Awkward Black Girl’s Issa Rae to Play Nina Simone in Lorraine Hansberry Biopic

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Issa Rae to play Nina Simone in Lorraine Hasnberry film

Issa Rae will play Nina Simone in Lorraine Hasnberry film

Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl) has been tapped to take on the role of Nina Simone for an upcoming biopic on playwright, author, activist, and Nina’s close friend Lorraine Hansberry, most known for her 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun.

Taye Hansberry, Lorraine’s great niece and the author of stuffshelikes.net, will play the lead role of her great aunt, who died at the very young age of 34 of pancreatic cancer.

And Jaleel White will play James Baldwin, who was Lorraine’s close friend and confidant.

Taye Hansberry takes on the likeness of great aunt Lorraine Hansberry

Taye Hansberry takes on the likeness of great aunt Lorraine Hansberry

Production for the film, now in pre-production, is set to begin in early fall. The script is written by both Taye and Numa Perrier, who will also direct the film.

Lorraine Hansberry was first black playwright and the youngest American to win a New York Critics’ Circle award.

The successful A Raisin in the Sun, inspired by her family’s battle against racial segregation in Chicago, was the first play produced on Broadway by an African American woman, and a film version was released in 1961 starring Sidney Poitier.

Check out the mini-doc on Lorraine below.

[spotted via afropunk.com]


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