ArtSex & Gender

black women mourn passing of ntozake shange

October 29, 2018

This weekend our community lost playwright and activist Ntozake Shange, who passed away at 70. An iconoclast in the theater world and a groundbreaking storyteller, Shange will be best remembered for her seminal work for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf. A collection of poems performed through dance choreography and set to music, for colored girls is an ode to “difficult” Black women who have suffered from misogynoiristic oppression, which are expressed in a diversity of ways. One of the first and very few public explorations of the particular abuse of Black women and our mental wellness, Shange challenged the types of narratives Black women were “supposed” to tell, breathing life into imperfect and beautifully full Black characters. She championed the representation of complex Black womanhood, inspiring countless Black creatives for decades to come.

We were blessed enough to host one of Shange’s last public performances recently at AFROPUNK Solution Sessions. Please enjoy her message to us, here.