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Gail A. Hansberry

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Information about Gail A. Hansberry

Profile image of Gail A. Hansberry

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Photographer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
One Should Be Consistent And Fair In Their Relationships With People.

Birthplace

Born:
9/4/1939
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Photographer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
One Should Be Consistent And Fair In Their Relationships With People.

Birthplace

Born:
9/4/1939
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Gail A. Hansberry is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Contractor and Graphic Artist/Photographer, Gail A. Hansberry was born in Washington, D.C. on September 4, 1939. Her mother, Myrtle Kelso Hansberry, taught French in a junior high school. Her father, William Leo Hansberry was a pioneer in the study of Ancient African History and taught at Howard University in Washington D.C. from 1922–1959. Hansberry attended public schools and during the 10th grade she lived in Cairo, Egypt, where her father was a Fulbright Research Scholar.

In 1960, Hansberry received her B.A. degree in Art from Howard University. In 1962 she received her M.A. degree in Art History from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, where she also took Leonard Baskin’s graphics courses and made a book of etchings by hand entitled Insects (1962); a later enlarged version was entitled Insects and Haiku (1970).

In 1962-63 Hansberry worked in the Publications Office of the National Gallery of Art and taught art at Taft Junior High School in Washington, D.C. From 1963–1966 she was an instructor of Art History at North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University) in Durham, N.C. In 1966, Hansberry moved to New York and was a researcher at Time Life Books from 1967-1976. Then, through 1979, she was a freelance editorial researcher and photographer in NY.

Hansberry returned to Washington, D.C. in 1980 and for about twenty eight years was an English Language Officer (ELO), contracted by the U.S. Department of State.

Organizations to which Hansberry has belonged include BPIA (International Association of Black Professional in International Affairs); AKA (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority); (NCIV) National Council for International Visitors, and WBG (Washington Biography Group). From 1990 -1992 Hansberry served as executive director of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

Hansberry’s prints and hand-made books are in private collections and at Smith College, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City and the Library of Congress. Hansberry did photographic studies of the George Washington Bridge in New York and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Two photographs of her study of the Brooklyn Bridge were included in its 1983 Centennial Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum (“The Great East River Bridge 1883-1983”.) Her photography is also included in the 2009 Colors of Life, published by The Exposure Group African American Photographers Association, Inc. of which she is a member. In addition, a transcript of a video interview with Hansberry was published in Artist and Influence, Vol. XXIX, 2010, in the Hatch-Billops Collection Inc, Archives of African American Cultural History.

Gail A. Hansberry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 9, 2007.

See how Gail A. Hansberry is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gail A. Hansberry's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gail A. Hansberry lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her father's influence on African studies
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers the Africa House in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her father's research into African history
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her parents' personalities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her homes in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gail A. Hansberry describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her early interest in astronomy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her love of football
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her influential teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her cousin, Lorraine Hansberry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her father's organizational involvement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her aunt, Carrie Washington Fitchett
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her family's voyage to Egypt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gail A. Hansberry describes Cairo, Egypt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls the Manor House School in Cairo, Egypt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers travelling in Egypt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her return to the United States
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers McKinley Technical High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her decision to attend Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her professors at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her early career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her teaching career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gail A. Hansberry talks about African American art history
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls teaching at North Carolina College at Durham
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her interest in photography
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her trip to Mexico City, Mexico
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers moving to New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls a conflict with her superiors at Time-Life Books
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her photographs of New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her book, 'Insects and Haiku'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers caring for her family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls working for the U.S. Department of State
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gail A. Hansberry talks about human trafficking
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls directing the Association for the Study of African American Life and History