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: Coming To Jones Road

This is myself and Barbara standing before one of the key images of Coming to Jones Road, a theme extensively represented in the exhibition.  Mom did the series Coming to Jones Road to commemorate the awful difficulty she had in getting to build the studio she wanted on the Jones Road property she purchased in 1992.  Her white neighbors banded together and hired a lawyer to try to prevent her from completing her plan of adding a studio to her acre large property on the hill in Englewood, New Jersey.  The subsequent struggle, which did not result in the building and modifications of the property until 1999, inspired her to return to the issue of how black people had escaped slavery--sometimes leaving in large groups and taking back roads to their destination and freedom.  

New Jersey continued to have slavery right up until the end of the Civil War but much of it was rural and it probably always had pockets of resistance and refuge for slaves who had escaped the South.  Sometimes this is called the Underground Railroad, which became all the more a necessity as the Supreme Court upheld Fugitive Slave Laws and the awful Dred Scott decision, whereupon fleeing slaves might stop briefly in a remote location and then continue on toward Canada where they might be free.  In Coming to Jones Road, Mom has explored ad infinitum the theme of resistance with your feet headed toward freedom in a rural America.  

Englewood is really no longer a rural idyll although sometimes it can look like one.  There are lots of places that are still almost wild.

Photo-Essay: The Gala at New Brunswick

This is me and the prodigal son, Curlee Holton.  It was also an exhibition for him as well as Mom since he is Mom's Master Printmaker and was closely involved with the production of the print/lithographs illustrating the Declaration of Independence.  The wall text included a statement by Faith and one from him.  

I was supposed to write for their book but I couldn't quite make their deadline although I have an essay for them now.  The Declaration of Independence book is a very limited edition, maybe 1000 or so and very expensive so I wasn't particularly eager to be included in such a book.  Moreover, for me the issue of the Declaration of Independence is a question of how things were in the 18th century, not my favorite century.  Nonetheless, I wrote the essay and have included on this blog above. 

I was fascinated by the difficulties Thomas Jefferson, Phylis Wheatley, David Walker and Maria Stewart all present to the visualization of issues intersecting race, gender and American Independence.  These four would be my favorite subjects in 18th century America along with John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams from the standpoint of someone who loves to read about history and to read literature.  

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