“A Raisin in the Sun” is a 1961 film adapted from Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play about the fictional Younger family. The Youngers are a Black family living on Chicago’s Southside and thus far their dreams of a better life have been held in check by poverty and racism. As the family’s matriarch awaits a possibly life-changing insurance check resulting from her husband’s death, her son and daughter have hopes of using the money to pursue their dreams. The story follows the lives of the Youngers for a few weeks and explores their current lives versus their aspirations.
If you’re interested in learning about the first Black woman in NASA’s astronaut training program, America’s first Black woman astronaut, and the first Black woman in space, then my Mae C. Jemison Black History Short is for you.
“Soul Food” is a 1997 George Tillman Jr. drama about the Joseph family’s descent into dysfunction after the matriarch goes into a coma. The story is told through the eyes of the eldest grandchild, Ahmad, who serves as the film’s narrator. Josephine “Big Mama” Joseph and her three daughters gather with their families on Sundays and holidays to share a good meal. The tradition serves to keep them close while their sibling rivalries, meddling, and their raggedy Cousin Faith threaten to push them apart.
“The Girl Who Smiled Beads” by Clemantine Wamariya charts her and her sister, Claire’s, experience as refugees during the Rwandan genocide. Born into a relatively comfortable family, the girls’ lives are disrupted as the country descends into civil war and then ethnic genocide. Sent away from their family home in an attempt to keep them safe, the girls find themselves constantly on the move between countries and refugee camps in search of safety and some sense of normalcy.
“My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire is an autobiography by Maurice White written in collaboration with Herb Powell. The book tells the story of White’s early life growing up in Memphis and his eventual move to Chicago where he decided to pursue music as a career. Fans of Earth Wind & Fire might particularly enjoy learning about the vision that went into forming the group, the making of various songs, and how it was all translated for live stage shows. The book would also be a great pick for people who are interested in music history and/or the music industry though they might not necessarily be fans of the band.