The statue of Broadway legend Lorraine Hansberry invites passers-by to sit and reflect in Times Square
NEW YORK — The legacy of Broadway icon Lorraine Hansberry is honored amidst the Theater District.
As CBS2’s Steve Overmyer says, his image will be on display to inspire the next generation.
“It’s a little overwhelming in Times Square. It’s crazy, but no, it’s beautiful and… We’re a little, a few years late to celebrate the anniversary, the 50th anniversary of ‘A Raisin in the Sun’,” said sculptor Alison Sarr said.
Hansberry was the first black playwright to have her show on Broadway. “A Raisin in the Sun” was a landmark play that opened in 1959. It tells the story of a Chicago family growing up amid segregation.
“Not only is she the first black woman, in particular, to have produced a Broadway play, but she comes from a tradition of firsts, and so this reminder of being a place in the center of our city for everyone can see it is truly magnificent,” Amen Igbinosun, a professor at Pace University, said.
It’s an interactive statue with movable bronze chairs inviting everyone to sit down for a while and think.
“A lot of public sculpture is hands-off…I wanted it to be a space where people could come and discuss and share thoughts and ideas,” Sarr said.
“We need more reminders of who we are, and this isn’t just black theater history, this is American theater history. This is America,” Igbinosun said.
The statue will only be in Times Square over the weekend before beginning its cross-country tour for all to enjoy.
“I hope they have a better understanding of who Lorraine Hansberry was. I mean, we know she was a playwright, but she was also an activist for the LGBTQ community and African American equity and women’s rights. “Sar said.
“We can sit with this piece and think. Be present. Think, just for a moment, and it’s powerful,” Igbinosun said.