Literary Hero Public Piece: Ntozake Shange Inspires Feminist Movements

Ntozake Shange is an African-American female who grew up in the racially segregated town of St. Louis. She had to be bused to a white school for an education. Wherever she went, school home, she was faced with the challenges of sexism or racism.

Shange had gone through many hardships by the time she was 13, which was when she moved away to New Jersey and finished collage. Having married and divorced which she was there only added to her pain. Shange had become unstable, lonely and depressed. She even attempted suicide. After several years, Shange had come to terms with her depression. She began to accept it.

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She understood what other girls were having to go through as well, and this opened the doors for her to begin inspiring feminists movements. Shange wrote books and plays expressing her opinions and feelings. These pieces inspired many other girls, colored or not, to take action for themselves so they could become better people. Ntozake Shange continued to write, venting all her feelings into her work by publishing her own life’s story, explaining scenarios she had been through and publishing the poems she had written. By simply showing her feelings to the world, others knew they were not alone.

Many women young and old began seeking respect and equality. They began feminist movements that got them the freedom, rights and happiness they have today. Shange not only helped the women of America, but when news of the freedom and rights given to women spread to other areas of the world, Shange’s opinions, plays and ideas brought the girls there to life. All of them could connect to Shange and they understood her troubles. They had someone to relate to when they thought they were alone and they found out how much more they could really do. Women around the world began feminist movements of their own, gaining rights and freedom they never knew they could have.

They were treated with new respect and were seen as equal people instead of obedient, working housewives. Shange was not the only woman to help the start and spread of feminist movements, but her literary works and actions had become inspirations to thousands upon thousands of people worldwide and without that kind of help, feminist movements could have easily put down. The world today would be completely different, and it may not necessarily be for the better. Ntozake Shange has inspired the world to become what it is today.