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:
This just brought me to my knees. Ntozake Shange ushered generations of Black women into liberation. She deserves this rest. https://t.co/FdnK4WRoZq— Evette Dionne 🤷🏾♀️ (@freeblackgirl) October 27, 2018
light, peace, and progress to the Spirit of Ntozake Shange. Thank you for singing our song, for singing a Black girls’s song. Rest. ✨— Yaba Blay (@fiyawata) October 27, 2018
When I first found the words of Ntozake Shange, it was revelatory, it gave me a way forward and a better sense of myself. So thankful for the words that she gave us all. Rest well.— Blair LM Kelley (@profblmkelley) October 27, 2018
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