Dedicated to the Exploration and Preservation of the Theatrical Visions of the African Diaspora

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Salute to our Ascendants

Playwright, poet, novelist, & BTN sister ntozake shange passed away from this physical world peacefully in her sleep in the early morning of October 27, 2018, in an assisted living facility in Bowie, Md., where she has lived for years. She was 70.

Born Paulette Williams in Trenton, N.J., ntozake graduated from Barnard College and earned her master's degree from the University of Southern California. Her father, Dr. Paul T. Williams, was a surgeon. Her mother, Eloise Owens Williams, was a professor of social work. In addition to her sister (& BTN’s sister) Ifa Bayeza, she is survived by sister Bisa Williams, and brother Paul T. Williams, Jr. she is also survived by her daughter, Savannah Shange, and grand-daughter Harriet Shange Watkins.

Shange has written 15 plays, 19 poetry collections, six novels, five children's books, three collections of essays, and a memoir called Lost in Language & Sound. Her landmark theater piece For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow Is Enuf was a Broadway success in 1976-1977. For Colored Girls... has been performed continuously since then both in the U.S. and abroad, has remained in print since its publication in 1974. ntozake shange is the Zulu name she adopted: ntozake means "She who comes with her own things" and shange is "She who walks like a lion."

Memorial information and additional details will follow at a later date.

BTN continues to celebrate the lives of John House and Paul Jackson, two great men who devoted their lives to the teaching & practice of Black Theatre, and who each played large roles in the Black Theatre Network Family.


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