Introduction: Singing a “Black Girl’s Song” at Barnard and Beyond

it is possible to start a phrase with a word and end with a gesture/ that’s how I’ve lived my life/ that’s how I continue to study /produce black art —Ntozake Shange, “why I had to dance”[1] In the academic year 2012-2013, renowned poet, performance artist, playwright, and novelist Ntozake Shange, Barnard class of 1970, […]

“Everything you do . . .”: Recipes from Ntozake Shange’s Art/Work

“Cooking is the oldest of the arts.” —Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste Cooking food and other rituals of daily life compose the corps/core of Ntozake Shange’s artistic praxis. This essay focuses on recipes as food for life in Shange’s performative art/work.[1] It analyzes her aesthetic practice as a form of nourishment and political empowerment. […]