For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange is one of her most famous works and has been on the lips of most women of color since its inception in the 1970’s.
I had never gotten the chance to read this book so I was ecstatic when I found a copy of the play at a local library sale and added it to my collection. I had heard about this play since I was a young girl. It seemed that all of the women around me, my family, at school, in church, and even on my block could relate to the play and said that it made an impact on their lives. Much in the same way that Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, is regarded as the quintessential book on the black woman’s experience, For Colored Girls runs a close second.
I have a habit of putting off reading books that I am excited about, looking for the right time when I can sit and absorb it all. When I discovered that Tyler Perry had adapted For Colored Girls for the big screen, I was not only thrilled but I also realized that I could no longer put off reading it if I was going to finish the book before the film’s opening.
The book version opens with Ntozake Shange discussing the history of the play and how it came to be. It was fascinating to read about how she performed her play in little bars in San Francisco with the support of other artists and feminists before moving East to New York City where she toiled on the Lower East Side before getting enough support to move to the Public Theater and eventually to Broadway. As a writer, her vision and story was so very inspiring. It made me want to read the play even more and my anticipation for the movie version also grew.
The play is a combination of dance, poetry and drama that details the struggles of several women who represent major cities across America. Their stories were so intense, their words so breathtakingly beautiful and so real that I did not want to stop reading. I literally stopped breathing for a bit when I reached the climax. Incredible!
While I have not seen the play performed live, I am hoping that with the release of the film, that the film will be placed in production again. I am so looking forward to the movie production. Tyler Perry definitely has his work cut out for him, but I do believe that he is more than capable of fulfilling that challenge. I will be front and center on opening weekend and will of course post my thoughts.