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Jeff Gardner, Composer/Sound Designer for A Raisin in the Sun, has assembled list of songs to set the mood for Lorraine Hansberry’s thought-provoking play about an African American family’s struggle with themselves and with their broken dreams in pre-Civil Rights America. Hailing from the rich musical tradition of protest in the early 1960s, the playlist below incorporates blues, R&B, soul, and jazz from the likes of The Staple Singers, The Freedom Singers, and activist/songwriter Nina Simone—a close friend of Hansberry.
With communal storytelling as powerful and as moving as it was almost sixty years ago, this music will thrust you into the Youngers’ world through time, space, and a beautiful rhythm.