Ntozake Shange’s masterly poem is the most illuminating and poignant story I have ever read about black women in America.
The writer puts forth her work from two angles. One of them elaborates about rape and other atrocities against black women in sad detail, depicting the physical and emotional abuse and trauma that black women suffer at the hands of insensitive black men. The other angle highlights the strong will and ability of black women, their grit and determination, all of which enables them to survive even after being repeatedly struck down.Rape is undoubtedly the most heinous crime against women. There is an underlying feel of emotion of wronged black women all through the poem. Pain, strain and stress coupled with despair, despondency and rejection by family and society, all form a lethal combination that causes such desperation that suicide seems the only way out.