Natalie Brown

Jun 24, 2022

If You are Bothered by Today's Supreme Court Decision, Consider Turning Off The TV and Turning to Playwright Lorraine Hansberry.

When I was a student activist in college, I thought we'd work for the social change, check the box, and then move to the next important issue. But social change is not a one-and-done situation but instead an ongoing effort.

Like our lives, movements are made up of moments in time that happen over time and, in turn, require life-long vigilance in both victory and defeat.

Today's Supreme Court decision regarding Roe vs. Wade was disappointing. After a 30-minute rant at the TV, I turned to the creative genius of Lorraine Hansberry's play a Raisin in the Sun. 

The scene between Beneatha Younger and her boyfriend Joseph Asagai, first performed in 1959, speak to both the heart of what happened today. 

Beneatha eloquently expresses her womanist choice to pursue her career dreams instead of a family. She also candidly shares her pessimism about the impact and sustainability of political and social gains Joseph Asagai, her boyfriend is fighting for in Nigeria.

Today I reflected on Joseph's rebuttal to Beneatha's "what-if" eight-word rebuttal, "That will be another problem for another time," as he doubled downs on his optimism.

Switching our mindset from "right now" to "lifetime" allows us to pace ourselves for the long game.

The beauty of art is that it breathes life back into us as we process our thoughts and feelings. 

And when wounds of doubt enter our thoughts and mirror Beneatha Younger's painful declaration that we have no answers for what happened today and what's been happening during the last few years.   

Let's channel the words of optimism Lorraine Hansberry gave us through Joseph Asagai and say his lines aloud.

"I LIVE THE ANSWER!" - Joseph Asagai, A Raisin in the Sun, Act 3

Natalie Brown

I help multi-hyphenated folks use Peaceful Productivity to break up with hustle-and-grind culture and build a system that strengthens, not stresses them.