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Sing a Black Girl's Song: The Unpublished Work of Ntozake Shange

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Never-before-seen unpublished works by award-winning American literary icon Ntozake Shange, featuring essays, plays, and poems from the archives of the seminal Black feminist writer who stands alongside giants like Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, curated by National Book Award winner Imani Perry with a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Tarana Burke.

In the late '60s, Ntozake Shange was a student at Barnard College discovering her budding talent as a writer, publishing in her school's literary journal, and finding her unique voice. By the time she left us in 2018, Shange had scorched blazing trails across countless pages and stages, redefining genre and form as we know them, each verse, dance, and song a love letter to Black women and girls, and the community at large.
Sing a Black Girl's Song is a new posthumous collection of Shange's unpublished poems, essays, and plays from throughout the life of the seminal Black feminist writer. In these pages we meet young Shange, learn the moments that inspired for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf..., travel with an eclectic family of musicians, sit on "The Couch" opposite Shange's therapist, and discover plays written after for colored girls' international success. Sing a Black Girl's Song houses, in their original form, the literary rebel's politically charged verses from the Black Arts Movement era alongside her signature tender rhythm and cadence that capture the minutia and nuance of Black life. Sing a Black Girl's Song is the continuation of a literary tradition that has bolstered generations of writers and a long-lasting gift from one of the fiercest and most highly celebrated artists of our time.

ISBN-13: 9780306828515

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Legacy Lit

Publication Date: 09-12-2023

Pages: 496

Ntozake Shange, author of 36 published works, is increasingly recognized as one of America's greatest writers having, for 50 years, embodied the struggle of women of color for equality and the recognition of their contribution to human culture. Her "choreo-poem", for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow Is enuf, recorded a 2 1/2 year run on Broadway and has remained in print since 1974. That production retains its title as the longest-running play by an African American writer in Broadway history. A revival of for colored girls..., opened in the 2022 Broadway season to unanimous critical acclaim and seven TONY Award nominations. Ntozake's literary legacy, preserved in the Shange Institute at Barnard College, comprises 13 plays, seven novels, six children's books and 19 poetry collections, the majority of which are published and in print. She is posthumously inducted into both the NY State Writer's Association and the Off-Broadway Alliance Halls of Fame. Her poetry collection "Wild Beauties" was received enthusiastically in 2018. A semi-autobiographical work entitled "Dance We Do" was released in 2020 from Beacon Press. 2022 has seen the collaborative establishment of the Ntozake Shange Social Justice Playwright Residency by Barnard College, the NY Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater and the Ntozake Shange Revocable Trust and Shange's induction into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

Imani Perry (Editor) is the Hughes Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of 7 books. Her most recent book is the New York Times bestseller South to America: A Journey below the Mason Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, a finalist for the 2022 National Book Award. She has received literary awards and fellowships from the Lambda Literary Award, the Shilts-Grahn Award, American Studies Association John Hope Franklin Book Award, the Hurston Wright Award, and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. Perry was named a Guggenheim Fellow and a Pew Fellow. She has written for the New York Times, Atlantic, Harpers, O, Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, and The Paris Review. She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center and a BA from Yale College in Literature and American Studies.
Tarana J. Burke (Foreword), for more than 25 years as activist, advocate, and author, has worked at the intersection of sexual violence and racial justice. Fueled by commitments to interrupt sexual violence and other systemic inequalities disproportionately impacting marginalized people, particularly Black women and girls, Tarana has created and led various campaigns focused on increasing access to resources and support for impacted communities, including the 'me too.' Movement, which has galvanized millions of survivors and allies around the world, and the me too. International nonprofit organization, founded in 2018. Her New York Times bestselling books You Are Your Best Thing and Unbound have illuminated the power of healing, vulnerability, and storytelling in the movement to end sexual violence.