For colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf: a choreopoem

by Ntozake Shange

Hardcover, 1977





New York : MacMillan, c1977.


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 female in the twentieth century. First published in 1975 when it was praised by The New Yorker for "encompassing...every feeling and experience a woman has ever had," for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf will be read and performed for generations to come. 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.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member omame
Beautiful and lively. Would love to see this performed.
LibraryThing member noodlejet22
This slim volume is set for stage performance. These poems ring true even today about women, love, family, abuse, relationships, identity, and friendship among women. Most would say that these poems are only about the African-American experience but I would challenge that notion in that women in
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society have common issues and goals. Shange has a gift in that she is able to transport the reader along as the women in the play feel and experience the retelling of their stories. The women are each dressed in a different color- of the rainbow perhaps. In the end they have each other even after all that they've been through, even after the pain of telling their stories these women continue to support one another. We see that the rainbow is enough, it is a celebration of friendship and support among women.
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LibraryThing member lhicks5
This book would be an excellent resource for a theater arts class. It does not follow the flow of a traditional play, which might frustrate younger readers. It is, however, a creative alternative to traditional plays and presents the theme of black female identity, which many young females might
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find fascinating.
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LibraryThing member debnance
Dark play, written as poem, relating lives of black women. Captivating. A tiny bit preachy at times.
LibraryThing member shannonkearns
I enjoyed reading this, but I think this is one of those pieces that really can't be done justice simply in print.
LibraryThing member jessicaundomiel
I first heard about Ntozake Shange's choreopoem when it was being made into a movie by Tyler Perry. My attention was caught by the advertisements on the radio during my commute to and from work. Though I still have not seen the film, I purchased the book with every intention of reading it right
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away. Sadly, it sat on my shelf and moved across the country with me in a box of several other books that are fighting for my attention amid the distractions of working life.

The eyes on the book's cover draw you in and make you long to find out what stories she has to tell. And what stories! The poems address such topics as love, betrayal, rape, abortion, disease, and post-traumatic stress. Although the ladies in the poems encounter hardships, there is an undercurrent of strength and determination throughout the book. The women look within and discover resilience that is expressed in mantras whose themes weave throughout the poems like choreography across a stage. "my love is too beautiful to have thrown back on my face/my love is too sanctified to have thrown back on my face/my love is too magic to have thrown back on my face."

The stage directions and descriptions bring the stories of the poems to life. Reading this book conjures the image of women in colorful dresses dancing around a stage, chanting and singing these stories that are shared by the sisterhood of all women. Shange's work calls each of us to share in that bond.
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LibraryThing member poetontheone
Ntozake Shange's powerful and vivid fusion of poetry and drama deftly maps the internal battles of black female identity and the inadequacy of language to express it, rumbling with the fury of what it means to be both an invisible presence whose voice is not heard and whose worth is not valued, and
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a visible commodity whose body and very personhood is objectified and reduced to utility for others as victim, lover, mother, and slave. At the same, the narrative rallies against this with a fierce and lyrical rebellion wrought with sharp wit, humor, and hope. Any student of American literature, poetry, drama, gender studies, or race studies must consider and carefully weigh the importance of this work.
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LibraryThing member SoulFlower1981
I am a huge fan of the movie "For Colored Girls" that is based off of this book and I thought that I should finally look to see if my University Library had a copy of it. Indeed they did have a copy of it. I devoured the pages within the matter of an hour. This book is riveting and really showcases
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well the voice of an African-American woman. We can learn from this book about their struggles and experiences. I would recommend this to anyone that is in a field that works with a variety of individuals. This will give you some great insights and will also move you to tears by the end.
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LibraryThing member DanielSTJ
This one missed the mark for me. While there were some interesting passages in it, and the idea was inherently decent, I didn't feel connected with the characters. This, perchance, may be because the play was set in its time and I'm so disconnected from what it speaks of. It was not a bad play, and
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I think it has it's merits, but I also agree with the fact that it is not for all audiences-- myself included.

2 stars.
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LibraryThing member Koralis
I finally got around to reading this. There are some really powerful poems in this, the imagery is amazing, however the intentional grammar mistakes infuriated me. Still a good read though.



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