A playwright who is well known to readers through A Raisin in the Sun is given fair tribute by the McKissacks (Rebels Against Slavery, 1996, etc.), who also provide a window into the times in which Hansberry lived. Born in 1930, the fourth child of a prosperous family living on Chicago's South Side, Hansberry played childhood games and reported mixed views about her role as baby of the family. The McKissacks make clear, however, that from Hansberry's earliest days, her parents were raising her to ""advance the cause of African-American equality through intelligent and articulate leadership."" She grew up ""listening to NAACP lawyers planning legal strategies in her living room""; surrounded by influential adults, she learned to express herself, seeking comfort in the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by writing about ""clouds, flowers, and music."" After college graduation and marriage to Robert Nemiroff, she took up residence in Greenwich Village, New York City, where a windfall from her songwriter-husband's efforts allowed her to concentrate on her writing. Her death at age 34 comes through as a decisive loss to the American theatre; the authors cull from her short, high-impact life a thorough, very readable, work.