Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And This is for Colored Girls....

"When I die, I will not be guilty of having left a generation of girls behind thinking that anyone can tend to their emotional health better than themselves."
Ntzoke Shange

We have to tell our stories..in the telling comes understanding...and with understanding comes healing and power. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, When the Rainbow is Enuf, shares 20 poems, stories of black women that speak to the fabric of a portion of the African diasporic experience. In 1975, this choreopoem was brought to the stage and 35 years later it was brought to the big screen telling the story of colored girls who have considered suicide.

It has been said that suicide is what happens when the pain excees the resources for coping. Other research has shown that people are most suicidal when they enter a state of psychosis and misinterpret reality perceiving there is no hope. In the poem, "A Night With Beau Willie Brown" it says, "she could only whisper, and he dropped them." In the midst of all the abuse, this colored girl had lost her voice, her power. In the movie we see that this was a woman who had definitely considered suicide at a point when all hope was lost.

What's most hopeful about the movie is that the stories are brought to life in such a way as to highlight the power of the black woman. Each story's tragedy teaches lessons of what could have been done with the power these women possessed. Crystal had the power to protect her kids. Tangie did have the power to protect her sister. Juanita and Jo both had the power to protect themselves.


African-American women also have an amazing gift of love...love that heals, grounds and attracts love from others. Through all 20 of the poems, each black woman realizes that her love is too delicate, too beautiful, too sanctified, too magic, too saturday night, too complicated and too music to be thrown back into her face. Our love is too vital to the fabric that weaves us together to have it wasted. My love is too powerful to allow someone else to "walk off wid alla my stuff." Each black woman needs to speak her own truth:

The author, born as Paulette Williams, changed her name to Ntzoke (she who comes with her own things) Shange (who walks like a lion) in 1971. The stories Shange shares with us in "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, When the Rainbow is Enuf" shows that each colored girl comes with her own things...the power of love, a voice and the power to protect...and these gifts enable her to walk as a lioness.
"& this is for colored girls who have considered suicide/but are movin to the end of their rainbows"

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