Her life was short and her written output small, but Lorraine Hansberry made a tremendous mark with her play, A Raisin in the Sun, as well as Les Blancs and The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window. In recognition of her achievement, Hansberry was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame on Oct. 26.
The playwright, who died in 1965 at age 34, is being honored both for her plays and her "pioneering opposition to racism, sexism and homophobia." Among the 13 other individuals inducted this year are tennis star Billie Jean King, choreographer Randy Duncan and late AIDS activist David Brian Bell.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1991 under the auspices of the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relation's Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues. Nominees are submitted by members of the public, with selections then made by a committee of prior inductees. Candidates are taken from "Chicago's entire sexual-minority community, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Chicagoans."
The Awards were announced Oct. 26 at a ceremony at G.A.R. Memorial Hall on Randolph Street.
-- By David Lefkowitz