This blog is composed of images and writings related to the life and work of Faith Ringgold, her mother Mme. Willi Posey, and her daughters Michele and Barbara Wallace. There are pages with links to blogs composed of the materials arranged by decades. The blog, itself, will ultimately be composed of materials related to the life of the family in the 90s and the 21st century.

Wednesday

Photo-Essay: The Judson 3 and The 1970s

Jean Toche,Faith Ringgold and Jon Hendricks

312-29-021671001R, originally uploaded by Jan van Raay.
The Judson 3 in front of the Federal Court Building. Feb 16, 1971.  Photo by Jan Van Raay.
It is difficult for me to imagine that anyone who knows our family could be unaware of the events surrounding the Judson 3.  It became so crucial to who we would become as a unit, what the future would hold, particularly after MJ's death.  In any case, MJ never participated in events like this and did not approve of Faith's arrest.  MJ was somebody who thought that being a mother over-ruled all other activity on the planet for women.  It may have been that Barbara and I were brought along on mother's protest activities as much because she needed to keep an eye on us as for any political perspectives or inclinations of our own.  Protests with Art Worker's Coalition and Lucy Lippard and the Judson 3 formed our family outings, and some of the times that I can remember we were happiest together.
In 1970, a People's Flag Show was given by a Committee of artists at the Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square Park.  The show included all kinds of artists all of them lampooning the notion of the American flag as a sacred symbol.   John Hendricks and John Toche, who formed the Guerrilla Art Action Theatre and the Belgian Government in Exile, were also involved with Faith in the planning of the Flag Show.
There was a poster that was designed by Faith and made to commemorate and advertise the show.  I wrote the words on the poster as a representative of WSABAL (Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation), which Faith and I had founded a black feminist art activist group.  The show opened.  Faith, John Hendricks and Jon Toche were arrested by the District Attorney's office for desecration of the flag and the show was forced to close.  Thier case was known as that of the Judson 3.
The pictures assembled here are by the photographer Jan Van Raay of various events linked to the case: protests outside the court house, benefits to raise money for the Civil Liberty's Union which took the case, and an evening during the show itself.  My sister Barbara and I are in several of the ones I have chosen to reproduce here.  There are many more Judson 3 photos and photos of other art world activism at the time at Jan Van Raay's photostream on Flickr, which can be found at http://www.flickr.com/people/janvanraay.

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Michele Wallace: Talking in Pictures

Michele Wallace: Talking in Pictures
Barbara, MJ, Michele and Mom in the background in sunglasses at a fashion show in the early 60s