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Black Cultural Production after Civil Rights$
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Robert J. Patterson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042775

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042775.001.0001

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A Woman’s Trip

A Woman’s Trip

Domestic Violence and Black Feminist Healing in Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls

Chapter:
(p.225) Chapter 10 A Woman’s Trip
Source:
Black Cultural Production after Civil Rights
Author(s):

Soyica Diggs Colbert

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042775.003.0011

This essay examines how the production, consumption, and adaptation of Shange’s play impacts black feminist collectivity as a response to communal violence. In For Colored Girls, an adaptation, filmmaker Tyler Perry commercializes Shange’s work, translating the radical form of the choreopoem into melodrama and normalizing the story of violence against women. In the decades between the premiere of the play (1974) and the debut of Perry’s film (2009), black feminists confront neoliberal assaults on collectivity. The adaptation of the play evidences the cultural impact of neoliberalism’s focus on individualism, transforming Shange’s play from a black feminist sacred object into a commercial one.

Keywords:   For Colored Girls, Ntozake Shange, black feminism, black feminist, neoliberalism, Tyler Perry, collectivity, choreopoem

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