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.
I managed to completely exhaust myself by insisting upon walking from the hotel to Howard University's campus but it gave me a wonderful opportunity to reacquaint myself with a little bit of Washington, D.C., particularly that part immediately around the campus. My own presentation was called The Soul Century and was focused on pictures and stories relating to the development of the women in my family since my grandmother's birth in 1903 through the final years of the 20th century.
I tried to use my pictures on Flickr with an internet connection, hoping I would be able to set it on automatic slideshow but that was a disaster, probably because of fluctuations in the internet connection. Subsequently I was forced to narrate my images rather than reading from the text of the two chapters I have prepared on Soul Pictures. One of the texts will appear in an anthology on The Black Bougeoisie, which should be out in about a year.
This is why you have to use powerpoint when you do public lectures. Powerpoint is boring and inhibiting but it is ideally constructed for the rigors of a public lecture. So I've started rounding up my powerpoints and will begin to work on them again. Unfortunately, they take up so much space on a hard drive and I've got a lot of material. I have to get a new computer just to be able to handle it all.
I should think each chapter of Soul Century will have its own powerpoint presentation for public lectures. And that the chapters that will make up the book will be entirely different from the lectures because you can show a great many more pictures in a public lecture than you would ever want to put in a book, or that I would want to put in a book. You could have postage stamp pictures but I don't like those in books.
The reception for my work at Howard, despite my technical difficulties, seemed warm and enthusiastic and I was much heartened by the questions that were asked. They were as follows:
Does your family have re-unions. If not, you should because this is a great way to access further material. The answer to that is that we don't have family reunions because we have so little surviving family. Almost everyone is dead. It was not a prolific family so far as offspring to begin with and the death rate among the young men was high--my biological father, my Mom's oldest brother and my Mom's cousin Jimmy. Of MJ's two brothers, neither of them had children. MJ had the most children but they are all dead except Mom who has two children, my sister and I. I have no children. My sister has three children, all girls none of whom is married or who has any children.
Another question. Had I ever heard of any Posey's in Oklahoma City? No I haven't but Prof. B.B. Posey had 22 siblings and it seems as though they may have wandered far and wide so Oklahoma City would not be a surprising place for some of them to end up. It was one of the places blacks went at the turn-of-the-century in hopes of reversing their fortunes.
Another question. Am I interested in genealogies? Not so much as i am interested in learning about the pulse of our cultures and societies during the early through the middle twentieth century. The mixtures of the varieties of human personalities and how the children who are nurtured in them turn out is fascinating to me. Since I am less wedded to the precise genealogy of my family of origin, this frees me to include Burdette's (Dad) kinships and whatever else about their contemporaries that is interested in my picture of the century.
What has been happening is that I've started to get interested in Darwin's theory of evolution and the elaborate observations of plants and animals that led to them. I am interested in the human genome as well, and how surprisingly genetic variables can turn out in combination.
What happened to Earl? What happened to Andrew? They both died prematurely of drug overdoses, in 1966 and 1961 respectively.
The other thing that really struck me was how much work it would be to completely archive and digitize Faith's entire collection of family records. I am thinking perhaps it is too ambitious for me, not to mention my wallet, so I am going to stick to something I can handle--the book on the Soul Generation.
Letter From a Birmingham City Jail, eight serigraph prints by Faith Ringgold, originally uploaded by barbaraco03.
Photo by Star Black April 2008. This is Mom at her most Santa Claus' brightest helper, Peter Pan-ish perfection at the event to celebrate the publication of the illustrated version of Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail. It is a limited edition of a few hundred, very expensive. Perhaps one day it will be made available to all in an inexpensive paperback edition. In the meanwhile, check your libraries.
- Faith Ringgold (42)
- Photo Essay (35)
- Willi Posey (33)
- Michele Wallace (30)
- Photo Collection (23)
- Change Quilt (14)
- Art by Faith Ringgold (11)
- Chronologies and Documents (11)
- Critical Essay (10)
- Barbara Knight (9)
- the 50s (9)
- Burdette Ringgold (8)
- Faith Wallace-Gadsden (7)
- Florida (7)
- the 70s (7)
- B.B. Posey (6)
- Barbara Wallace (6)
- the 80s (6)
- the 40s (5)
- the 60s (5)
- Anne Porter (4)
- Earl Wallace (4)
- Fashion (4)
- Ida Matilda Posey (4)
- New Lincoln School (4)
- Sonny Rollins (4)
- Black Macho and The Myth of the Superwoman (3)
- Camp Craigmeade (3)
- Susan Shannon (3)
- The French Collection (3)
- Theodora Grant (3)
- 19th century (2)
- Andrew Jones (2)
- Betsy Bingham (2)
- Declaration of Independence (2)
- Helen Meade (2)
- Invisibility Blues (2)
- Judson 3 (2)
- Theodora Wallace-Orr (2)
- Thomas Morrison (2)
- Who's Afraid of Aunt Jemima (2)
- the 30s (2)
- Anyone Can Fly Foundation (1)
- Black Visual Culture (1)
- Cardoza Posey (1)
- Dark Designs and Visual Culture (1)
- For The Women's House (1)
- Gene Nesmith (1)
- Ida Mae Bingham (1)
- Interviews (1)
- Inventories (1)
- Jacksonville (1)
- Judith Wilson (1)
- Kate Raphael (1)
- Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1)
- Lisa Yee (1)
- Memoirs (1)
- Michael Jackson (1)
- Mojo Okediji (1)
- P.S. 186 (1)
- Pablo Picasso (1)
- The Mona Lisa Interview (1)
- University of African Art (1)
- Yvonne Mullings (1)
- ► 2010 (13)
- ► August (14)
- ► July (18)
- ► May (11)
- ▼ April (4)
- ► July (23)
My Publications--Michele Wallace
- Black Macho and The Myth of the Superwoman, New Edition, Verso Books 1990
- Black Macho and The Myth of the Superwoman, The Dial Press 1979
- Black Popular Culture, New Press 1991
- Dark Designs and Visual Culture, Duke UP 2004
- Invisibility Blues: From Pop to Theory and Back Again, Verso Books 2008
- Invisibility Blues: From Pop To Theory, Verso Books 1999
My Publications--Selected Articles
- "The French Collection: Momma Jones, Mommy Faye and Me," Dancing at the Louvre: Faith Ringgold French Collection and Other Story Quilts. University of California 1995.
- Faith Ringold and The Anyone Can Fly Foundation in Barbara Hoffman, ed., A Visual Artist's Guide to Estate Planning, 2008 Update
- Oscar Micheaux and His Circle, 2001 African-American Filmmaking and Race Cinema of the Silent Era Essay by Michele Wallace on "Within Our Gates and Oscar Micheaux"
- The Mona Lisa Interview with Faith Ringgold by Michele Wallace
- The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center presents Museums of Tomorrow: An Internet Conference, 10-05-2003
- The Georgia O'Keefe Museum Research Center presents The Modern/Postmodern Dialectic: An Online Symposium, American Art and Culture, 1965-2000
- Passing, Lynching and Jim Crow: A Genealogy of Race and Gender in U.S. Visual Culture, 1895-1929, Dissertation in Cinema Studies, New York University, UMI, May 1999