American Masters Wins Peabody Award for Lorraine Hansberry Documentary

Lorraine Hansberry leans over her typewriter in her Greenwich Village apartment on Bleecker Street during her April 1959 photoshoot for Vogue. Photo by David Attie.

Lorraine Hansberry leans over her typewriter in her Greenwich Village apartment on Bleecker Street during her April 1959 photoshoot for Vogue. Photo by David Attie.

American Masters is honored to receive a 2018 Peabody Award for Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart for excellence in documentary filmmaking.

Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart is the first in-depth presentation of Hansberry’s complex life, using her personal papers and archives, including home movies and rare photos, as source material. Filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain explores the life and work of this passionate writer and civil-rights advocate, who played a significant role in the major cultural and political movements of her time. Narrated by acclaimed actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson (The Fighting Temptations, A Raisin in the Sun) and featuring the voice of Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose (A Raisin in the Sun, Dreamgirls) as Lorraine Hansberry, Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart features new interviews with family, friends and colleagues, including Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte and Louis Gossett, Jr., creating a nuanced portrait of an activist and artist whose words and ideas are as relevant today as they were when she first wrote them. This documentary was part of American Masters’ Inspiring Woman online campaign.

As part of the Peabody 30, these programs were considered “the best of the best” out of 1,200 entries in television, radio, podcast, and web programming broadcast in 2018. To receive a nomination and to win a Peabody, a program must receive the unanimous approval of all members of the Peabody Board of Jurors.

This is American Masters’ 14th Peabody Award, and the 2nd for writer/director/producer Tracy Heather Strain.

Since 1940, the prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards have honored excellence in broadcasting. The awards now recognize excellence in digital storytelling as well. The 78th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart is available to stream on PBS Passport.