Issue 12.3-13.1 | Summer 2014/Fall 2014 / Guest Edited by Kim F. Hall, Monica L. Miller, and Yvette Christiansë

“There is No Incongruence Here”: Hispanic Notes in the Works of Ntozake Shange

Download “‘There is No Incongruence Here’: Hispanic Notes in the Works of Ntozake Shange” (PDF) here. Reprinted with permission from CLA (College Language Association) Journal.

Vanessa K. Valdés’ groundbreaking essay “‘There is No Incongruence Here’: Hispanic Notes in the Works of Ntozake Shange” was one of the first works to comprehensively examine Spanish language and music in Shange’s works, a still understudied area. Valdés reads Shange’s work as an art of the senses and demonstrates how the “marriage of music and language” is particularly notable in her use of Spanish and Nuyorican cultural forms, which are often not specifically translated. Understanding Shange’s use of these motifs, she argues, is a challenge to the audience to have an expansive sense of diaspora: “in regularly mentioning musical forms and artists from throughout the Americas, not only from the United States, Shange gives a more full representation of African diasporic life, suggesting an alternative, more ample definition of blackness.” This essay first appeared in CLA (College Language Association) Journal.