Beloved playwright and writer Lorraine Hansberry did a lot for Black culture in her 34 years of life, from giving us fine works of art like the unforgettable play A Raisin in the Sun to her activism for both the African American and LGBTQ communities that she proudly was a member of. Now, her old residence in New York City has been officially nominated to the New York State Register of Historic Places as a way to honor her memory.
Hansberry’s humble abode, located at 337 Bleecker Street in the city’s gay-friendly Greenwich Village neighborhood, was nominated to be recognized by the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project in March 2021. Working alongside the New York State Historic Preservation Office, the address was successfully and officially added to the National Register list last month.
The life of Lorraine was one of complication and oftentimes contradiction, especially being that she came into living at the now-historic residence with her husband at the time, Broadway theater producer Robert Nemiroff. It was in this apartment that she was also able to privately explore her lesbianism, which may have led to the couple’s separation four years after marriage. However, whether she was with a man or a woman, Lorraine Hansberry proved that she couldn’t be defined by her sexuality by letting her amazing skills as a writer speak for itself.
“While residing at 337 Bleecker Street, Hansberry lived parallel lives,” reads the official press release, which continues by adding, “one as a celebrated playwright and the other as a woman who privately explored her homosexuality through her writing, relationships, and social circle.” Although it’s been well over five decades since passing away due to pancreatic cancer, Lorraine Hansberry and her illustrious legacy will live on forever…especially on Bleecker Street in NYC.
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