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Posted under: News Culture

Famed ‘For Colored Girls’ Creator Ntozake Shange Passes Away At 70 Years Old

The famed playwright passed away in her sleep.

Famed playwright and poet Ntozake Shange passed away in her sleep on Saturday. She was 70 years old. 

The Star Tribune reports the award-winning creator of 1975 choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf died at the Bowie, Maryland assisted living facility she’d been residing in.

Prior to her passing, Shange had rebirthed her writing career in the form of Wild Beauty, a compilation of both her new and old poetic works. In 2011, she was diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) after enduring two strokes. As a result of the disease and strokes she suffered, Shange had to relearn how to read and write.

“Zake was a woman of extravagance and flourish, and she left quickly without suffering,” said Ifa Bayeza, one of Shange’s three siblings, told the Tribune. “It’s a huge loss for the world. I don’t think there’s a day on the planet when there’s not a young woman who discovers herself through the words of my sister.”

For Colored Girls was Shange’s most notable work and has resonated throughout generations for its uniquely vulnerable portrayal of black women. Shange leaves behind her daughter Savannah Shange and granddaughter Harriet Shange Watkins.  

Admirers across the web shared their condolences and paid their tributes to the legend:




Related stories to check out: 

13 Incredible Black Artists, Past And Present, Everybody Should Know

10 Black Female Poets You Need To Check Out

‘How To Survive Being a Black Girl’ As Told by 6 Poets
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Zahara is the Deputy Editor for Blavity.