Item #2784 Masses & Mainstream, December 1951 [Volume 4, Number 12]. Lorraine Hansberry, Samuel Sillen.
Masses & Mainstream, December 1951 [Volume 4, Number 12]
Masses & Mainstream, December 1951 [Volume 4, Number 12]

Masses & Mainstream, December 1951 [Volume 4, Number 12]

New York: Masses & Mainstream, Inc., 1951. First Edition, First Printing.

A theatre review by Lorraine Hansberry appears in this issue of Masses & Mainstream, the cultural magazine of the Communist Party USA. Hansberry (1930-1965) wrote an enthusiastic review of William Branch's "A Medal for Willie," which the Committee for the Negro in the Arts presented at Harlem's Club Baron.

The play concerns the mother of a young African-American who was killed in the Korean War. Willie's mother, Mrs. Jackson, was due to receive a medal from a general, but she refuses to accept it, calling out the racism and hypocrisy of Jim Crow America.

"This is good," Hansberry writes in her review. "This is exciting and moving....Watching the play, I experience the glorious feeling that perhaps now -- in our time -- the dream of a New Harlem Theatre shall be realized."

Although she points out a few flaws in the play, she concludes her review, writing: "But the play is a powerful indictment of Negro oppression. It has terrific impact. Don't miss it."

This marks yet another appearance by Hansberry in Masses & Mainstream. The September 1950 issue contained her first published work, the poem "Flag From a Kitchenette Window," published when she was "a twenty-year-old art student in Chicago." Another poem, "Lynchsong," was published in July 1951.

Hansberry, of course, went on to write her most famous work, "A Raisin in the Sun," a play about the struggles of a Black family in Chicago. It opened on Broadway in March 1959 and starred Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee.

Besides Hansberry's review, this issue contains excerpts from a novel by V.J. Jerome; Richard O. Boyer's appreciation of Pettis Perry, an African-American who was a Communist Party official; labor news, including an article by Howard Fast; drawings by Hugo Gellert; and more.

This issue of Masses & Mainstream is rare. OCLC shows no institutional holdings.

PHYSICAL DETAILS: Small Octavo (7 3/4 x 5 1/4 inches; 197 x 135 mm), 64 pages, in stapled, printed wrappers (soft cover).

CONDITION: Some scattered stains and soiling. About Very Good. Item #2784

Price: $125.00