A Raisin in the Sun: Question No.2

February 7, 2008 1:01:01 PM PST
Don't miss the ABC World Premiere Movie Event: A Raisin in the Sun. February 25th at 8 p.m.Question: Set in the 1950s, A Raisin in the Sun tells the story of a family who lives and struggles in a one-room tenement in the city. The classic story follows their dream to buy a house. What city do they call home?

Answer: A Raisin in the Sun takes place in Chicago. The story highlights the struggle of the African American family living and struggling on Chicago's South Side in the 1950s. A fiercely moving portrait of people whose hopes and dreams are constantly deferred, Ms. Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway. It premiered in 1959 with a cast that included Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ruby Dee and Louis Gossett Jr. The critically acclaimed work was honored with the 1959 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best American play. A Columbia Pictures feature with the same cast followed in 1961. The classic, still-relevant story now will be showcased in this totally new television movie adaptation.

The ground-breaking drama portrays a brief period of time in the life of the Younger family as they anxiously await the arrival of a $10,000 life insurance check made out to Lena Younger, the family matriarch, from the estate of her late husband, Walter Lee. Everyone in the family has their own ideas about how they plan to use their new-found wealth and are eager for their new lives to start.

Lena, who would like to retire from her job as a domestic for a white family, dreams of escaping the claustrophobic, one-room tenement apartment to, at long last, own a house, a dream she shared with her late husband. Her son, Walter Lee, Jr., who currently works as a chauffeur, longs to prove his manhood by owning his own business and is obsessed with investing in a liquor store, which he thinks will solve the family's money problems. His wife, Ruth, is also a domestic in a white household and shares the ambition of living in a larger home. His sister, Beneatha, is desperately seeking her own identity and ways to express herself. On one hand, she looks to having a new, independent life and wants to go to medical school. But she also is being pursued by two very different men: George, a wealthy black man who is more interested in the superficial aspects of life, and Joseph Asagai, a fellow classmate who peaks her interest in exploring her intellectual and spiritual roots in Africa.

Lena purchases a house with the insurance money, surprisingly, in an all-white residential neighborhood. In order to bolster her son's self-confidence, she entrusts the remaining funds from the insurance windfall to Walter, with part of the money going toward Beneatha's medical school. Walter decides to go in with his friend, Bobo, and a fast-talking scam artist, Willy Harris, to buy a liquor store.

Meanwhile, when the Claybourne community discovers that they are about to have a black family move in, their "home improvement" association conspires to try and buy out the Younger family to prevent the neighborhood from becoming integrated. Mr. Lindner, the neighborhood's emissary, makes Walter an offer to sell, which he refuses. As the family continues to pack up their belongings, Walter learns that his business investment has literally disappeared. The family is overwhelmed, outraged at Walter for throwing their dreams away and conflicted about their prospects. Walter considers making a deal with Lindner for their house to replace the missing money. But in the end, Walter takes a stand and refuses to be intimidated, becoming a better man in the process. The Younger family faces a somewhat uncertain life, but are imbued with a newfound sense of optimism and determined not to delay their dreams any longer.

A Raisin in the Sun" will air on Monday, February 25 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET), the night after ABC's live telecast of the 80th Annual Academy Awards.


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