A revolutionary, award-winning, genre-breaking, hugely influential choropoem about the experiences of women of colour
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.
Totally extraordinary - New York Times
When I watched "for colored girls", I found it difficult to distinguish between her characters and the black women I knew. I had heard versions of Shange's monologues before-whispered in my Brooklyn kitchen, late at night, far from the men who would be anatomized by their revelations. But Shange would have none of that intrigue. As one of her characters shouts, "i will raise my voice / & scream & holler / & break things & race the engine / & tell all yr secrets bout yrself to yr face." That call undid something in me. It shattered the Negro propriety I knew and lived by. The force of Shange's writing seemed to say, "Fuck the old rule of not airing your female business in front of colored men, white people, let alone the rest of the world." You own the copyright on your life
Encompassing, it seems, every feeling and experience a woman has ever had - New Yorker