Lorraine Hansberry’s essay “Stanley Gleason” expresses her theory of Black existence. The essay depicts everyday acts that transform the body and, in so doing, expand what is possible. Her ideas about Black existence emerge as part of a long history of Black thought and in relationship to the artistic and political communities she organized. While working in Greenwich Village, Hansberry crossed paths with and learned from an international cadre of intellectuals and performing artists, including South African singer Miriam Makeba, how to shift the body to shape reality. The essay offers possibilities for locating live options within historical periods marked by despair and, therefore, for remapping the Black world from one of negation to one within what Hansberry called an affirmative movement in history.

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