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.


Photo-Essay: Stairs from Sugar Hill to the Valley

08stairway, originally uploaded by broadwayhousing.
These are the stairs that lead from Edgecombe Avenue, where I grew up and where my stepdad (Burdette) grew up down to the Valley where MJ and all her siblings and her mother first lived in the early 1920s and where my Mom spent her earlier years at 222 West 146th Street immortalized in her Street Story Quilt of 1986 (collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

When Faith started writing the stories that go with the earlier story quilts, such as "Who's Afraid of Aunt Jemima?" I had no idea where those voices in dialect telling neighborhood stories came from. It was as bracing as a cold shower. At first, I thought it was a put-on, a voice adapted for the amusement and entertainment of the reader as I came of age in a period in which anything delivered in the southern dialects of the colored tongue was considered a ruse and a form of cooning for the white folks.

I didn't yet understand that what I had been taught in the 60s and 70s to consider a deformation of black character and speech was actually an immensely rich source of a variety of working class, rural and subterranean black experiences, a series of lifestyles and adventures-- particularly that adventure of escaping hard times and Jim Crow--to emerge triumphant in the cities of the North and the West.

Chronologies and Documents: MJ Collection Inventory Notes

I. The Posey Family History: Photographs; Letters, Autobiography
List of Contents--Documents
1. Cardoza Posey note: “a part of two letters to me, father to son while in school at Florida Baptist Academy, Jacksonville, Florida. A letter from Papa, Feb 19, 1911
6 pieces of a handwritten letter from B.B. Posey, hardly legible.
2. Certificate of Death Evelyn Muriel Bingham (MJ's cousin, granddaughter of Betsy Bingham).
Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics Certificate of DeathDuval County Florida, Jacksonville 56 years old. Jan 10, 1958. Born Oct. 22, 1900 Public School Teacher Mother Janie Brown and Father Peter Bingham Address: 612 Owen Avenue.
3. Funeral Service, Friday July 31, 1964—The Late Dr. JY Posey, Third Stone Baptist Church, 1591 Boston Road Bronx New York
4. Board of Public Instruction: Contract between BB Posey and Jacksonville, Florida.
Putnam County, Sept 15, 1897. Salary $50 per month.
Public School 29 at San Mateo
5. Letter from Aunt Janie in Jacksonville, Florida to nephew Cardoza July 4, 1960.
“It is very hot down here. I miss Evelyn so much. I feel strong in a new place. I am old now and I can’t get out much.”
6. Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia October 6, 1963.
7. J.W. Posey State of South Carolina County of Aiken Teacher’s Graded Certificate. September 3, 1883. Second Grade.
8. July 1, 1953—Letter from Ida Mae Bingham, Jacksonville Florida.
9. Letter from W. Walton Edwards—Attorney and Counsellor
August 9, 1913—Mr. Bunyan B. Posey, concerning the property of brother L.O. Posey.
10. Clipping—“Lawrence Dargan Hanged in Palatka” August 19th, not sure of year.
11. Family Record Pages—
B.B. Posey—birth January 16, 1860, married Oct 15, 1891 and died May 15th 1912.
Ida Mae B Posey—birth July 18tk, death July 20, 1927, etcetera.
Blake Funeral Home Book for MJ. Died October 28, 1981. Book of Friends Who Viewed.


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