25 Lorraine Hansberry Quotes on Love & Change

Revisit some classic pieces of literature with our Lorraine Hansberry quotes. 

Lorraine Hansberry was an American playwright, novelist, and writer. 

She won the hearts of millions of readers with her powerful prose

Learn how this genius writer addressed sensitive yet, critical topics with our Lorraine Hansberry quotes. 

Who was Lorraine Hansberry?

One of her most well-known and celebrated stories is A Raisin in the Sun

Check out these awesome Lorraine Hansberry facts:

  • Hansberry worked at the Pan-African Newspaper Freedom
  • She wrote and worked with Paul Robeson and W.E.B Dubois. 
  • Lorraine was the first African American woman to win the New York Drame Critics Circle Award. 

Lorraine Hasberry’s career and impact

Lorrain Hansberry is much more than a writer. 

She is the first African-American female author to have a play performed on Broadway.

Her family was also behind the US Supreme Court case Hansberry v. Lee, which challenged racial covenants and racist zoning laws. 

Why is A Raisin in the Sun such an essential story?

A Raisin in the Sun tells the story of an African-American family living in segregation-era Chicago. 

For anyone unaware, the United States had many years where the law dictated that people be separated by race. 

For years, this behavior was normalized. 

Many historians attribute the works of brilliant authors as pioneering efforts to evolve society. 

Books like The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, The Life of Olaudah Equiano, and The Writings of Phylis Wheatley humanized the lives of African Americans for a national audience. 

People’s empathy levels increased when they saw or read A Rasin in the Sun

Witnessing how segregation impacted African Americans’ lives opened the masses’ hearts and minds.

The after-effects of bearing witness to these experiences were law and policy change. 

How did Lorraine Hansberry die?

Did you know that African Americans are at the highest risk factor for cancer death? 

These trends are not new. 

Lorraine Hansberry died from complications due to pancreatic cancer. 

Of her death, legendary writer James Baldwin lamented the following:

“It is not at all farfetched to suspect that what she saw contributed to the strain which killed her.”

He also added, “For the effort to which Lorraine was dedicated is more than enough to kill a man.”

To learn more, check out our Lorraine Hansberry quotes below. 

Short Lorrain Hansberry quotes about caring

We start off with some short Lorrain Hansberry quotes about caring about everything. 

1. “I care.” — Lorraine Hansberry

2. “I care about it all.” — Lorraine Hansberry

3. “I was born black and female.” — Lorraine Hansberry

4. “It takes too much energy not to care.” — Lorraine Hansberry

5. “Never be afraid to sit a while and think.” — Lorraine Hansberry

The top Lorrain Hansberry quotes about living your best life

Her work demonstrates that Hansberry believed everyone could reach their potential. 

6. “I wish to live.” — Lorraine Hansberry

7. I wish others to live for generations and generations and generations.” — Lorraine Hansberry

8. “I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful, and that which is love.” — Lorraine Hansberry

9. “I think that the human race does command its own destiny and that that destiny can eventually embrace the stars.” — Lorraine Hansberry

10. “Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most; when they done good and made things easy for everybody?” — Lorraine Hansberry

Famous Lorrain Hansberry quotes about Black America 

Here Lorrain opens up about the conditions of African Americans. 

11. “There is always something left to love. And if you haven’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.” — Lorraine Hansberry

12. “The acceptance of our condition is the only form of extremism which discredits us before our children.” — Lorraine Hansberry

13. “Negroes must concern themselves with every single means of struggle: legal, illegal, passive, active, violent and non-violent.” — Lorraine Hansberry

14. “Though it be a thrilling and marvelous thing to be merely young and gifted in such times, it is doubly so to be young, gifted and black.” — Lorraine Hansberry

15. “They must harass, debate, petition, boycott, sing hymns, pray on steps–and shoot from their windows when the racists come cruising through their communities.” — Lorraine Hansberry

Deep Lorrain Hansberry quotes to make you think

Lorrain became one of America’s most talented writers by making astute observations. 

16. “I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful, and that which is love.” — Lorraine Hansberry

17. “The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.” — Lorraine Hansberry

18. “One cannot live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know and read of the miseries which affect the world.” — Lorraine Hansberry

19. “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.” — Lorraine Hansberry

20. “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

Classic Lorrain Hansberry quotes and sayings 

Let’s close our list with some of the quotes that made Hansberry such an accomplished writer. 

21. “I want to fly! I want to touch the sun! Finish your eggs first.” — Lorraine Hansberry

22. “I look at you, and I see the final triumph of stupidity in the world!” — Lorraine Hansberry

23. “I think that virtually every human being is dramatically interesting.” — Lorraine Hansberry

24. “I think that the glorious thing about the human race is that it does change the world — constantly.” — Lorraine Hansberry

25. “The world or ‘life’ may seem to more often overwhelm the human being’s capacity for struggling against being overwhelmed, which is remarkable and exhilarating.” — Lorraine Hansberry

Gone but not forgotten

Lorraine Hansberry may have ended her physical journey here on earth, but her impact remains for all of us to learn from. 

She once said the following:

“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.” 

What is your favorite Lorraine Hansberry quote?

Be sure to let us know in the comments. 

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Clifton Sankofa has Master's degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. He is a veteran educator and school leader. Clifton has built his career around teaching language arts, social-emotional learning, hip-hop(e), and vegan cooking. Across the country, Black and Brown communities die over preventable diseases. Clifton's aim is to help reverse this trend through cultural shifts. Using hip-hop and cultural-centered activities, he educates young people on how to reclaim their health and heritage through sustainable vegan eating, cooking practices, and literacy skills.
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