BENEATHA: Be on my side for once! You saw what he just did, Mama! You saw him – down on his knees. Wasn’t it you who taught me to despise any man who would do that? Do what he’s going to do?
MAMA: Yes – I taught you that. Me and your daddy. But I thought I taught you something else too… I thought I taught you to love him.
BENEATHA: Love him? There is nothing left to love.
MAMMA: There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing. (Looking at her) Have you cried for that boy today? I don’t mean for yourself and for the family ’cause we lost the money. I mean for him: what he been through and what it done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain’t through learning – because that ain’t the time at all. It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in hisself ’cause the world done whipped him so! When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.
Lorraine Hansberry (May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965)
from A Raisin in the Sun (1959)