In 2010, the film For Colored Girls was released – adapted from Ntozake Shange’s 1975 choreopoem 'for colored girls who’ve considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf'.
Written and directed by Tyler Perry, it brought us a star-studded cast depicting the interconnected lives of ten women. Like it’s source, each character deals with a different personal conflict such as love, abandonment, rape, infidelity, and abortion.
The film included some of the most beautiful poetry written by Shange. She was born Paulette Williams and worked hard throughout her life. She contemplated and attempted suicide on several occasions because of the struggles in her relationships and with society.
She never could quite find her place, and eventually changed her name to the African name Ntozake Shange, which means “she who come with her ow things” and “she who walks like a lion.”
The following poem, “Sorry” is for the “lady in red” character. Her background is that she is going through relationship problems with her husband. The poem symbolizes her finding peace within herself to leave their toxic relationship.
one thing i don't need is any more apologies i got sorry greetin me at my front door you can keep yrs i don't know what to do wit em they dont open doors or bring the sun back they dont make me happy or get a mornin paper didnt nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars cuz a sorry i am simply tired of collectin i didnt know i was so important toyou i'm gonna haveta throw some away i cant get to the clothes in my closet for alla the sorries i'm gonna tack a sign to my door leave a message by the phone 'if you called to say yr sorry call somebody else i dont use em anymore' i let sorry/ didnt meanta/ & how cd i know abt that take a walk down a dark & musty street in brooklyn i'm gonna do exactly what i want to & i wont be sorry for none of it letta sorry soothe yr soul/ i'm gonna soothe mine you were always inconsistent doin somethin & then bein sorry beatin my heart to death talkin bout you sorry well i will not call i'm not goin to be nice i will raise my voice & scream & holler & break things & race the engine & tell all yr secrets bout yrself to yr face & i will list in detail everyone of my wonderful lovers & their ways i will play oliver lake loud & i wont be sorry for none of it i loved you on purpose i was open on purpose i still crave vulnerability & close talk & i'm not even sorry bout you bein sorry you can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna just dont give it to me i cant use another sorry next time you should admit you're mean/ low-down/ triflin/ & no count straight out steada bein sorry alla the time enjoy bein yrself