A Raisin in the Sun
Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Sanaa Lathan, and John Stamos all return to reprise the roles they originally played on Broadway in this made for television take on Lorraine Hansbury's timeless play about a 1950s-era Chicago family longing for a better life. Walter Lee has died, and now his widow Lena Younger (Rashad) is about to receive a $10,000 check from her late-husband's insurance company. Everyone in the family dreams about the ways their lives will be changed with the arrival of the money, family matriarch Lena - who longs to retire from her job as a domestic servant for a wealthy white family - in particular. Having lived in a one room tenement apartment ever since she and her late husband originally married, Lena is eager to purchase a house of her own and provide her family with a real home. Lena's son Walter Lee, Jr. (Combs), currently employed as a chauffer, and has recently become taken with the idea of purchasing a liquor store as a means of solving his family's financial woes. Like her mother-in-law, Walter's wife Ruth (McDonald) is also a domestic servant for a white family, and dreams of the day she can walk away from her job. While Walter's sister Beneatha (Lathan) strives to become a medical professional, tuition is expensive and she is currently being pursued by two men - wealthy but superficial George Murchison (Sean Patrick Thomas) and intellectual classmate Joseph Asagai (David Oyelowo). Much to everyone's surprise, Lena uses the lion's share of the money to purchase a home in the all-white residential neighborhood of Cllaybourne, splitting the remainder between Walter (for his entrepreneurial endeavor) and Beneatha (for tuition). Around the same time Walter loses his share of the inheritance to a smooth talking con man who claimed he could help finance the liquor store, the Claybourne "home improvement" association makes the discovery that the Youngers are black and sends emissary Mr. Lindner (John Stamos) to try prevent their neighborhood from becoming integrated by buying the house back. Now faced with the prospect of losing it all, Walter considers making a deal with Mr. Lindner in order to recover his losses.