Pioneering Poet and Playwright Ntozake Shange Dies at 70

October 27, 2018 BlackPress USA: By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Pioneering poet and playwright Ntozake Shange died on the morning of October 27 at an assisted living facility in Bowie, Maryland.

She was best known for her much celebrated Obie Aw a r d – w i n n i n g play, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow is Enuf.” “To our extended family and friends, it is with sorrow that we inform you that our loved one, Ntozake Shange, passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early morning of October 27, 2018. Memorial information / details will follow at a later date,” her Twitter account announced.

Shange, who turned 70 on October 18, had suffered multiple strokes over the last few years. She died in her sleep.

“I write for young girls of color, for girls who don’t even exist yet, so that there is something there for them when they arrive,” Shange once said. “Zake was a woman of extravagance and flourish, and she left quickly without suffering,” said her sister Ifa Bayeza, who was also a writer.

“It’s a huge loss for the world. I don’t think there’s a day on the planet when there’s not a young woman who discovers herself through the words of my sister,” she added. Her death is “a major shift in the cosmos,” said Sarah Bellamy said on October 27.

“Ntozake Shange invited us to marvel at the resiliency and power that women of color harness in order to survive a hostile world. She invited us to practice the ritual of loving ourselves.”