For Colored Girls/Suicide

For Colored Girls Suicide From its inception in California in to its highly acclaimed critical success at Joseph Papp s Public Theater and on Broadway the Obie Award winning for colored girls who have considered suicide

  • Title: For Colored Girls/Suicide
  • Author: Ntozake Shange
  • ISBN: 9780780736108
  • Page: 213
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From its inception in California in 1974 to its highly acclaimed critical success at Joseph Papp s Public Theater and on Broadway, the Obie Award winning for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf has excited, inspired, and transformed audiences all over the country Passionate and fearless, Shange s words reveal what it is to be of color and feFrom its inception in California in 1974 to its highly acclaimed critical success at Joseph Papp s Public Theater and on Broadway, the Obie Award winning for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf has excited, inspired, and transformed audiences all over the country Passionate and fearless, Shange s words reveal what it is to be of color and female in the twentieth century Here is the complete text, with stage directions, of a groundbreaking dramatic prose poem written in vivid and powerful language that resonates with unusual beauty in its fierce message to the world.

    One thought on “For Colored Girls/Suicide”

    1. [EDITED TO CLARIFY A FEW THINGS]I thoroughly understand poetic license and the art of using vernacular in literature. Langston Hughes has taught me well. ;-)February, 2011This book is not a novel. It is a choreopoem of fictional stories told by characters who all represent a color worn, i.e. Lady in Red, Lady in Yellow, Lady in Purple, etc. The title alone being the first clue, this is also not a timeless piece. I’ll just get right to why I give this book one star. I despise intentional misspe [...]

    2. Shange's work here is highly provocative. English dorks will complain about the "typos" and misspellings. Apparently, these readers have never heard of poetic license, nor are they aware that the piece is meant to be PERFORMED, not merely read. Traditionalists might complain that this work is unfair to men. Apparently, they did not even bother to read the first three words of the title.For the open-minded exists a sublime piece of poetic verse, musical and cacophonous, filled with unbridled emot [...]

    3. The ish. A pivotal work in theatre. I once heard Ntozake Shange explain that one of her goals as a writer was to break down the English language, to undo, redo, replay, and rework the English language, in such a way that its power for white supremacist goals and idea transfer would be rendered useless. Now that's all types of deep - this idea that language can teach us destruction and prejudice and by deconstructing that language those who have been oppressed can reclaim and enter into the very [...]

    4. For Colored Girls who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf has been the most profound, interesting, mind- blowing books I have come across this year. This was my first time being introduced to a chore poem, which is simply a collection of poems that have been strategically put together into one novel. One thing I learned from Shange, the author, is the attention to the title of the book. Upon reading the first three words of the title, "For colored girls" you assume that the word col [...]

    5. This is one of those books I refer too a lot. Like written prayers sometimes say things in a way that resonates so well with me, so too does this book of poetry. Ever since I realized there waz someone callt/a colored girl an evil woman a bitch or a nag/i been tryin not to be that & leave bitterness/in somebody else's cup

    6. This play was very interesting to read. In the beginning I was confused by Shange's abbreviations and had to use guess work to figure out what she was saying, but as the choreopoem went on, I got better at deciphering what she was saying. Thank goodness for this because the action in this choreopoem speeds by and if you're not focused, you'll miss something. Since this was a choreopoem, the actual character building isn't really meant to be full blown yet, I wanted to hear more from each woman's [...]

    7. I NEED to see this as a production. And I also need to reread it because WOW there are so many layers to it.

    8. Read this before seeing the film, it is worth it. This play is one of the strongest stories about abuse and discrimination, from almost all aspects that I have had the great pleasure of reading.I have seen many people criticize how the characters were represented, some even claiming that the characters could have taken more “responsibility” for what happened to them, and I am very sure that these people missed one of the messages of the story, that people are flawed, and that sometimes it is [...]

    9. I read this book a million years ago.Well, to bespecific back in 1975, around the time of its original publication. However, I have read it several more times since then, and I have seen the Play performed more than five times. The play presents an overwhelming expereience that embraces the audience member in a cultural experience of the African American woman and other women in the African Diaspora. The reading of the text and the viewing of the original play present a sometimes bleek, daunting [...]

    10. I have to say that I loved this play. It was a bit weird to read the stage directions along with the poetry that was being said by these characters, but it was quite easy to read and follow.For colored girls is considered a choreopoem (i.e. there are monologues that also include dance and music) with seven women in different colors speaking to the audience.The seven women are the lady in red, lady in orange, lady in yellow, lady in green, lady in blue, lady in brown, and lady in purple.Some of t [...]

    11. I have seen the play version twice including the touring company with some of the original cast members like the amazing Trazana Beverley. Yesterday, reading the actual choreopoem in its entirety for the first time gave me more insight and understanding of the poets' intentions. There are moments of joy as well as sheer despair in this piece. In other words, Shange covers a wide range of colored girl emotions. Her work is also ground-breaking because of its experimentation with form and content. [...]

    12. 'coloured' (minoritised, othered in their skin, colonised OR vibrant, various, multifaceted) 'girls' (infantilised, sexually exploited and pathologised, excluded from woman/lady OR youthful, spirited, free, pure-hearted) , five Black women… speaking in the safe space of loving affirmation between them, poetising rawness of pain and beauty, passion and exhaustionNo respectability politics. Don't start telling these women what they should have done. These are words of possibility and impossibili [...]

    13. Themes - checkCharacters - checkWriting - pretentious as hellCertain words that Shange chooses to spell differently are spoken the same way regardless. I don’t see how one could say could (which she chose to spell as “cld”) any differently than anyone else, whether you are black, white, or green.

    14. I believe every word of this book. It is honest and real and gives a voice to a marginalised but strong set of women. It is definitely one of my favourite books ever. Absolutely a gem of literature.

    15. I have never seen the movie or the stage version of this, so for some reason I went into this expecting some talk about mental illness among black women (based upon the title) or black women overcoming adversity. There were some lines that I liked and some poems that I thought were particularly good, but when I read the last page I had one overwhelming thought, 'That was really overrated.' These poems read more like a bunch of little stories. And all the stories are about black women's misery, p [...]

    16. This book is so much more powerful than the movie that is made from it. This book showcases beautifully the experience of African-American females. While I never can fully understand their experience as a gay white male I feel that I was drawn into their world by Shange's words. I was able to feel their joy, pain, and suffering. This book moved me to emotions that I didn't believe a book would be able to do and now I find myself sometimes saying one of the poems to myself in my head frequently a [...]

    17. "for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf" by Ntozake Shange is a powerful choreopoem that explores many different arenas: rape, sexually-transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy, abortion, murder, etc It is written in a way that conveys to the reader the physical and emotional stance of the women in the play. While delving into many social topics that seem to plague all women(not just colored girls) today, Shange creates an atmosphere in which these women are made [...]

    18. Three stars for a modern classic? I struggle with this book. TV and film sometimes included scenes with performance pieces like this to show how talentless and clueless a character is. I have not seen this work performed, but from reading alone, the first couple of pieces read like this to me. It seems to improve after this, or do I just begin to “get it”?, still many of the poems, especially the emotional poems, do not resonate with me. I have trouble identifying with the anger or the reaso [...]

    19. Very very beautifully written. Tragically realistic. Very amazing to read. It's an extremely artistic portrayal of the lives of black women, from and living all different strokes of life, searching the world for something to make them and their existence whole. Blindly, it is usually manifested in some form of a man.The imagery and use of language is astonishing. It's poetry, which I personally don't read very much, but For Colored Girls is my favorite poem(s) I've ever read. As with all screenp [...]

    20. Words that do not truly come to life until you see the theatrical stage version. Life is painfully and joyfully at the same time.Quote:little sally walker, sittin in a saucerrise, sally, rise, wipe your weepin eyes an put your hands on your hipsan let your backbone slip o, shake it to the easto, shake it to the westshake it to the onethat you like the bestlady in purple you're it

    21. somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuffnot my poems or a dance i gave up in the streetbut somebody almost walked off wid alla my stufflike a kleptomaniac workin hard & forgettin while stealinthis is mine/this aint yr stuff/now why don't you put me back & let me hang out in my own selfsomebody almost walked off wit alla my stuff& didn't care enuf to send a note home sayini was late for my solo conversationor two sizes to small for my own tacky skirtswhat can anybody do wit someth [...]

    22. I must say I read this play--or is it poetry--or is it dance--every year or two. My favorite Shange.*********************11/6/10 I'm getting ready to see the film today, so must re-read. it will be so strange to see these characters named--in the poems they're "lady in red," "lady in white" and so on so that you develop a feel for them by their voices alone. Must remember that a film is its own work of art and not expect something it probably won't do--replicate that dream feel of the choreopoem [...]

    23. This book is spiritually bland and utterly devoid of imagination. The writing was puerile and in no way measures up to the high quality of literature you would expect from a book held in such high and critical esteem. (It won an Obie). Some may choose to ignore the faults in the text because it is "revolutionary" and feminist. But for those people I have a question. If we measure progressive works and feminist works by cheaper standards,how does that show what we truly think about women? Probabl [...]

    24. My goodness, this book really spoke to me. I'm so thankful that I read it. I would absolutely love to see this performed live. I picked up this book because I heard that Tyler Perry would be directing the film version, while I'm not Perry fan I thought I'd better at least read this book and see what the hype is all about. I can assure you that every single woman in the world could benefit from reading these poemsI haven't experienced any of what was discussed in the poems, but I know that if I l [...]

    25. I may be mostly white, but I am also entirely a woman. "i loved you on purposei was open on purposei still crave vulnerability & close talk& i'm not even sorry bout you bein sorryyou can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna just dont give it to mei cant use another sorrynext timeyou should admityou're mean/ low-down/ triflin/ & no count straight outsteada bein sorry alla the timeenjoy bein yrself"I don't believe I have ever met a single woman who could hear or read those words an [...]

    26. I really hope I have the chance to see this performed one day. Shange's writing is so lyrical and emotionally honest on its own that I can only imagine the impact of the full dance, the stage, the color, etc. The writing style was compelling enough for me to give the play 5 stars, though. The actual reworking of the English language so as to communicate in words created for and by women of color -- as opposed to speaking in the language born out of a racist and sexist culture -- very much enhanc [...]

    27. I've been meaning to read some of Ntozake Shange's work for sometime, and when I saw this offered in my Book-Of-The-Month catalog, ordered and read it.The book is written in the style of a stage play, and has been performed several times, according to the book, including being filmed for HBO.Shange addresses many of the cruel and challenging issues that many young women, not just black women, but Asian, white, poor, and under-educated women confront, on a daily basis.One of the themes that came [...]

    28. The best poetry I have ever read. This poem hits every issue we as black women are faced with. I thought I suffered alone with most of these issues until I read these poems. Some poems I actually was reading my life story. This book is therapy, She takes the hurt, pain, joy right from your tongue and let's you read it, in the form of poetry. This poem makes me want to unite with all women and deal with our issues together. It's comforting to know I wasn't alone. I've also watched both movies, th [...]

    29. She's half-notes scattered without rhythm/ no tune sing her sighs sing the song of her possiblilties sing a righteous gospel let her be born let her be born & handled warmly.I read this every year at or around springtime since I was introduced to it while broseing in my local bookstore over ten years ago. It is both loud and quiet in it's prose. Everytime I read it I idenify with a diffrent lady than the year before. It speaks to the works' timelessness.hard and softways tender. Beautiful.

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