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File #: 180983    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 11/1/2018 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 11/1/2018
Title: Celebrating and honoring the life and legacy of Ntozake Shange, the African American feminist, poet, and playwright
Sponsors: Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Taubenberger, Councilmember Bass, Council President Clarke, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Greenlee, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember O'Neill, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez
Attachments: 1. Signature18098300.pdf
Title
Celebrating and honoring the life and legacy of Ntozake Shange, the African American feminist, poet, and playwright

Body
WHEREAS, Ntozake Shange was born Paulette Linda Williams, the oldest of four children, in Trenton, N.J., on Oct. 18, 1948. Her father was a surgeon and her mother was a psychiatric social worker; both were politically active and mixed with a crowd that included musicians Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, as well as writer W.E.B. Du Bois; and

WHEREAS, When she was eight years old, Shange's family moved to the racially segregated city of St. Louis, MO. Because of the Brown v. Board of Education court decision, Shange was bused to a white school where she endured racism and racist attacks; and

WHEREAS, When Shange was 13, her family returned to Lawrence Township, N.J., where she graduated from Lawrence High School. In 1966, Shange enrolled at Barnard College in New York City. Shange graduated cum laude in American Studies, then earned a Master's Degree in the same field from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1973; and

WHEREAS, During her first year of college, she married, but the marriage did not last long. Depressed over her separation and with a strong sense of bitterness and alienation, she attempted suicide; and

WHEREAS, In 1971, having come to terms with her depression and alienation, she adopted a Zulu name, selecting Ntozake, which means "she who comes with her own things," and Shange, meaning "one who walks like a lion"; and

WHEREAS, In 1975, Shange moved back to New York City and became a founding poet of the Nuyorican Poets Café. In that same year, her first and most well-known play was produced - for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf; and

WHEREAS, The play was a 20-part "choreopoem" - a term Shange coined to describe her groundbreaking dramatic form, combining of poetry, dance, music, and song that chronicled the lives of women of color in the United ...

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