This Day in Black History: Feb. 25, 2008

Rap mogul Sean Combs appears in an ABC adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun.

Posted: 02/25/2014 12:00 AM EST

Sean "Diddy" Combs may be best known for his contributions to the rap/hip hop genre, but that's not the only thing for which he will be remembered. On April 26, 2004, the recording artist and fashion designer made his Broadway debut in Lorraine Hansberry's classic drama A Raisin in the Sun. On Feb. 25, 2008, he appeared in an adaptation of the play on ABC.

Combs played the role of Walter Lee, first performed by the renowned actor Sydney Poitier, who also reprised the role on film. Co-stars included Phylicia Rashad, Sanaa Lathan and other established actors.

The story centers on the anticipation of a $10,000 insurance check that's to be received by the Younger family, struggling in a cramped apartment in Chicago's South Side neighborhood, after the death of the family's patriarch and the conflict over how to spend it. Combs' character wants to use the money to open a liquor store. His mother, played by Rashad, wants to use it to send daughter Beneatha, played by Lathan, to medical school.

"Walter, a chauffeur to a wealthy white businessman, wants to live well and be seen," wrote a New York Times theatre critic. "That Mr. Combs makes his desire seem like more than empty materialism must come in some part from the fact that he has been hungry at the same table."

Combs has also appeared in other films, including Made, Monster's Ball and Death of a Dynasty.

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Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick.

(Photo: ABC/PETER STRANKS)

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