A Raisin in the Sun

Women, Black and Proud

"We're people, we're just like the birds and the bees, We'd rather die on our feet, Than be livin' on our knees" ("James Brown Lyrics"). These lyrics for James Brown's classic soul hit "Say It Loud (I'm Black And I'm Proud)" could have easily been written after the viewing of Lorraine Hansberry's play "A Raisin in the Sun" or a reading of Alice Walker's "Everyday Use." Both literary works are about African-American families that are trying to stay together as the family members slowly begin to part from each other. The family in Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" is comprised of all females, and the backbone of the Younger family in "A Raisin in the Sun" is the female characters (Hansberry; Walker). The female characters in each literary work are attempting to define themselves as African-American women while also trying to define themselves through the issues of poverty and racism.

There are three major female characters in both Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" and Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun." These women are very similar and easily comparable. In both stories, there is a mother and...

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