What does Shange think?

by Sydnie L. Mosley

On Wednesday, November 7th I had the pleasure of attending “Ntozake Shange on Stage & Screen” sponsored by Africana Studies at Barnard. The event began with a screening of Tyler Perry’s film adaptation of Shange’s choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, followed by a panel discussion and audience Q & A with Ms. Shange, Soyica Diggs Colbert, Assistant Professor of English at Dartmouth College, and Monica Miller, Associate Professor of English at Barnard. With so much negative criticism surrounding Perry’s 13 million dollar film adaptation, the question burning on every one’s mind was, what does Shange think?

Ntozake Shange speaks into a microphone next to Soyica Diggs Colbert

I was relieved to learn that her thoughts aligned with the criticisms I’d been outlining in my head since I first saw the film over a year ago. Shange was frank: "Tyler Perry's greatest challenge with for colored girls was what he was about to tackle." In other words, Perry could not grasp the radical nature of the work, and it was clear, at least from an artistic standpoint, he had no idea what he was getting himself into.

Read more at BCRW BLOG.

Sydnie L. Mosley is a dancer, choreographer and teaching artist who loves to write. Read more of her musings on race, gender, dance and life on Love Stutter.

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