Free film screening about African American playwright Lorraine Hansberry at the Portland Art Museum January 15

Featured image by geralt, via Creative Commons

She’s best known for A Raisin in the Sun, the first drama by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. She’s the youngest person and first African-American to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play. But Lorraine Hansberry was also an activist heavily involved in politics and a prolific writer about subjects ranging from social inequality to the arts. She even caught the attention of the FBI.

On Monday, January 15, you can see a free screening of a documentary about Hansberry at the Portland Art Museum. Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, by filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain, draws on Hansberry’s personal papers and archives to tell the story of her short, but full, life. (Hansberry died from pancreatic cancer at 34.) Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart includes interviews with Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Louis Gossett Jr., and others involved in the stage and screen productions of A Raisin in the Sun.

Strain will also talk about the film and answer questions.

The screening starts at 7:30 pm. in the Whitsell Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue. Parking garages are nearby, but public transportation is the best option. The Portland Streetcar and MAX (light rail) stop within a short walking distance. Plan your trip.

Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart debuts January 19 on the American Masters series on PBS (check broadcast schedule).


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