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Queer Power Hour

Black Theater Trailblazers: Lorraine Hansberry and Michael R. Jackson

 Bayard Rustin and Marlon Riggs
Bayard Rustin (on the left) and Marlon Riggs (on the right, front)

This week, we are sharing stories about two two groundbreaking black queer playwrights, whose iconic works debuted on Broadway 70 years apart:

  • An interview with Lorraine Hansberry, whose Raisin in the Sun was the first play to be produced on Broadway written by a black woman. Hansberry didn’t officially come out as lesbian until a half-century after her death when her estate unsealed her diaries. This piece was produced for the 8th season of Eric Marcus’s Making Gay History podcast, which was a collaboration with the Studs Terkel Radio Archive.
  • An interview with Michael R. Jackson wrote the book, lyrics and music for A Strange Loop, the audacious Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about black gay male sexuality and the creative process. From Art Works, the weekly podcast from the National Endowment for the Arts.

And Michael R. Jackson, who stormed Broadway in 2021 with A Strange Loop.

    David Boyer is KALW's Director of Programming and former Managing Editor of KALW News. He is also the producer/host of the Murrow Award winning podcast THE INTERSECTION, which looks at our changing cities, one street corner at a time.