Illinois History Minutes

May 19 Illinois History Minute


It’s May 19th, the day that African-American playwright Lorraine Hansberry was born in Chicago in 1930. Her most famous play is A Raisin in the Sun, depicting a Black family in Chicago and its struggles with racial discrimination --- struggles that Hansberry saw in her own family growing up.

Clybourne Park is a spin-off from A Raisin In the Sun, written by Bruce Norris, a white actor and playwright born this week in 1960. Norris won a Pulitzer Prize for his drama that compares the racial conflicts of Hansberry’s play with those of the same Chicago neighborhood fifty years later.

The Illinois State Historical Society was established on this day in 1899. It publishes both a magazine and a scholarly journal devoted to Illinois history, and has erected some four-hundred historical markers around the state.