by Imani Perry (Beacon Press, 2018)

      • A revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet least understood, Black artists and intellectuals of the twentieth century.
      • Winner of the 2019 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography
      • A New York Times Notable Book of 2018

Monday, April 1st, 2019

Time: 6 – 8 pm
Location: Jurow Lecture Hall
NYU Silver Center • 32 Waverly Place, 1st Floor
(between Washington Square East and Greene Street)

Reading by Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, followed by a book signing and a short discussion with Professor Michael D. Dinwiddie, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU.

Please RSVP: or (212) 998-IAAA (4222)
Please make sure to state the event name and date in your email.
Books will be available for sale.

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Lorraine Hansberry, who died at thirty-four, was by all accounts a force of nature. Although best-known for her work A Raisin in the Sun, her short life was full of extraordinary experiences and achievements, and she had an unflinching commitment to social justice, which brought her under FBI surveillance when she was barely in her twenties. While her close friends and contemporaries, like James Baldwin and Nina Simone, have been rightly celebrated, her story has been diminished and relegated to one work—until now. In 2018, Hansberry will get the recognition she deserves with the PBS American Masters documentary Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart and Imani Perry’s multi-dimensional, illuminating biography, Looking for Lorraine.

After the success of A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry used her prominence in myriad ways: challenging President Kennedy and his brother to take bolder stances on Civil Rights, supporting African anti-colonial leaders, and confronting the romantic racism of the Beat poets and Village hipsters. Though she married a man, she identified as lesbian and, risking censure and the prospect of being outed, joined one of the nation’s first lesbian organizations. Hansberry associated with many activists, writers, and musicians, including Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, among others. Looking for Lorraine is a powerful insight into Hansberry’s extraordinary life—a life that was tragically cut far too short.

Imani Perry
is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she is also affiliated with the Programs in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Law and Public Affairs. Perry is the author of five books and numerous scholarly articles. Her fields of inquiry include legal history, cultural studies, literary studies, and music. She holds a PhD from Harvard in American Studies, a JD from Harvard Law School, an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center, and a BA from Yale College. She is also a creative nonfiction essayist and a book reviewer. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Perry spent most of her childhood in Massachusetts, as well as time in Chicago.




Michael Dinwiddie is a playwright and associate professor at the Gallatin School NYU.  His teaching interests encompass cultural studies, ragtime music, dramatic writing, African American history and filmmaking.  Dinwiddie’s plays have been produced in New York, regional and educational theatres, and he is a contributing editor of Black Masks Magazine. He is currently a producer on Marta Effinger-Crichlow’s documentary film Little Sallie Walker and writer/producer on Maxine Powell and the Motown Mystique.  Dinwiddie is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild of America.



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