What began in a Women’s bar in Berkeley, California in 1974, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf is a theatrical work that catapulted a movement; inspiring generations of women. In 1975, these 7 women, Trazana Beverley, Laurie Carlos, Laurie Hayes, Aku Kadogo, Paula Moss & Ntozake Shange, having no idea the success this cheropoem would have, embarked on a journey that would change their lives forever. When Shange’s piece was 1st published, The New Yorker raved that “For Colored Girls would be read and performed for generations to come.”
Shange’s play is one of the most important black plays written. This series of 20 poems, performed by seven women characters, each of whom are only known by a color deal with love, abandonment, rape, abortion, and domestic violence.
Here we are, 35 years later and this Tony Award nominated play, has been brought to the silver screen for a new generation of girls & women by controversial director Tyler Perry. Many people were skeptical if Perry would be able to pull it off, even Oprah had doubts on whether the book should be made into a film. Many great plays have been brought to the screen but Shange’s work hadn’t and her only reservations were the authenticity of the characters. Whether or not you agree with Perry’s work, what he is doing with Colored Girls is important. He is bringing forth colored women’s stories and giving us a stronger voice.
In the film you will see “Perry” for sure, but the characters remained authentic. It was beautifully done. The poems were woven in the story line very well and the actresses did a remarkable job of going in and out of “Shange’s World” and “Perry’s World”. I cried for almost the whole two hours. It hit home. The pain of what a means to be a colored woman and the story of myself, my mother, my sister, my cousin, my friend; all up there on the screen before me. Even the cinematography was exceptional. e.g: A young girl who is pregnant bumps into a cop who’s wife can not conceive. There were also great placements of the “Lady in ….” Colors on each actress. His choices were great.
I can not even begin to express the remarkable work of Thandie Newton, Kimberly Elise, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, Loretta Devine, Janet Jackson and Tessa Thompson. Being a colored actress, I admire, look up to, and respect each of these women. They are continuing to show Hollywood and America that black actresses can shine! And shine they did!
(From Essence.com) Actress Anika Noni Rose told Essence: “I want this film to awaken people to the power of black actresses. I want people to know there are things black women go through that aren’t slavery or hip-hop. I want people to know Black women as Americans…”
Thank you Ntozake Shange for writing an amazing piece that changed a generation and continues to touch the lives of women for generations to come!
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