Hearing Hansberry’s voice in ‘A Raisin in the Sun Revisited’

A scene from “Beneatha’s Place” by Kwame Kwei-Armah, performed at Baltimore’s Center Stage as part of “The Raisin Cycle.”
A scene from “Beneatha’s Place” by Kwame Kwei-Armah, performed at Baltimore’s Center Stage as part of “The Raisin Cycle.”Richard Anderson

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Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 masterpiece “A Raisin in the Sun” raised questions — about racial inequality, women’s aspirations, class, assimilation, and the matter of who does and does not have access to the American dream — that have yet to be decisively answered.

When “Raisin’’ premiered, making her the first African-American female playwright ever to be produced on Broadway, Hansberry was not yet 30. Nor was she far away from a tragically early death, of cancer, at age 34.

But how brightly she burned for that brief period, and how fascinating it is to see and hear the coolly unflappable and incisive Hansberry in the snippets of archival interviews scattered throughout “A Raisin in the Sun Revisited: The Raisin Cycle at Center Stage,’’ airing Friday at 9 p.m. on Channel 2.

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A RAISIN IN THE SUN REVISITED: THE RAISIN CYCLE AT CENTER STAGE

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