Ntozake Shange’s 1975 choreopoem, ‘For Colored Girls That Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow is Enuf’ consists of 20 poetic monologues that were based on events of her own life. Together, they tell the interconnected stories of seven Black American womxn, each represented by a different colour, around themes such as love, violence, abandonment, sexual abuse, racism, and more. Originally produced by @publictheatreny in 1976, this piece is all about resilience, resistance, and reclamation and is one of the biggest inspirations behind Shades of Brown Girl!
It’s been 4.5 months since George Floyd was murdered; and 2.5 weeks since Breonna Taylor’s murderers walked free. In the past week, 31-year old Jonathan Price was shot by police in Wolfe City, Texas; and 23-year old Anthony Aust fell 12 stories to his death after police raided his family’s apartment in Ottawa. As our democratic future is being negotiated in the lead-up to the American federal elections, as women are increasingly terrified of losing agency over their bodies, and as anti-Black racism continues unchecked across Canada and the United States, it’s important that we honour our creative roots in Black feminist storytelling and that we express our unbridled solidarity for our Black sisters.
As a space of creative storytelling and community healing, Shades of Brown Girl has always been a political project; for us, this means unapologetically claiming space and telling our stories AND ALSO honouring those who came before us, who made it possible for us to speak our truths, and who continue to be silenced. Without Black feminism, Shades of Brown Girl would simply not exist.
There is beauty, strength, and deep healing in unapologetically speaking our truths, in consciously listening to and carving out space for the truths of our sisters, and in consistently lifting each other up!
So, Brown girls, always remember to raise your voice against ANY injustice, to scream & holler in solidarity, and don’t be sorry for any of it! We honour our own untold stories by carving out space for the stories of the Black womxn who got us here.