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Ntozake Shange

  • mitch had convinced sassafras that everything waz an art/ so nothin in life cd be approached lightly/ creation waz inherent in every thing anybody ever did right/ that waz one of the mottos of the house ...

  • we assume a musical solo is a personal statement / we think the poet is speakin for the world / there's something wrong there ...

    • Ntozake Shange,
    • "takin a solo/a poetic possibility/a poetic imperative," in Y'Bird ()
  • my basic premise is that poets address themselves to the same issues as musicians / but that we give the musicians more space to run with / more personal legitimacy than we give our writers ...

    • Ntozake Shange,
    • "takin a solo/a poetic possibility/a poetic imperative," in Y'Bird ()
  • nice is such a rip-off.

  • i found god in myself / & i loved her / i loved her fiercely.

    • Ntozake Shange,
    • "a laying on of hands," for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf ()
  • she's half-notes scattered without rhythm / no tune sings her sighs.

    • Ntozake Shange,
    • "lady in brown," for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf ()
    • `
  • i'm a struggling artist / not a starving artist / there's a big difference.

  • the only crime for which i will never forgive myself is to have doubted my mother.

  • in our ordinaryness we are most bizarre.

  • right now being born a girl is to be born threatened ...

  • our dreams draw blood from old sores.

    • Ntozake Shange,
    • spell # 7: geechee jibara quik magic trance manual for technologically stressed third world people
    • ()
  • i cant count the number of times i have viscerally wanted to attack deform n maim the language that I waz taught to hate myself in / the language that perpetuates the notions that cause pain to every black child as he/she learns to speak of the world & the 'self.'

    • Ntozake Shange,
    • foreward, Three Pieces ()
  • Where there is a woman there is magic.

  • There wasn't enough for Indigo in the world she'd been born to, so she made up what she needed. What she thought the black people needed.

  • Creation is everything you do. Make something.

  • Indigo, I don't want to hear another word about it, do you understand me. I'm not setting the table with my Sunday china for fifteen dolls who got their period today.

  • Our society allows people to be absolutely neurotic and totally out of touch with their feelings and everyone else's feelings, and yet be very respectable.

    • Ntozake Shange,
    • in Claudia Tate, ed., Black Women Writers at Work ()
  • I'm committed to the idea that one of the few things human beings have to offer is the richness of unconscious and conscious emotional responses to being alive. ... The kind of esteem that's given to brightness/smartness obliterates average people or slow learners from participating fully in human life, particularly technical and intellectual life. But you cannot exclude any human being from emotional participation.

    • Ntozake Shange,
    • in Claudia Tate, ed., Black Women Writers at Work ()
  • I hit my head against the wall because I don't want to know all the terrible things that I know about. I don't want to feel all these wretched things, but they're in me already. If I don't get rid of them, I'm not ever going to feel anything else.

    • Ntozake Shange
  • Novels allow me to create a whole world.

    • Ntozake Shange

Ntozake Shange, U.S. writer, poet, playwright, feminist

(1948)

Born: Paulette Williams.