Examine how the prejudice that is present in the drama can reveal unequal opportunities for African- Americans.

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

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Where I think that Hansberry's work is its strongest is how it fuses together the struggles between race and class.  Hansberry makes it clear that the modern setting is defined by the convergence of these elements, along with gender, in order to impact the expression of voice and the full articulation of freedom.  Prejudice that the Younger family faces is what brings out the pain in the unequal opportunities that exist in the pursuit of their dreams. Consider that Walter and Ruth must struggle in jobs that really have little opportunity for advancement.  This would be reflective of how prejudice plays a role in limiting their economic and social opportunities.  The jobs they hold are at the lower level of pay and aspirational scale.  At the same time, the fact that the Younger family cannot consider moving into Clybourne Park without resistance from both their own community and the White community is another example of how prejudice impacts their own desire to achieve opportunity.  Lindner's presence in the drama is the embodiment of racial prejudice.  The idea that he can offer Walter money not to move into Clybourne Park is representative of how the prejudice faced helps to reveal the inequality of opportunity that African- Americans endure in the social context of Hansberry's writing.  Race and class converge to construct a setting in which individuals discover that prejudice has a direct impact on their own life and the choices within it.  Like the rat that Travis traps, with no hope of escape, prejudice traps individuals, revealing the presence of unequal opportunities for African- Americans.

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