Last week I saw the Lorraine Hansberry show in the Sackler Center at the Brooklyn Museum. Hansberry (1930–65) was a lesbian and woman of colour who wrote A Raisin in the Sun. The show documents her involvement with The Ladder, the first lesbian magazine in the United States. Though the show mostly tries to explain The Ladder’s political importance through the figure of Hansberry, the last vitrine features a series of reflections on her life that Hansberry wrote each year on her birthday. They are totally captivating, moving, vulnerable in a careful, performed sort of way, and all-the-more weighty given that she died at 34 from pancreatic cancer. These notes come from Hansberry’s papers which are at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL.
[Ooof: the simplicity and timelessness of desiring "to work and to finish something" and regretting "that love is really as elusive as everybody over 30 knows it to be."]
Myself in Notes at 32 (July, 1962)
(this now comes first; ah age, age! thou art cruel)
That love is really as elusive as everybody over 30 knows it to be
Some parts of the last two years—but only parts
My lack of discipline read more