Lorraine Hansberry Quotes

Last Updated on July 18, 2020 by Scott M. Thomas

Lorraine Hansberry was an African American female author and first dramatist. She is Mostly known for ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ the first play written by an African-American woman to be staged on Broadway. Below I have covered most of the Lorraine Hansberry quotes which revealed her versatile talent. 

“Though it is a thrilling and marvelous thing to be merely young and gifted in such times, it is doubly so – doubly dynamic – to be young, gifted, and black” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Children see things very well sometimes – and idealists even better” – Lorraine Hansberry

lorraine hansberry famous quotes

“One cannot live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know and read of the miseries which affect the world” – Lorraine Hansberry

“…Negroes must concern themselves with every single means of struggle: legal, illegal, passive, active, violent and non- violent…. They must harass, debate, petition, boycott, sing hymns, pray on steps–and shoot from their windows when the racists come cruising through their communities…. The acceptance of our condition is the only form of extremism which discredits us before our children [ellipses in source]” – Lorraine Hansberry

“I care. I care about it all. It takes too much energy not to care” – Lorraine Hansberry

“There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing” – Lorraine Hansberry

“A woman who is willing to be herself and pursue her own potential runs not so much the risk of loneliness, as the challenge of exposure to more interesting men – and people in general” – Lorraine Hansberry

“I believe that one of the most sound ideas in dramatic writing is that in order to create the universal, you must pay very great attention to the specific. Universality, I think, emerges from the truthful identity of what is” – Lorraine Hansberry

“I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful and that which is love. Therefore, since I have known all of these things, I have found them to be reason enough and – I wish to live. Moreover, because this is so, I wish others to live for generations and generations and generations” – Lorraine Hansberry

“The grim possibility is that she who ‘hides her brains’ will, more than likely, end up with a mate who is only equal to a woman with ‘hidden brains’ or none at all” – Lorraine Hansberry

“I think that the human race does command its own destiny and that that destiny can eventually embrace the stars” – Lorraine Hansberry

“The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely” – Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry Quotes

“A status not freely chosen or entered into by an individual or a group is necessarily one of oppression and the oppressed are by their nature (i.e., oppressed) forever in ferment and agitation against their condition and what they understand to be their oppressors. If not by overt rebellion or revolution, then in the thousand and one ways they will devise with and without consciousness to alter their condition” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Do I remain a revolutionary? Intellectually — without a doubt. But am I prepared to give my body to the struggle or even my comforts? This is what I puzzle about” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Seems like God doesn’t see fit to give the black man nothing but dreams – but He did give us children to make their dreams seem worthwhile” – Lorraine Hansberry

“There may be women to emerge who will be able to formulate a new and possible concept that homosexual persecution and condemnation has at its roots not only social ignorance, but a philosophically active anti-feminist dogma” – Lorraine Hansberry

“I’m just tired of hearing about God all the time. What has He got to do with anything?… I’m not going to be immoral or commit crimes because I don’t believe. I don’t even think about that. I just get so tired of Him getting the credit for things the human race achieves through its own effort. Now, there simply is no God. There’s only man. And it’s he who makes miracles” – Lorraine Hansberry

“This is one of the glories of man, the inventiveness of the human mind and the human spirit: whenever life doesn’t seem to give an answer, we create one” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Sometimes, I can see the future stretched out in front of me – just as plain as day. The future hanging over there at the edge of my days. Just waiting for me” – Lorraine Hansberry

“I was born black and female” – Lorraine Hansberry

“I happen to believe that most people – and this is where I differ from many of my contemporaries, or at least as they express themselves – I think that virtually every human being is dramatically interesting. Not only is he dramatically interesting, he is a creature of stature whoever he is” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Once upon a time freedom used to be life-now it’s money. I guess the world really do change” – Lorraine Hansberry

lorraine hansberry quotes to be young gifted and black

“Beneatha: Love him? There is nothing left to love.

  • Mama: There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing. (Looking at her) Have you cried for that boy today? I don’t mean for yourself and for the family ’cause we lost the money. I mean for him: what he has been through and what it has done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they did good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain’t through learning – because that ain’t the time at all. It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in hisself ’cause the world has whipped him so! when you start measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you take into account what hills and valleys he comes through before he gets to wherever he is” – Lorraine Hansberry

“I want to fly! I want to touch the sun!” ” – Lorraine Hansberry

“It’s dangerous, Son.

  • What’s dangerous?
  • When a man goes outside his house to look for peace” – Lorraine Hansberry

“It isn’t a circle–it is simply a long line–as in geometry, you know, one that reaches into infinity. And because we cannot see the end–we also cannot see how it changes. And it is very odd by those who see the changes–who dream, who will not give up–are called idealists…and those who see only the circle we call them the ‘realists’!” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Mama–Mama–I want so many things… I want so many things that they are driving me kind of crazy…” – Lorraine Hansberry

“That’s what being eccentric means–being natural” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Mama, you don’t understand. It’s all a matter of ideas, and God is just one idea I don’t accept. It’s not important. I am not going out and committing crimes or being immoral because I don’t believe in God. I don’t even think about it. It’s just that I get so tired of Him getting credit for all the things the human race achieves through its own stubborn effort. There simply is no God! There is only Man, and it’s he who makes miracles!” – Lorraine Hansberry

“DAMN MY EGGS! DAMN ALL THE EGGS THAT EVER WAS! -Wilson” – Lorraine Hansberry

“[Beneatha Younger:]… He said everybody ought to learn how to sit down and hate each other with good Chrisitan fellowship” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Something always told me I wasn’t no rich white woman” – Lorraine Hansberry

“What you ain’t never understood is that I ain’t got nothing, don’t own nothing, ain’t never really wanted nothing that wasn’t for you. There ain’t nothing as precious to me…There ain’t nothing worth holding on to, money, dreams, nothing else” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Perhaps I will be a great man…I mean perhaps I will hold on to the substance of truth and find my way always with the right course” – Lorraine Hansberry

lorraine hansberry quotes a raisin in the sun

“How we got to the place where we were scared to talk softly to each other” – Lorraine Hansberry

“[I am] A fool who believes that death is waste and love is sweet and that the earth turns and men change every day and that rivers run and that people wanna be better than they are and that flowers smell good and that I hurt terribly today, and that hurt is desperation and desperation is—energy and energy can move things…” – Lorraine Hansberry

“MAMA (Quietly, woman to woman)… He finally came into his manhood today, didn’t he? Kind of like a rainbow after the rain…

RUTH (Biting her lip, lest her own pride explode in front of Mama)

Yes, Lena” – Lorraine Hansberry

“You aimin’ to go the full circle now? How long before I have to come get you up from the sidewalks? You got hurt and pain in you? Well, I used to know a man who knew how to live with his pain and make his hurt work for him. Your daddy died with dignity; there wasn’t no bum in him. And he knows some hurts in this life you ain’t never even heard of!” – Lorraine Hansberry

“For above all, in behalf of an ailing world which sorely needs our defiance, may we, as Negroes or women, never accept the notion of – “our place” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Then isn’t this rather all a false funeral? Can’t it help you to see that there is something wrong when all the dreams in this house-good or bad-had to depend on something that might never have happened if a man had not died? We always say at home: Accident was at the first and will be at the last a poor tree from which the fruits of life may bloom” – Lorraine Hansberry

“You don’t have to go to the kings and queens of the earth – I think the Greeks and Elizabethans did this because it was a logical concept – but every human being is in enormous conflict about something, even if it’s how to get to work in the morning and all of that” – Lorraine Hansberry

“I think it is about time that equipped women began to take on some of the ethical questions which a male-dominated culture has produced and dissect and analyze them quite to pieces in a serious fashion. It is time that ‘half the human race’ had something to say about the nature of its existence” – Lorraine Hansberry

“The whole realm of morality and ethics is something that has escaped the attention of women, by and large. And it needs the attention of intellectual women most desperately” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Mine is, after all, the generation that had come to maturity drinking in the forebodings of the Silones, Koestlers, and Richard Wrights. It had left us ill-prepared for decisions that had to be made in our own time about Algeria, Birmingham, or the Bay of Pigs” – Lorraine Hansberry

“Once I’m on the phone, I just can’t say no. I sometimes find myself doing things for three or four organizations in one day” – Lorraine Hansberry

“I don’t want to have anyone else to do my housework. I’ve always done it myself. I believe you should do it yourself. I feel very strongly about that” – Lorraine Hansberry

lorraine hansberry quotes on racism

“Take away the violence and who will hear the men of peace?” – Lorraine Hansberry

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