“Watching A Raisin in the Sun and Seeing Red” argues that, while anti-Communism has often been discussed by historiographers of African American theatre, Communism itself and the influence of the Communist Party U.S.A. as a positive force in black theatre history have largely been ignored. As a way of exploring the Communist influence on black theatre, the article describes specific ways in which Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play is indebted to Communist political critiques. Following the FBI’s own surveillance of the play before it came to Broadway, “Watching A Raisin in the Sun and Seeing Red” also uses the FBI’s own internal memos about the play’s Communist content to reassess the play’s political critique of American individualism, racism, sexism, and capitalism.


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pp. 461-481
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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