February 25, 2017: The United States Embassy recently staged the first-ever Gambian performance of Lorraine Hansberry’s iconic play, “A Raisin in the Sun” as part of the a three-day arts festival, commemorating 2017 Black History Month.
The three free-admission performances were offered to students, the general public, and to Embassy Banjul guests at a gala performance on closing night.
Speaking at a gala night performance on February 25, Ambassador C. Patricia Alsup said the play highlights the struggles of black people in an America that was still segregated at the time of the play, and in many places is still segregated today.
“This iconic and revolutionary play is the first to depict a Black American family on an American stage, in an age when predominantly black audiences simply did not exist. Before this play, African-American roles, usually small and comedic, largely employed ethnic stereotypes. As the youngest Black female playwright on Broadway, Lorraine Hansberry paved the way for African-American stories to be told on a stage which was predominantly white in the late 1950’s,” she remarked.
Embassy Banjul’s Public Affairs Section collaborated with Ghana-based Purple Rain Foundation and Gambia-based Ebunjan Theatre to stage this arts festival.