Then and now, Shange’s work responds to an urgent fever pitch humming beneath the taut surface of pain and respectability. A dazzling revival at the Public Theater reminds us of its timelessness.
If you are surprised or stunned by recent revelations concerning sexual assault and harassment, it is because you have been, like most of American culture, ignoring Black women. Shange’s choreopoem, now running as a revival at the Public Theater, reminds us to pay attention.
The current exhibition at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is titled, i found god in myself: The 40th Anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls. Though on its face this weighty title sounds empowering, ultimately it belies the exhibition and the original play that engendered and shapes it.