Ntozake Shange: The Vengeance of Difference, or the Gender of Black Cultural Identity

Tejumola Olaniyan

in Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780195094053
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855278 | DOI:
Ntozake Shange: The Vengeance of Difference, or the Gender of Black Cultural Identity

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  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)


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Besides the arguments of Wole Soyinka, Amiri Baraka, and Derek Walcott regarding black drama and the anti-colonialism cultural identity, there arises Ntozake Shange's notion of vengeance of difference. Such proposal of a new discourse came from the unsystematic and imperfect expressiveness of the anti-imperialist discourses, specifically in terms of the various responses toward the Eurocentric orientation. Here, difference is defined through the oppressions that come from “without” and “within,” as supported by the guiding principles of the hierarchy of resistance. Aside from the conception of the word difference, another term is examined in this chapter: “black.” While a national identity of culture is sought, the manner in which dramatists have conceptualized the term differ from one another, since some view it as the cultural identity of the black men, while others regard it as nongendered.

Keywords: black drama; anti-colonialism; cultural identity; difference; hierarchy; gender

Chapter.  9693 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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