Beloved poet and playwright Ntozake Shange died this weekend at age 70. The writer has been considered one of the most influential writers of our time, thanks in large part to her most famous work, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. The "choreopoem" (a term Shange coined) found massive critical success on stage in 1975 (it was only the second play by an African-American woman to appear on Broadway after A Raisin in the Sun) and was nominated for a Tony Award. But it also cemented Shange as one of the strongest voices for black women in the arts and beyond.
For Colored Girls delves into the racism, sexism, violence and rape experienced by seven black women through an interwoven series of poetic monologues, which on stage are set to music. When it was first released in 1975, the piece was considered revolutionary not only for its content, but for its style, which uses unique punctuation and spelling. Beyond that Shange published 19 poetry collections, six novels, five children's books and three collections of essays. Below are 11 inspiring quotes from a variety of Shange's works and beyond, which will no doubt have you adding everything she wrote to your bookshelves in no time.