OUSD > Urban Dreams > Language Arts > Extended Literature > Grade 11 > Shange


PLEASE NOTE. As of June 2004 these pages and the links herein are no longer being updated or maintained. Disclaimer : Oakland Unified School District is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


In For Colored Girls...., Shange envisions a model of community that is exclusively Black and Female. It evolves as the individual voices of the "Ladies" collaborate and interact, and the voice of the individual merges into a collective expression of the Black Woman. This community can be observed by outsiders, but Shange imagines the Black female experience as a separate world. The performers each represent a different shade and shape of "Colored Girls," creating in performance a celebration of the diversity of beauty within the African-American race. More...

http://members.aol.com/nshour/colored.htm (The Virtual Classroom)

Author Biography:

Ntozake Shange was born Paulette Williams in Trenton, New Jersey on October 18, 1948. In 1971 she changed her name to Ntozake Shange which means "she who comes with her own things" and "she who walks like a lion" in Xhosa, the Zulu language. Her father was an Air Force surgeon and her mother was an educator and a psychiatric social worker. The Williams were upper middle class African Americans whose love of the arts contributed to an intellectually stimulating childhood for Shange and her three siblings. Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Chuck Berry, and W. E. B. Du Bois were among the frequent guests at her parents' house.

In 1966 Shange enrolled at Barnard College and separated from her husband, a law student. She attempted suicide several times. Nonetheless, she graduated cum laude in American Studies in 1970 and entered the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, where she earned a master's degree in American Studies in 1973. More...

http://www.broadwayarchive.com/bio_detail.asp?name=462 (Broadway Theatre Archive)

Websites about Ntozake Shange:

The Urban Dreams Project
"A U.S. Department of Education Technology Innovation Challenge Grant"

© 2001-2004