing ones dignity within a system that discriminates against, even enslaves, its racial minorities (824).
Hansberry overcame many racial barriers to become one of the best authors in the world.
Walter Lee Younger is an intense man in his middle thirties who works as a chauffeur, but his dream is to one day open up a liquor store. Walter has a very bad temper and tends to say things he doesnt mean. Walter and his wife have been getting into many fights in which he will show off his bad temper. Many times when Walter gets upset he goes out and gets drunk. Gerald Weales explains, Of the four chief characters in the play, Walter Lee is the most complicated and the most impressive. He is often unlikable, occasionally cruel. The play is concerned primarily with his recognition that, as a man, he must begin from, not discard, himself, that dignity is a quality of men, not bank accounts (183). Walter Lee is more concerned with material things rather than the most important thing to someone, family.
Ruth Younger is Walter Lees wife who is about thirty years old. Ruth attempts everything possible to make her family happy. When it appears that the love between her and Walter has come to a crossroad, Ruth considers aborting the child of which she is pregnant with. She just wants the best for the Younger family. Ruth wishes to continue working as a cook to the dismay of Walter.
Beneatha Younger is Walters smart, younger sister who is about twenty years old. Beneatha wants to become a doctor when she gets older. She says everything that is on her mind and nothing seems to make her happy. Beneatha finds most everything people say to be offensive to her some how. As Thomas Adler says, Beneatha, a mild self-parody of the artist herself when she was ten years younger, seeks identity as an adult by rebelling against the traditional religion of her mother (825). The character of Beneatha has been created by Hansberry to portray herself as a young, African-American striving for success.
Lena Younger, known as Mama, is in her early sixties. She is one of those women of a certain grace and beauty who wear it so unobtrusively that it takes a while to notice. She has wit and faith of a kind that keeps her eyes lit and full of interest and expectancy. Mama is, in a word, a beautiful woman. Thomas Adler asserts, Her speech is as careless