Ntozake Shange, the blueprint for so many young Black female writers, poets and playwrights, passed away Saturday morning at an assisted living home in Bowie, Maryland, her family announced on social media. She was 70. Her critically acclaimed choreopoem, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, could be considered a bible for so many Black female writers. Shange’s family notified the public of her passing with a tweet on Saturday afternoon: Born Paulette Williams in Trenton, New Jersey, but known to friends and family as just ‘Zake,’ Shange personified Black Girl Magic, even before the term was born. She was regal. When you were in her presence, not only did she make you feel like you were on the top of the world, but you knew you were in the presence of literary royalty. Many on Twitter have been sharing their thoughts about Shange, but no one’s stands out more than poet Bassey Ikpi’s tweets: To all of the colored girls out there…in the words of Ntozake Shange, “Keep writing.” RIP Ntozake. You will be missed. TOPICS: