Ntozake Shange died yesterday. She was an amazing poet and playwright. [Obituary]

I once read one of her poems on KWLC. It was a sensual poem. It wasn’t explicit, but it contained the word “clit.” Even though it was after midnight on a Tuesday night when I read it, Decorah’s self-appointed morality police (a couple of local businessmen) complained to the radio station’s faculty advisor the next day. The faculty member, who had known me for three years by that point, backed me up, and I provided photocopies of the book’s title page and the poem itself. And that was the end of it.

I still own that book because it’s a book with a story. And maybe now there’s a retired businessman in Iowa who has boxes of papers in his basement, one of which contains an expression of black female sexuality.

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October 28, 2018

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