Examine how Hansberry is challenging stereotypes of African Americans in the play.

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Lorraine Hansberry challenges stereotypes of African American people in the play by making the characters people rather than caricatures and by giving them qualities that stereotypical African American people at the time wouldn't have demonstrated.

Each member of the Younger family is a full person with motivations that are explained to the audience. Lena wants her family to escape from the place where they live; her children, Beneatha and Walter, want to find their careers and places in the world. The money they receive offers all of them a different means to get what they want.

Beneatha wants to be a doctor, which wasn't a common career path for African American women at that time. Walter is attempting to start his own business. This was also less than common at a time, when prejudices were so fierce that people like the Youngers were discouraged from moving into housing developments. These goals show that Beneatha and Walter are not just stereotypes—they're people who want things for...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 26, 2019