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.