Our Living Literary Treasures

January 16, 2011  |  

9) Ntozake Shange: Poet, playwright, novelist

Best known for: “For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf,” “Liliane”

Why we love her: Long before Madea even knew who she was, Shange’s epic choreopoem was a Broadway hit for its remarkable ability to capture so many facets of black female life. The original “For Colored Girls” didn’t simply focus on the painful parts of our existence, but also depicted our joy, our triumphs and our resilience. She released a new novel- “Some Sing, Some Cry,” with her sister Ifa Bayeza last year.

Noteable quotable: “When I die, I will not be guilty of having left a generation of girls behind thinking that anyone can tend to their emotional health other than themselves.”

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  • Diva

    There are other authors that you have forgotten about. The "old standards" are great, however please look to the other voices of literary fiction. These women are writing about love, loss and everything in between and it's not Urban Fiction. They are never are mention because we always fall back on Walker, Cooper, Angelou, Mcmillan, Morrison, and Smith.

    Please open your eyes and the eyes of your readers by locating them. These authors also deserve their spotlight.

    **Some of these ladies are also New York Time best-selling authors, won several literary awards, and have over 30 or 40 books in print.

    Thanks

  • Neilah

    Great post ! However you guys could have found a better picture of Ntozake Shange! Sheesh! Give the woman the respect she's owed! *SMH*

  • Kristine

    I LOVED this article! Thank you! Toni Morrison has to be my favorite because she allows the reader to become a part of each character.

  • Ari

    This was an interesting post to read, I hadn't heard of Danzy Senza so thank you for pointing her out to me! Caucasia sounds like a fabulous novel.

  • MissAj

    What about Sonia Sanchez?

  • Danielle

    How about Nikki Giovani

  • Can

    I'm surprised (and a bit disappointed) that you didn't include Octavia Butler—as I learned about her from this website. And in literary terms she i one of the few African American Women Sci-Fi writers. I enjoyed both Fledgling and Kindred from Ms. Butler.

    • Ari

      Maybe they didn't include her because she's no longer living? I still need to read Kindred!

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