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.


Chronologies and Documents: Mme. Willi Posey Family Tree-- 19th Century: Binghams/Shannons

The Shannons were Faith's great-great grandfather and great-great grandmother.  We assume they were both born as slaves but we have no further details yet, both of them from Virginia.
Their daughter was Betsy Bingham, who was MJ's grandmother and Faith (Mom)'s great-grandmother.  She was a quilter and a dressmaker in Jacksonville Florida.

1815—Robert Shannon born (MJ's maternal great-grandfather), farmer in Palatka, Marion County according to 1900 Census.

1817—Susan Shannon (MJ's maternal great-grandmother) born in Virginia, according to the 1900 Census, Marion County Florida.

1845—Peter Bingham I born in Virginia, Farmer.

1850—Betsy Bingham (MJ's maternal grandmother) born in May in South Carolina.

1867—Betsy and Peter marry (maternal grandparents of MJ), bore eight children, three of whom survived, Ida Mae (MJ's mother), Peter and Hilliard.

1869—Ida Bingham born in July in Orange Springs, Florida, MJ's mother.

1870—Peter Bingham II born in Orange Springs  to Betsy and Peter, MJ's Uncle.

1880—Janie born, will marry MJ's Uncle, Peter Bingham II.

1880 Census Data

Schedule 1—Inhabitants in District 14, in the County of Marion, State of Florida enumerated June 1880: Peter Bingham Black Male 35 years old Farmer. Born in Virginia.

1880—Peter and Betsy Bingham (Willi's grandparents) living in Marion County, Jacksonville.

1880—Janie born, will marry MJ's Uncle, Peter Bingham II.

1880 Census Data

Schedule 1—Inhabitants in District 14, in the County of Marion, State of Florida enumerated June 1880: Peter Bingham Black Male 35 years old Farmer. Born in Virginia.

1880—Peter and Betsy Bingham (Willi's grandparents) living in Marion County, Jacksonville.

1890—Peter Bingham II (Willi's Uncle) marries Janie Bingham.

1891—BB and Ida Posey married in Orange Spring, Florida.

Teacher’s County Certificate of Qualification, Second Grade. (This grading refers to a tripartite system in which the highest grade was third grade, representing the highest score and also the greatest level of teaching experience).  Third grade qualified one to teach at all levels.  Second grade qualified to teach at a variety of grade levels, as I understand it.

These certificates were awarded on the basis of extensive examinations partly enforced in order to discourage black teachers in Florida and other Southern states, and to make the educating of blacks that much more difficult since education was not something that white Southerners wanted for blacks.  The white landowners who were Democrats felt education of whatever kindwould not help them to be more contented poorly paid workers in their fields.  The white Republicans were not much better.)

State of South Carolina, County of Aiken, Teacher’s Graded Certificate.

This Certifies, That JW Posey having furnished evidence of good moral character, and having passed a satisfactory examination in the following named branches, with the annexed results, is recommended and authorized to Teach in the Free Public Schools of this County:

(JW was apparently an older brother of B.B., MJ's father.)

Orthography 10
Reading 10
Writing 10
Arithmetic 4.5
Geography 8
English Grammar 7
History 5.5

This Certificate to continue valid for the term of one year from the date hereof, unless sooner revoked, given under our hands and seals at Aiken the 3rd day of September AD 1883
SW Williams and Chase ER Drayton, County Board of Examiners for Aiken County.

Note—The figure against each of the branches denotes the grade of attainment in such branch, 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. If the average for all the branches reaches 8.5 or more, this Certificate should be marked First Grade; if under 3.5 Second grade, if 5 and under 7, Third Grade.

Photo Collection: Susan Shannon circa 1910

Susan Shannon circa 1910, originally uploaded by olympia2x.

Susan Shannon was the great-great-grandmother of Faith Ringgold, the great-grandmother of Willi Posey and my great-great-great-grandmother.  In this photo, which may have been taken by Uncle Cardoza, she was almost 100 years old.  Born in 1917, she surely had many memories of slavery. 

Photo Collection: Betsy Bingham's house

Betsy Bingham's house, originally uploaded by olympia2x.
This photograph is taken by Cardoza Posey. The writing is Uncle Cardoza's.
This is Betsy Bingham standing in front of her house in Jacksonville, Florida. In the background one can see a sign that identifies her as a dressmaker. Also sitting in a chair with a blanket over her legs is her mother Susan Shannon.  The child standing next to her is hard to say.

Chronologies and Documents: Mme. Willi Posey's Family Tree--Poseys & Jones 19th Century


Abt 1813—Free Posey (MJ's paternal grandfather) born, farmer in Rocky Grove, SC in 1880 Census.

1830—Matilda (MJ's paternal grandmother) living in Rocky Grove, Aiken County with husband, Free Posey

1854—Jacob Posey born in Rocky Grove, SC., son of Free Posey and Matilda, older sibling of Benjamin Bunyon Posey, father of MJ.

1855—Isaac Posey born April in SC., BB Posey sibling.

1859—Anna Posey born, child of Free and Matilda in Rocky Grove, SC., BB Posey sibling.

1860—Benjamin Bunyon Posey (MJ's father) born in July to Free and Matilda Posey in Rocky Grove (Davis Bridge), Aiken County, South Carolina.

1864—Joseph Posey, born in Rocky Grove, SC., sibling of B.B. Posey.

1865—Francis Posey born in Rocky Grove, SC, to Free and Matilda, sibling of B.B. Posey.

1867—Mary Posey born to Free and Matilda in Rocky Grove, SC., B.B. sibling.

1879—Horatia Posey born in Rocky Grove to Jacob and Anna DB, BB Posey sibling.

1880 Census: Bunyan Posey born in Rocky Grove, Aiken County, South Carolina (1880 Census) 20 years old

Siblings: Anna (21), Joseph (16), Francis (15), Mary (13)

J.W. Posey State of South Carolina County of Aiken Teacher's Graded Certificate. September 3, 1883. Second Grade.

1892—Bunyon B. Posey and Ida Mae Bingham marry (Willi's Parents)

1892—Cardoza Posey born in Palatka, Florida.

1893—Teacher's License B.B. Posey, Public School #24 at San Mateo.

1895—Alsada (girl) born to Peter and Betsy Bingham (Willi's grandparents), MJ's grandparents and Ida's grandparents.

1895—Bessie born to BB and Ida Bingham Posey.

1897—Blanche Inez Posey born in Palatka, Florida

Board of Public Instruction: Contract between BB Posey and Jacksonville, Florida.

Putnam County, Sept 15, 1897—1899 to teach Third Grade. Test Grades: Orthography, Reading, Penmanship, History, Arithmetic, English Grammar, Geography, Composition, Physiology 80%, Theory and Practice of Teaching, 51%, General average 63 2/3%, .

Salary $50 per month.

Public School 29 at San Mateo

1899—Edith born to BB and Ida in Palatka.


1857—Walter Jones (FR's paternal grandfather) born in Georgia, married to Doll Baby, birth father of Andrew who will marry MJ and be the father of Faith. According to the 1910 Census in Alachua County, Florida. Tampa.

1870—Sam Johnson, Andrew's stepfather born in Georgia according to 1920 Census, Tampa City, paternal step-grandfather.

1881—Doll Baby born in Georgia, mother of Andrew Jones.

Friends of Soul Pictures

Michele Wallace

Post Archive

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