What sort of statement does Hansberry seem to be making about race?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that it's a fairly complex issue or statement that Hansberry is raising about the issue of race.  Certainly, on one hand, Hansberry is open about the fact that there is a racial issue or an issue regarding race in the modern setting.  She is not naive enough to present the reality that governs the Younger family as one devoid of race.  It is racial prejudice that makes their move into Clybourne Park such a challenging one, and it is the condition of race that plays a part in why they live in the context that they do.  Yet, Hansberry does not capitulate to the standard read that it is all about race and that race is the only element that defines the existence of the Younger family.  Hansberry is complex and smart enough to suggest that race is one of many factors that play a role in the Younger family and their desire to move.  Part of this resides in the issue of class and economic reality.  Hansberry seems to be suggesting that the modern setting is one in which issues like class and race converge within one another to make upward mobility difficult, but not entirely impossible.  In this respect, Hansberry embraces the opportunity ideology which stresses that belief in dreams and constant self- improvement and confidence are critical in establishing a better life for oneself and one's family.  Her statement in this regard is a unique one, filled with nuanced complexity.  In making such a statement, Hansberry offers a multi- dimensional view on race, as opposed to a simplistic and reductive approach to it.


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