1. The folks at Colorlines posted this magnificent list of things that “A Raisin in the Sun” author Lorraine Hansberry liked and hated. The list was written 54 years ago.
The lists cast Hansberry in a complex light, capturing the whimsical and serious parts of her personality. Her likes included: her husband (“most of the time”), Eartha Kitt, and Mahalia Jackson’s music. Things she hated included: racism, cramps, being asked to speak, and too much mail. Hansberry, a lesbian who had several documented relationships with women after separating from her husband, listed “my homosexuality” in both the “like” and “hate” columns. She spoke glowingly of Dorothy Secules, one of her long-term partners, including Dorothy’s looks and the way she talked in the “like” column.
2. Two more lists were written on the back, titled “I AM BORED TO DEATH WITH” and “I want:”
Interesting to see “A Raisin in the Sun,” Hansberry’s most successful and popular work, as the thing she was most bored with. Also on the list: sex, her celebrity, and silly white people (and really, who isn’t tired of silly white people?).
Her “I Want” list was short and simple: to work, to be in love, and Dorothy Secules (“at the moment”).