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The Imprint

LTown News

The Imprint

LTown News

The Imprint

“A Raisin in the Sun”: A Lesson on Diversity


Students at Leonardtown High School were treated to a performance of A Raisin in the Sun by the College of Southern Maryland’s theater group. The play captures the struggles of the Younger’s, an African American family making their way through segregated Chicago in the 1950’s. Trouble begins when the family puts a down payment on a house located in a traditionally all white neighborhood where later it becomes apparent they’re not welcomed. After the eldest son, Walter Lee, loses the rest of his father’s life insurance money, the family is left with the hard decision as to whether or not they take an offer proposed by the neighborhood to sell their new house for a greater price. Ultimately, the family realizes the importance of a fresh start in a new house and decides to decline the offer.

The play is teeming with historical importance and insight to racial intolerance. When asked about the importance of performing this play for St. Mary’s county schools, Jeremy Hunter, who plays Walter Lee, said “Given the racial elements in the story A Raisin in the Sun the play really makes a difference to show a young generation that may not have had that type of exposure to [racial discrimination]. It’s not overly drawn out and it’s not so heavy that it’ll offend, but it’s just enough to bring light to a very dark situation.” Segregation is a part of America’s history, and it is vital to today’s generations to understand the importance of tolerance.

We live in a diverse world, where everyone comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Diversity is a reoccurring theme throughout the halls of Leonardtown and most currently displayed on the stage of the auditorium. A Raisin in the Sun supports diversity by “show[ing] how people from different facets of life [might] not get along and they may not understand each other but by giving it a chance and by having this African American family move into a Caucasian neighborhood their going to forced to get along and learn about each other [and their cultures]. People come from different places but they can coexist,” stated Sonja Hemphill who plays, Mama.

After the performance the Diversity/Equity specialist for St. Mary’s County Public schools, Dr. Charna Lacey Ed.D., shared what she hopes students at Leonardtown take away from this performance, “I really hope that they will take the opportunity first of all to have seen a live performance by students as well just like they are students to really look at diversity from an equitable standpoint and really look for differences in being good or bad and make them positive and embracing them in their own schools and so when they see someone, for instance, come from a lower class than them or someone of a different race than theirs or someone who lives in a different cultural environment…that their lives are just as important and so that we can all coexist.”

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Our differences are what make us special; they make us who we are. It is imperative to teach each new generation the meaning behind diversity and tolerance, but it is also important to lead by example.

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    joannaMar 29, 2021 at 12:22 pm