For Colored Girls Only

Ntozake Shange
That for colored
girls continues to
resonate so
profoundly almost
40 years after I first
set pen to paper is
bittersweet for me.
Though we have
achieved many a
milestone, the
stories and struggles
of our lives as
women, and in
particular, women
(pronounced “en-toe-zak-ee /shon-gay”)
of color, are still not
Ntozake means "she who comes with her own
granted the address
things” Shange means "who walks like a lion.“
Loretta Devine
ever since i realized there waz someone
callt a colored girl an evil woman a bitch
or a nag i been tryin not to be that & and
leave bitterness in someone else's cup
but a real dead lovin is here for you now
cuz i dont know anymore how to avoid
my own face wet wit my tears cuz i had
convinced myself colored girls had no
right to sorrow & i lived and loved that
way & kept sorrow on the curb
somebody almost walked off wid alla my
stuff not my poems or a dance i gave up
in the street but somebody almost walked
off wid alla my stuff
i want my arm wit the hot iron scar/my
leg wit the flea bite/i want my calloused
feet /did you know someone almost got
away with me/me in plastic bag under
their arm
Janet Jackson
“one thing i dont need is any more
apologies i got sorry greetin me at my
front door you can keep yrs i dont
know what to do wit em they dont
open doors or bring the sun back they
dont make me happy or get a mornin
paper didnt nobody stop usin my tears
to wash cars cuz a sorry"
“I’m only human,
or inadequacies are what make us
human, & if we were perfect
we wdnt have nothin to strive for,
so you might as well go on and
forgive me
cause i’m sorry!
Kerry Washington
Phylicia Rashad
brown braided woman
with big legs & and full lips
you become yourself
& now she stood a reglar colored
girl fulla the same malice livid
indifference as a sistah
& when she finished writin the
account of her exploit in a diary
She placed the rose behind her
ear & cried herself to sleep
I use to be YOU!
Anika Noni Rose
danced one dance
kissed him goodbye lightly
wit closed mouth
& we are left wit the scars
bein betrayed by men who
know us
women relinquish all
personal rights
in the presence of a man
who apparently cd be
considered a rapist
Whoopi Goldberg
i know you…
orange butterflies aqua sequins
ensconsed tween slight bosoms silk
roses dartin from behind her ears
she glittered in heat & seemed to be
lookin for a ride
she slowed to be examined & she
never looked back to smile or
acknowledge a sincere “hey mama”
i know you
you’re the devil.
“if i’m still alive & that’s what i was discussin/how i am still alive &
my dependency on other livin beins for love
i survive on intimacy & tomorrow/that’s all i’ve got goin
& it waz all i had but being alive & being a woman & bein colored
is a metaphysical dilemma/i havent conquered yet “
Tessa Thompson
i cdnt have people
lookin at me
i cdnt have my friends
see this
dyin danglin tween my
& i didnt say a thing
not a sigh
or a fast scream
this hurts
this hurts me
& nobody came
cuz nobody knew
once i waz pregnant &
shamed of myself
Kimberly Elise
but I cd only whisper & he dropped em
i ask myself how i let it happen i realized i
was missin somethin somethin promised
somethin so important the layin on of
hands fingers near my forehead strong
cool moving making me whole sense
all the gods coming into me laying me
open to myself i waz missin somethin
somethin promised something free a
layin on of hands
wit my tears I found god in myself and I
loved her fiercely
"Juanita: You just say, “my love is too
____," and you just fill in the blank.
Gilda: my love is too sanctified to
have it thrown back on my face
Kelly: my love is too magic to have it
thrown back on my face
Tangie: my love is too "Saturday
Night" to have it thrown back on my
Jo: my love is too complicated to
have it thrown back on my face
Yasmine: my love is too music to
have it thrown back on my face
In the mists and fog
of life find your way
by the sound of
your own voice

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