Ntozake Shange

Literary Birthday – 18 October – Ntozake Shange

Ntozake Shange was born 18 October 1948 and died 27 October 2018.


  1. I’m a firm believer that language and how we use language determines how we act, and how we act then determines our lives and other people’s lives.
  2. I write for young girls of colour, for girls who don’t even exist yet, so that there is something there for them when they arrive. I can only change how they live, not how they think.
  3. Creation is everything you do. Make something.
  4. I started writing because there’s an absence of things I was familiar with or that I dreamed about. One of my senses of anger is related to this vacancy – a yearning I had as a teenager. . .and when I get ready to write, I think I’m trying to fill that. . .
  5. Novels allow me to create a whole world.

Ntozake Shange was an American playwright and poet. Her plays, poetry, and fiction are noted for their feminist themes and racial and sexual anger. She was best known for writing For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf. Shange’s poetry collections include Nappy Edges and Ridin’ the Moon in Texas. She also published the novels Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and Betsey Brown.

Source for image:


Barnard College; digitally restored by Chris Woodrich

Source for quotes: AZ

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 18th October 2018