A Raisin in the Sun Introduction Notes
Do Now: Describe what you know about the Civil Rights movement and the 1950s for African Americans?
What was going on in the 50s? • Even though many Constitution Amendments were made regarding African American rights after the Civil War, they were still denied many of their civil rights a full century later • State legislatures had written laws to prevent blacks and whites from living as equals—called Jim Crow laws—continued to separate the races in restaurants, schools, theaters, parks, and other public facilities in many states in the South.
Blacks in the North and West faced discrimination, or poor treatment based on race, in housing and the job market, among other areas. Police and citizens alike enforced the separation of races powerfully. Blacks who tried to mix with whites were arrested, beaten, or killed. Penalties for violence were rarely enforced when the crimes were acted out against blacks. -- Civil Rights • This was legally enforced in the 1950’s • **During the 1950’s and 60’s African Americans boldly rejected the humiliating practice of forced separation
“De Facto” housing segregation • Blacks strongly encouraged to not live in white communities. • Some fought back! • Lets look at this recent map of Detroit and see how de facto segregation has helped shape the city today • Housing Map
Dialect • Definition: Speech patterns of a group of people that is different from the standard language. • In A Raisin in the Sun, you will notice the dialect of African Americans living in urban Chicago • Example: “Ain’t nothing the matter with me”
A Raisin in the Sun • Takes place in the 1950s on the south side of Chicago • Follows an African American family of 5, the Youngers • All family members live in 1 bedroom apartment house with an apartment community bathroom • Pre-Civil Rights movement; segregation • When asked to not move into a white neighborhood, they fight back!
What is the American Dream? • Family dreams of freedom; something better …the American Dream
The Younger Family • Mama • Beneatha • Walter • Ruth • Travis
Epigraph of the play What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore— And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over— Like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags Like a heavy load. Or does it explode? -Langston Hughes • Epigraph is the quote at the beginning of a story that sets the tone of the play.
What is the tone of the poem? What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore— And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over— Like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags Like a heavy load. Or does it explode? What attitude does the poem seem to have toward dreams? Underline/highlight words that show the attitude.
Using Sticky notes • As readers, we understand things better by taking notes on important and confusing things • As you read, use sticky notes to mark important/interesting quotes or things that are confusing. • You can use this system: • !For interesting and important parts • ?For confusing words or parts