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The Resource Some sing, some cry, Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza

Some sing, some cry, Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza

Label
Some sing, some cry
Title
Some sing, some cry
Statement of responsibility
Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
The story of emancipated slave Elizabeth Mayfield traces her rise as the matriarch of a family of musically gifted Southern women who overcome brutal obstacles while witnessing key moments in American history
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Revered poet, playwright, and novelist Shange teams up with her award-winning playwright sister Bayeza in this encompassing historical saga of African American life. In its riveting dramatization of the promise of emancipation, the brutality of Reconstruction, the baroque cruelty of the Jim Crow era, all the way to the possibilities of the digital age, this bittersweet tale of seven generations in a family of mixed blood and musical genius weaves together essential historical facts and profound emotional truths. The postbellum exodus of Betty, a woman of spiritual powers, from a decimated South Carolina plantation––where she endured a tragic entanglement with the owner and gave life to children of unusual beauty, talent, and determination—launches this engrossing novel. Each character is magnetizing––from Betty to her ambitious daughter Eudora to her renegade daughter Lizzie to brave Osceola to Cinnamon, Tokyo, and Liberty. Each setting, from Charleston to Harlem, is brilliantly realized, and each social convulsion, most strikingly the violence against black veterans of WWI, is intimately illuminated, while anguished conflicts erupt between men and women in shattering microcosms of larger societal crimes. With music as a sustaining force, Shange and Bayeza’s epic of courage, improvisation, and transcendence is glorious in its scope, lyricism, and spectrum of yearnings, convictions, and triumphs. -- Seaman, Donna (Reviewed 06-01-2010) (Booklist, vol 106, number 19, p6)
  • Sisters Shange (for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf ) and Bayeza (The Ballad of Emmet Till ) have joined forces to tell a fictional version of their family history through the lives of seven generations of powerful women. This sweeping saga begins before the Civil War on the Mayfield rice plantation off the coast of South Carolina, where the family matriarch, Ma Bette, bears her master's children and after the war makes her way to Charleston with her granddaughter Eudora. What gives the Mayfield women their strength is their musical talent, from gospel to minstrel shows, from opera and R&B to hip-hop. The novel, replete with the rhythms of African American music and the speech patterns of Gullah culture, sings as it offers a dense description of the often violent history of the struggles of African Americans, particularly from the women's point of view. VERDICT This family epic is likely to appeal to readers who love Roots and big generational novels that reconstruct African American history. With its depiction of strong, talented women, the novel may also be enjoyed by feminist readers.— Andrea Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS --Andrea Kempf (Reviewed July 1, 2010) (Library Journal, vol 135, issue 12, p78)
  • Lyrical multigenerational novel by playwright/author Shange (We Troubled the Waters, 2009, etc.) and her playwright/set designer sister Bayeza. If music be the food of love, it is the staff of life for "the colored Mayfields" and their descendants over the next century and a half. As the story opens, two of those Mayfields, Bette and her granddaughter Eudora, are departing their home, a South Carolina plantation called Sweet Tamarind, displaced by post–Civil War carpetbaggers who "had bought all the land and paid the white Mayfields a smidgeon of what it was worth and left the poor blacks high and dry." It will not be the first indignity the black Mayfields are made to suffer, but they are a resourceful lot—and uncommonly blessed with the gift of song, masters of countless instruments and genres. That gift binds banjo-strumming Bette to seventh-generation descendant Tokyo Walker, a world-traveling singer of our own time who is not spared the task of battling injustices all her own: "Back taxes and a reputation for bad behavior had trailed her all the way to Botswana," write the authors, but redemption of a sort finds her there as well. Shange and Bayeza account song as an instrument of resistance; for the generation of the age of ragtime, it heralds "the New Negro"; for another, it affords a means of escape to less racially fraught places ("America? You can have it," says the expatriate Mitch after having found France a far more welcoming homeland than his native country); for all, it provides a potent means of self-expression. The authors range across centuries and continents, and to all appearances they've enjoyed the work of creating a world and peopling it with "lords, ladies, starlets, gigolos, gangsters, and aldermen—band leaders, bootleggers, and bag men—prophets, pigfoot hawkers, and professional partiers"—to say nothing of the blues shouters and balladeers of the Mayfield line. Think of it as Roots with a treble clef—a confident, lively account of love, art and what falls between.(Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2010)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
365833
Cataloging source
IUK
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Shange, Ntozake
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Bayeza, Ifa
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • African American families
  • African American families
Label
Some sing, some cry, Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 563-564)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn756929269
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
1st St. Martin's Griffin ed.
Extent
568 pages
Isbn
9780312552718
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)756929269
Label
Some sing, some cry, Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 563-564)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn756929269
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
1st St. Martin's Griffin ed.
Extent
568 pages
Isbn
9780312552718
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)756929269

Library Locations

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      30.2599154 -97.7334621
    • Willie Mae Kirk BranchBorrow it
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      30.2729762 -97.699748
    • Windsor Park BranchBorrow it
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