37 Best Lorraine Hansberry Quotes and Sayings

Lorraine Hansberry was a groundbreaking American playwright and actress from Chicago.

She made history with her play “A Raisin in the Sun,” being the first black woman to have a play on Broadway.

She studied acting in Wisconsin and at Columbia University.

Her famous play, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1959, delves into race, class, and family issues.

Tragically, Hansberry passed away at 44 due to pancreatic cancer.

37 Best Lorraine Hansberry Quotes and Sayings

Here are some of the best quotes by Lorraine Hansberry.

Best Lorraine Hansberry Quotes

1. “One cannot live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know and read of the miseries which affect the world.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).


2. “Everybody talking ’bout heaven ain’t going there!” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

3. “Never be afraid to sit a while and think.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

4. “This is one of the glories of man, the inventiveness of the human mind and the human spirit: whenever life doesn’t seem to give an answer, we create one.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

5. “Though it be a thrilling and marvelous thing to be merely young and gifted in such times, it is doubly so – doubly dynamic – to be young, gifted and black.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

6. “A woman who is willing to be herself and pursue her own potential runs not so much the risk of loneliness, as the challenge of exposure to more interesting men – and people in general.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

7. “Once upon a time freedom used to be life-now it’s money. I guess the world really do change.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

Popular Lorraine Hansberry Quotes

8. “The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

9. “Sometimes, I can see the future stretched out in front of me – just as plain as day. The future hanging over there at the edge of my days. Just waiting for me.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

10. “Ball points belong to their age. They make everyone write alike.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

11. “Seems like God don’t see fit to give the black man nothing but dreams – but He did give us children to make them dreams seem worthwhile.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

12. “I was born black and female.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

13. “I think that the human race does command its own destiny and that that destiny can eventually embrace the stars.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

14. “There is always something left to love. And if you haven’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).


15. “Children see things very well sometimes and idealists even better.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

16. “Our Southside is a place apart: each piece of our living is a protest.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

17. “I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful, and that which is love.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

18. “One for whom bread- food- is not enough.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

Top Lorraine Hansberry Quotes

19. “Take away the violence and who will hear the men of peace?” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

20. “I look at you and I see the final triumph of stupidity in the world!” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

21. “I believe that one of the most sound ideas in dramatic writing is that in order to create the universal, you must pay very great attention to the specific. Universality, I think, emerges from truthful identity of what is.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

22. “Cause sometimes it’s hard to let the future begin!” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

23. “That’s what being eccentric means – being natural.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

24. “How we gets to the place where we scared to talk softness to each other.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

25. “Do I remain a revolutionary? Intellectually – without a doubt. But am I prepared to give my body to the struggle or even my comforts? This is what I puzzle about.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

26. “The grim possibility is that she who ‘hides her brains’ will, more than likely, end up with a mate who is only equal to a woman with ‘hidden brains’ or none at all.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

27. “I care. I care about it all. It takes too much energy not to care.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

28. “When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).


29. “Obviously the most oppressed of any oppressed group will be its women.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

30. “American straightforwardness is almost as disarming as Americans invariably think it is.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

31. “There may be women to emerge who will be able to formulate a new and possible concept that homosexual persecution and condemnation has at its roots not only social ignorance, but a philosophically active anti-feminist dogma.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

32. “It is difficult for the American mind to adjust to the realization that the Rhetts and the Scarletts were as much monsters as the keepers of Buchenwald-they just dressed more attractively.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

33. “When a man knows that the abstraction ten exists – nothing on earth can stop him from looking for the fact of eleven.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

34. “Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain’t through learning – because that ain’t the time at all. It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in hisself ’cause the world done whipped him so! When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

35. “Mama, you don’t understand. It’s all a matter of ideas, and God is just one idea I don’t accept. It’s not important. I am not going out and commit crimes or be immoral because I don’t believe in God. I don’t even think about it. It’s just that I get so tired of Him getting credit for all the things the human race achieves through its own stubborn effort. There simply is no God! There is only Man, and it’s he who makes miracles!” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

36. “I know he’s rich. He knows he’s rich, too.” ~ (Lorraine Hansberry).

Short Biography of Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry born in Chicago in 1930 grew up in a family active in the African American community hosting figures like W.E.B. DuBois and Langston Hughes.

Despite facing segregation her family fought against racially restrictive covenants impacting Chicago’s housing policies.

Lorraine dropped out of university to pursue writing and theater in New York meeting her husband Robert Nemiroff during a protest.

Lorraine Vivian Hansberry
Full Name Lorraine Vivian Hansberry
Born May 19, 1930, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died January 12, 1965, New York City, U.S.
Nationality American
Education University of Wisconsin–Madison, The New School
Occupation(s) Playwright, writer, stage director
Notable work A Raisin in the Sun
Spouse Robert B. Nemiroff (m. 1953; div. 1962)
Parents Carl Augustus Hansberry, Nannie Louise Perry
Siblings Mamie Louise Hansberry, Carl Augustus Hansberry, Jr., Perry Holloway Hansberry

Her play “A Raisin in the Sun” became the first by an African American woman on Broadway drawing from her life and family.

She continued to write until her untimely death at 34 in 1965 leaving a legacy of works that Nemiroff posthumously published celebrating her as a gifted black voice in American literature.

Quick Facts about Lorraine Hansberry

  1. Lorraine Hansberry was the first Black woman to have a Broadway play, “A Raisin in the Sun.”
  2. At 29, she won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, a first for an African American woman.
  3. The play highlights the courage and diverse experiences of a Black family.
  4. Her father’s Supreme Court case against housing discrimination influenced her work.
  5. Hansberry grew up around influential figures like W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson.
  6. The title of her famous play comes from a Langston Hughes poem about deferred dreams.
  7. Nina Simone dedicated the song “Young, Gifted, and Black” to Hansberry, reflecting their shared commitment to social justice.
  8. Hansberry contributed to LGBTQ+ discussions and feminism, even before these movements gained momentum.
  9. She addressed social and racial issues in her work, urging political figures to act against segregation.
  10. James Baldwin, a close friend, admired Hansberry’s dedication to integrating themes of race and sexual identity into her work.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar