Ntozake Shange

but bein alive & being a woman & being colored is a metaphysical dilemma that I havent conquered yet
my spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul & gender
my love is too delicate to have thrown back on my face
—  Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf
3

“Where there is a woman…there is magic. 

If there is a moon falling from her mouth, 

she is a woman who knows her magic, 

who can share or not share her powers. 

A woman with a moon falling from her mouth, 

roses between her legs 

and tiaras of Spanish moss, 

this woman is a consort of the spirits.”

-Ntozake Shange


Nicole Beharie | Black Girl Magic

My goal was to found a program for magical Black girls that taught them from an African-centered lens and Black Feminist and Womanist framework to be body positive, sex positive, LGBTQ affirming and trauma-informed.

I came to my sister friend Gabrielle Clark & Briana Monique (love y'all) late Feb./ early March and said please join BLM Philly because I have a program idea and it will change and save some lives. They both said yes, took the lead on the program and if all goes well we will have this program in other cities. It’s called #FromOurMothersGarden . It’s inspired by Black Feminist, Ntozake Shange, and her book entitled “Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo” and also Womanist, Alice Walker (In Search of Our Mother’s Garden).

My heart is full. I love you Gab. You kept me informed every step of the way. You are a force, and the leader that Black women and girls need to see.

one thing i dont need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i dont know what to do wit em
they dont open doors
or bring the sun back
they dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didnt stop nobody using my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry
—  for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf  by Ntozake Shange
for muslim girls who have considered suicide when iman is not enough. to the sisters who can’t bring themselves to face a city they have never set foot in. whose knees haven’t felt the redemption of grandma’s sijada for the third week in a row. in your dreams, you bloody your knees in prostration hoping that if you busy your tongue with prayer you can plea purpose into your life. in your nightmares you do not believe in God.
for muslim girls who are told depression is just a side effect of doubt. the girls who swear they have heard the sound of spine cracking under the weight of family honor. of endless expectations. of becoming more symbol than human. the ones who found religion in the beating hearts of dim basements and soft hands. the girls who desperately want to believe and the ones who do but are told not enough. for the muslim girl whose body has not left her bed’s embrace in too many days. sinking is supposed sin, soaking in self-loathing. for turning the shape of his mouth into a house of worship, his skin into scripture. for managing to be too much and not nearly enough in the same supplication. ‘questioning is for the cowardly. the shameful. the undeserving of breath.’ since when did living require permission and whose are you looking for?
for muslim girls who would rather hurt themselves than cause harm to anyone else. you are afraid that you will slice yourself open and won’t stop pouring. spilling your insides inside out. you do not want to leave an ugly stain behind. you would rather go quietly. clean. all hushed whispers and round edges. you would rather tiptoe around the part where your eyes close and the door shuts gently behind you. maybe even, you would rather remain.
for muslim girls who have considered suicide when the world was not enough. have you ever wondered what God was thinking when he molded you into being? when he breathed life into you, did his breath smell like dark roast coffee? or something sweeter? there is a universe inside you growing each day you decide to love too hard or brave the world with your softness. they say you are impossible: faith does not go well with the fear of living. but I bet. I bet if you were stuck in a room with God and walked a step towards him, He will run to you. and if the ocean becomes ink for love letters from your Lord, surely the ocean would be drained before His words ever come to an end.
— 
D.S. , for muslim girls who have considered suicide / after Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls
somebody/ anybody
sing a black girl’s song
bring her out
to know herself
to know you
but sing her rhythms
carin/ struggle/ hard times
sing her song of life
she’s been dead so long
closed in silence so long
she doesn’t know the sound
of her own voice
her infinite beauty
she’s half-notes scattered
without rhythm/ no tune
sing her sighs
sing the song of her possibilities
sing a righteous gospel
let her be born
let her be born
& handled warmly.
—  For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf- Ntozake Shange
my love is too delicate to have thrown back on my face.
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.
my love is too saturday nite to have thrown back on my face.
my love is too complicated to have thrown back on my face.
my love is too music to have thrown back on my face.
—  For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf

b. 1948

Paulette Linda Williams was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the oldest of four children. As a child of relative affluence, she was exposed by her parents to a wide variety of arts and culture, and she grew up with a strong sense of connection to African-American and African cultures. However, she also experienced racial prejudice firsthand when, in 1956, her family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and she was among the first black children to attend St. Louis’ newly desegregated schools, where she encountered a good deal of racial hostility. Shange earned her B.A. from Barnard College in 1970, but her years there were marked with struggle:  an early marriage failed and she made several suicide attempts. It was while she was in graduate school at the University of Southern California (where she received her M.A. in 1973) that she took on the name Ntozake Shange, which means “she who comes with her own things and walks like a lion” in the Xhosa dialect of the Zulu language.

Shange achieved major success with her first full-scale work for the state, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (1975), a “choreopoem,” (the form was invented by Shange) that combines dance, poetry, and elements of traditional dramatic characterization. Both her theatrical work and her poetry are marked by an unwillingness to conform to conventional modes of representation and a drive to invent forms that can give voice to the experience of African-American women.

[from The Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women’s Writers, Vol. II]

my love..

lady in yellow:

my love is too delicate to have thrown back on my face

lady in brown:

my love is too beautiful to have thrown back on my face

lady in purple:

my love is too sanctified to have thrown back on my face

lady in blue:

my love is too magic to have thrown back on my face

lady in orange:

my love is too saturday nite to have thrown back on my face

lady in red:

my love is too complicated to have thrown back on my face

lady in green:

my love is too music to have thrown back on my face

6

Erykah Badu - Bag Lady

Nickel Bag Lady = Trap Queen
Booty Bag Lady = Thot
Paper Bag Lady = Alcoholic
Punching Bag Lady = The women trapped in domestic violence
Baby Bag Lady = Baby mama

The women all carry baggage (issues) within the black community. This video also represents For Colored Girls Who Consider Suicide / When The Rainbow Is Enuf


KITA 🍉