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To Be Young, Gifted, and Black: Telling Lorraine Hansberry’s Story – Tracy Heather Strain

Award-winning filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain, Northeastern Professor of the Practice of Media and Screen Studies, will discuss her latest documentary, Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart. This film is a key component of her multi-platform initiative that is focused on fostering artistic expression, empowering activists, supporting healthy identity development, and promoting academic achievement through stories about the life, art and times of Lorraine Hansberry, the visionary playwright who authored the groundbreaking A Raisin in the Sun. An overnight sensation, this play transformed the American theater and has long been considered a classic, yet the remarkable story of the playwright faded from view.

With this documentary, Strain resurrects the Lorraine Hansberry we have forgotten—a passionate artist, committed activist and sought-after public intellectual who waged an outspoken and defiant battle against injustice in 20th-century America. The film reveals Hansberry’s prescient works tackling race, human rights, women’s equality and sexuality that anticipated social and political movements on the horizon. Lorraine Hansberry lived much of her 34 years guided by a deep sense of responsibility to others, proclaiming: “One cannot live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know or react to the miseries which afflict this world.” Watch Prof. Strain’s documentary here.

Presented in collaboration with The University Scholars Program and Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships