Black History Project
A Raisin in the Sun & Lee Daniels' "The Butler"
The students were asked to comment on "A Raisin in the Sun" which we read early in the year and
Lee Daniels' "The Butler" which we viewed as a part of a Black History Month/Honor student program.
By Stephie Celestin, International High School
After reading the play "A Raisin in the Sun" by
he gets his due. Cecil's son Louis and partner in
Lorraine Hansberry and watching Lee Daniels'
crime Carol remain activists throughout the plot,
"The Butler" it has come to my attention that both
battling racism. During one scene a white girl spits
were similar in more ways than one. I've come to
into Carol's face, and I got very emotional watching.
the conclusion that both pieces revolved around
It just goes to show how far along this world has
the themes of racism and an unfair job market.
progressed from then until now. Moreover, Cecil
I, being of African-American descent can sympathize
lives to see a new day in Barack Obama's 2008
with characters from both pieces.
Presidential campaign, and I just felt happy for
In "A Raisin in the Sun", Walter Lee Younger had dreams
his character.
of fighting the unfair job market and starting his
I feel as though the movie had a greater impact
own business. The Younger family faced racism
on me because the timeline started when slavery
when Mr. Lindner comes to bribe them out of
was stil around and ended where it was gone
moving into predominantly white, Clybourne Park.
and there is a black man running for President.
Moreover, I felt angered that Mr. Lindner would
The entirety of the timeline made me appreciate
come to the Younger household and disrespect
the movie more, and it made me proud to see my
them that way, but I felt an even bigger sense
race overcome prejudice and an unfair job market.
of pride when Walter turned the money down.
Despite the smal traces of both themes in today's
During Lee Daniels' "The Butler", Cecil Gaines
world, I'm happy to see that things aren't as bad
spends majority of his years working at the White
for us as they were back in the day. I felt more
House enduring an unfair job market. He spent
connected to the characters in the movie because
these years watching the white workers getting
it was easy to feed off of their emotion. Al in al ,
promoted and paid more than the African-American
both the play and the movie were great and
workers. This upset me, but later on in the movie
I enjoyed both thoroughly.