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Ntozake Shange

Source: courtesy of the Ntozake Shange Revocable Trust

MADAMENOIRE is taking a moment to honor the life and spirit of the great Ntozake Shange, whose sunrise was October 18, 1948. Shange’s sunset was October 27, 2018. Shange lived. It cannot be overstated that she is a Black woman who walked so that many others could run. She embodied Black feminism and Black liberation. She was free in her body and in her art. At the height of the Black Arts Movement, Shange gave us her exploratory masterpiece, for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf.


Shange’s seminal work originated as a play where women expressed their personal experience with violence, heartbreak and loss. The play has come a long way since its genius, having been reproduced by numerous theater companies and eventually adapted into a major motion picture that was directed and executive produced by prominent filmmaker Tyler Perry. 

Shange’s legacy continues in an upcoming revival production of for colored girls … in 2022 on Broadway. In a shared statement Camille Brown, director and choreographer said: 

“I am thankful for the love Ntozake Shange poured into our hearts. She gave us life and brought healing through her words. She provided a space for dance to live inside of her poetry. It is a gift. Lifting her name and honoring her always. Her brilliance is astounding and I am grateful to be able to honor her.” 

Shange’s other works include Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, Betsey Brown, Liliane, Some Sing, Some Cry and a plethora of children’s books, essays and poetry. Get you some and let it be known—Ntozake Shange was here. 

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