For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf

Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf is a choreopoem that was first performed on Broadway in 1976.  Its seven characters are all black women identified only by the color of their clothing (lady in brown, lady in blue, lady in orange, etc), and each live in different cities across the United States.

The book is full of powerful prose, and the women each take turns talking about the difference experiences they face, such as love, rape, domestic violence, virginity, and youth.

I first read excerpts of this book in undergrad, and I’m glad that I came back and read For Colored Girls in its entirety.  I’m not usually a fan of poetry, but Shange’s work is captivating; I would love to see a performance of this someday.  It’s a pretty easy read in terms of length (the book is only about 80 pages long), but some might find some of the topics—particularly rape and domestic violence—difficult to get through.

In terms of its place in the womanist/feminist canon, this one’s definitely a must-read.

Publisher/Year: Scribner, 1997 (Reprint)
Source: Library
Format: Print


  1. susan

    I loved this and I saw it performed when I was a teen. Amazing. There is a version available on DVD. I showed it to teens at an agency for teen girls and I’ve never seen them so attentive as they were when they watched this.

    • Akilah

      I read it, too! And did a monologue from it in undergrad (not successful because I didn’t really understand my character; also I suck at acting). At any rate, the DVD is in my Netflix queue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s