Ntozake Shange

(October 18, 1948 / Trenton, New Jersey)

Ntozake Shange
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an American playwright, and poet. As a self proclaimed black feminist, much of the content of her work addresses issues relating to race and feminism.

Shange is best-known for the Obie Award-winning play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.

She also wrote Betsey Brown, a novel about an African American girl who runs away from home. Among her honors and awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, and a Pushcart Prize. Shange lives in Brooklyn.

Early life

Shange was born Paulette L. Williams in Trenton, New Jersey to an upper-middle-class family. Her father, Paul ... more »

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Comments about Ntozake Shange

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  • Rookie Charmaigne Scott (6/8/2013 4:20:00 PM)

    I was in the choreopoem, For Colored Girls... many years, ago at a local, UC theatre. It was awesome trying to perform a role and accomplish the intricate details of the character identified by her Red garments.
    My monologue was Enuf. I could relate to practically all of it. It was not too far off from an ordinary woman's recount of some indelible moment that was washed away, down the drain of her recollections. It was a very intimate portrayal that had the audience on the edge of their seats.
    Wait...a minute...I could feel the thunderous tension and knew the lines would not come out. So, I improvised and cut to the end. OMG! That was the most difficult moment for my acting career.
    I almost quit after that. But, after reliving what on earth happened to me that night, I can say it was educational and made me empathetic to other actors whose roles take them beyond their capacities into a realm where they have absolutely no control over any of it. That is scary but will pass and leave you, albeit, scarred or not scarred for life.
    Try to memorize all of those lines from Enuf and see if you can recite it for an attentive audience. Do you make it through?
    Regardless, how could you not love the writings of the wonderfully self-possessed, Ms. Ntozake Shange?
    Become educated by her works and you, too may experience quantum leaps of personal growth and development as a a bona fide human being with a cache of analog and digital memoirs. Enjoy this forever.

  • Rookie Maleke Haynes (5/31/2013 11:10:00 PM)

    Thes poems
    maek meh barf
    I haet dem
    wit a pashun

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Best Poem of Ntozake Shange

My Father Is A Retired Magician

(for ifa, p.t., & bisa)

my father is a retired magician
which accounts for my irregular behavior
everythin comes outta magic hats
or bottles wit no bottoms & parakeets
are as easy to get as a couple a rabbits
or 3 fifty cent pieces/ 1958

my daddy retired from magic & took
up another trade cuz this friend of mine
from the 3rd grade asked to be made white
on the spot

what cd any self-respectin colored american magician
do wit such a outlandish request/ cept
put all them razzamatazz hocus pocus zippity-do-dah
thingamajigs away cuz
colored ...

Read the full of My Father Is A Retired Magician

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