Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo #BookReview

Author: Ntozake Shange, published 1982

I first read this book about 26 spins around the moon ago. I remember reading it & thinking everything about me, a young, black girl from West Philly, was magical. The way I talked, dressed, what music I listened to, how I cooked my food, even my cycle..all a gift from Jah & bathed in sensual mystery without even trying. When you think a thing such as this, you walk & expect things, differently. I’ve always counted this book as one of several that molded young She Reads. Captured my attention early, reminded me to imagine different, & saved me from the foolishness that can find young black girls from West Philly. This book, in its original format as a short story, was published in 1976. Well before anyone had coined ‘black girl magic’ & yet, it was magic. 

I was blessed to meet the author in 2009 at an event in Baltimore. I’m typically not shy, but definitely a bit of a wall flower, especially at those ‘look at me, I’m black & successful’ events the DMV is known for. This night though, I managed the audacity to tell my fav what her book had given me. I remember she looked at me and said “give it to someone else”. Umm, ok. 🤷🏾‍♀️ For years I took the words literally and told people to read the book. 🤦🏾‍♀️ It was some years before I realized I could share this black girl magic with you, no reading required. 💁🏾 Ntozake Shange passed recently (late October 2018) after I pray, she feels, a life well lived. Definitely, a life that positively impacted mine. Rest well Queen. #GoodBook Book 23 of 24.

Originally posted December 29, 2018

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