Tuesday, September 17, 2013

the fall, the beginning



& this is for colored girls who have considered suicide but moved to the ends of their own rainbows. ~Ntozake Shange 

It was early fall when I saw them: seven women, beautiful black women rolling poems off their tongues, swaying their hips to an internal rhythm. I was transfixed. They entranced us, young black girls who had never seen anything like "Colored Girls."

Each one, a color, a story. Seven women told me I had a story. They told me my story mattered. F*ck the gold. I wanted to tell my story.

That's why I write. I've moved to the end of my rainbow. And I brought a few girls with me.

like leaves dancing on the wind
they move, a blur, a different kind
of rainbow.

Dedicated to my girls at Alternatives for Girls.



prompt: rainbow
* image is the playwright. The verse, mine.
prompt: fall

47 comments:

  1. "Each one, a color, a story. Seven women told me I had a story. They told me my story mattered. F*ck the gold. I wanted to tell my story" - I love the repetition of 'story' here - I think it drives home the eagerness and anticipation, the passion behind you as a writer. I would love to see a performance of 'Colored Girls.' That full title alone is gold.

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    1. A live production is the best way to experience it. I couldn't bring myself to see the movie. Oh, and reading it is quite affecting, too. If you'd like, I'd gladly send you a copy.

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  2. Your memories and experience of the play are amazing. So much truly transformative energy is rare and beautiful.

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  3. I made it and I enjoyed...

    Very nice LaTonya. Will be back, Slu

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  4. I love the voice in this. And yes, writing is definitely better than illusory gold!

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful experience! Smart move, choosing writing over gold :)

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  6. This is beautiful and inspiring I can feel your passion =)

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  7. You pull your reader in with you and we are now entranced by your writing (check the typo in your second line)
    A strong voice with your words is better than that 'gold'. Nice write.
    Thanks for linking up!

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  8. Each one, a color, a story...oh i love that...you brought them alive and so much moving hope in their wings..

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  9. Such passion! This was fantastic!

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  10. get OUT! Two of my favorite charities are the local Alternatives For Girls and the west coast Children Of The Night.

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    1. Every year, I contribute something out of each weekly paycheck to organization(s) I care about through the Combined Federal Campaign. Years ago, I told my son that I was contributing to organizations that help at-risk kids, in his honor. I chose AFG and COTN. I continued to contribute to each of them for years, until this year, when i went back to animal causes, with defenders of Wildlife and the ASPCA. I found AFG specifically because it was listed under local charities and it was the kind of organization I wanted to give to.

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    2. It's no brainer why I chose - girls. There is more. I knew a girl who lived there when the program was in the church.

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  12. Gotta keep the girls safe and strong so they can continue to dance on the wind.
    Beautiful.

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  13. You never sugarcoat your passion. It's a straight up shot of finely aged whiskey. That's something I aspire to.

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  14. This caught my breath, the simple beauty and the absolute strength laced throughout your memory. Strong women leading girls into womanhood is a powerful thing to behold.

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  15. Wow. This was beautiful and powerful, my favorite combination.

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  16. "Each one, a color, a story. Seven women told me I had a story. They told me my story mattered."

    I can hardly think of a better gift. The ultimate way of telling someone that they matter in this life. This piece shines bright my friend. Simply stunning!

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  17. I truly love the way you write, I imagine you talking like this to me.
    The stories inside of us are the ones that need to be told, the words that need to be said.

    Your piece was powerful, your life is powerful.

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  18. I love your in-your-face style of writing. This is another great example. Well done!

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  19. Beautiful, missed reading it before, but it is pure gold. Congratulations for the win!

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  20. Powerful and confident-just like a real woman should be-your writing makes me smile,with hope Tonya:)

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  21. This is a powerful declaration of independence. I love this line: "That's why I write. I've moved to the end of my rainbow. And I brought a few girls with me." I imagine you'll bring even more through Alternatives for Girls.

    Good take on both prompts:~)


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  22. I love the two uses of "rainbow". Beautiful words. Congrats on winning!

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  23. I honestly can't believed I placed. I had worried the write was too raw, but it was real, and I hoped it resonated. I hadn't expected the response. Thank you all.

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  24. Love your words! Raw, real and a much deserved win!

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  25. I love Ntozake Shange's work, and For Colored Girls is exceptional as a story told in poetic voice. I don't think I have ever seen its like.

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  26. Great tone- congratulations...I think what you write would ft so well with our Ligo haibun challenge - http://www.yakutia-coppercure.co.uk/l298go-ha298bun.html#.UkAk3Ib7okk

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  27. beautiful... each of us a story, each of us a new hue to add to this human rainbow.

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  28. Inspiring, love the different kind of rainbow.

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  29. May this rainbow be filled with happiness and hope.

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  30. Such a powerful, moving piece.....May each of us tell our story...this has so inspired me.

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  31. This is such a powerful, affirming and inspiring share. I love the whole idea of girls "moving to the ends of their own rainbows".

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  32. I. LOVE. this. POEM! When I saw For Colored Girls--was it on Broadway in 1977? 1979?--my friend and I went home to Albany, NY where we started a theatre company called "This River of Women." ntozaki shange taught me what theatre could be. The company is long gone, but the image of powerful women on stage, loving fiercely, and not weak stereotypes of sadness is still with me. Your poem is like a shovel digging into my heart, turning over the soil there so it is can give life again.

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  33. This is, easily, my favourite piece of your writing that I have read. In fact, it resonates within me. Powerful! Poetic! Passion-fuelled! Thanks for creating such beautiful, moving work.

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  34. well how did I miss this one? glad you posted to OLM.

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  35. How wonderful that the seven young women who had never experienced "For Colored Girls" experienced it. I saw the play as well as the movie and was so moved. I love what you did, here, LaTonya, and I appreciate the work you do on behalf of young women of color. As an Angla, I can only witness and be amazed. Amy

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    1. Amy, I was referring to the number of women in the poem. Thank you.

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  36. That is so cool, LaTonya. I thought I had commented, but can't find it. Kind of the opposite of a fall, a rising up. As you say, a beginning, thanks. K.

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    1. K, I blame it on the Blogger gremlins. Not the first time comments have disappeared. Thanks for commenting again. :-)

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