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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  • 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.

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

    Thes poems
    maek meh barf
    I haet dem
    wit a pashun

Read all 2 comments »
Best Poem of Ntozake Shange

With No Immediate Cause

every 3 minutes a woman is beaten
every five minutes a
woman is raped/every ten minutes
a lil girl is molested
yet i rode the subway today
i sat next to an old man who
may have beaten his old wife
3 minutes ago or 3 days/30 years ago
he might have sodomized his
daughter but i sat there
cuz the young men on the train
might beat some young women
later in the day or tomorrow
i might not shut my door fast
every 3 minutes it happens
some woman's innocence
rushes to her cheeks/pours from her mouth
like the betsy wetsy dolls have been ...

Read the full of With No Immediate Cause

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