1975, 1976,1977, 2010 (big leap inbetween)
I admit I'd never heard of this title before. I'm not an actor like my husband or my friend, V. They've heard it used many times for auditions and readings. I'm happy to say I did recognize the author's name though as it is attached to a beautiful Coretta Scott King book and Ellington was not a street-both illustrated by my favorite, Kadir Nelson.
For Colored Girls is a little more in your face than those children's books...here is a sample:
i asked this silly ol boy
'WELL WHO ARE YOU?'
'MY NAME IS TOUSSAINT JONES'
i looked right at him
those skidded out cordoroy pants
a striped teashirt wid holes in both elbows
a new scab over his left eye
& i said
'what's yr name again'
'i'm toussaint jones'
i am on my way to see
TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE in HAITI
are ya any kin to him
he do't take no stuff from no white folks
& they gotta country all they own
& there aint no slaves'
that silly ol boy squinted his face all up
'looka heah girl
i am TOUSSAINT JONES
& i'm right heah lookin at ya (43-44)
It was a joy to read this choreopoem. It was encouraged in the prologue to read it outloud, so I did. The words and rhythm flowed sometimes smoothly and others rougher, jagged but still good. It helped to make a audiovision of friends who might talk this way on occasion. It worked. It has a powerful message for all people, especially women, but not just black women. And it isn't anti-men although it surely doesn't sugar coat in anyway possible.