Tag: african american

On a damp night in November 1970, Faith Ringgold, who has died aged 93, was locking the doors to an exhibition at the Judson Memorial church in Greenwich Village, when four strangers turned up pleading to see the show of flags she and several other radical artists of the downtown New York scene were staging. After a brief look at her painting, Flag for the Moon: Die Nigger (1969), in which the word “Die” is hidden among the stars of the American flag and the red stripes are adjusted to spell out the second word, the undercover police pulled out their badges and arrested her for desecrating the stars and stripes.

The art world was initially no more receptive to Ringgold’s searing indictments of structural racism and misogyny than the law. “David Rockefeller sent two people to buy [the painting]. But they ran away when they realised you can read the words …” Ringgold recalled. “It was my way of saying that too many American people go to bed hungry, while the government spent billions to place their flag on the moon.”

Faith Ringgold’s mural-sized painting American People Series #20: Die, 1967. Photograph: © Faith Ringgold/ARS, New York and DACS, London, courtesy ACA Galleries, New York

Her aim with her paintings, textiles and sculpture was “to depict everything that was happening in America – the 60s and the decade’s tumultuous thrusts for freedom”. American People Series #9: The American Dream (1964), for example, features an elegant woman sitting half in shadow, her skin tone changing from white to brown. After the Harlem riots kicked off, for her first solo show at Spectrum gallery in New York in 1967, Ringgold made American People Series #20: Die, a mural-sized painting with a debt to Picasso’s Guernica, showing 13 figures, white and Black,

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Artist Faith Ringgold, well known for her story quilts depicting African American experiences, has died. She was 93.

Her death was confirmed by her assistant Grace Matthews, who said Ringgold died at her home Saturday in Englewood, N.J.

Ringgold also created paintings, sculptures, performance art and children’s books. Her work focused on Black life, feminine life and the crossroads between the two.

One of her first and most famous story quilts is called “Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima.” It began with her observation about the changing face of a certain pancake brand.

“You know the Aunt Jemima pancake box?” Ringgold said to Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross in 1991. “If you look at the early ones when I was a kid, she was much darker … her nose was wider, her lips were fuller, and she was fatter. … And so I wanted to pay tribute to all of these Aunt Jemimas that we have in all of our families — these strong and very powerful women who sometimes don’t pay attention to their weight because they’re so busy nurturing and feeding the whole family.”

The result is a quilt with square panels showing Black women next to panels of kids, teens, adults, white, and Black. Panels of written text and decorative fabric swatches are checkered between the people.

In story quilts like this one, Ringgold worked in a medium with deep ties to African-American slavery. However, it wasn’t her original medium. She wanted to paint landscapes.

She told NPR in 2013 about trying to get those landscapes shown at a big-time New York gallery. This was during the civil rights movement, and gallery owner Ruth White turned her down.

“And she says to me: ‘You can’t do that. You’re a Black

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originally published: 02/19/2024

The Newark Museum of Art presents The Story of Newark Fashion: Atelier to Runway

(Left to Right) standing: Shavi Lewis, Douglas Says, Melody Asherman, Tyrone Chablis; seated: Marco Hall, Stephen Burrows, Justis Pitt-Goodson

(NEWARK, NJ) — The Newark Museum of Art (NMOA) presents The Story of Newark Fashion: Atelier to Runway from February 22 through June 2. In development since 2021, this is the Museum’s first large-scale exhibition dedicated to contemporary American fashion. Bringing together loans from prestigious public and private collections, The Story of Newark Fashion features the work of 11 fashion designers with Newark connections.

The heart of the exhibition features a simulated runway showcasing the designs of Newark-born Stephen Burrows, recognized as one of the defining designers of disco era fashion.  Nine of his garments are displayed as if “walking” the runway in Paris, referencing Burrows’ triumphant presentation at the Battle of Versailles in 1973.  With historical footage of Pat Cleveland and other American models, a clip of the documentary film Versailles 73 projected as a backdrop sets the scene.  The film, directed by Deborah Riley Draper, explores the pivotal moment in which 12 African American models and five American designers (Burrows, along with Anne Klein, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Halston) faced off against established brands of Paris’s haute couture (Yves St. Laurent, Christian Dior, hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Emanuel Ungaro.).  The full-length film will be screened at the Museum on Thursday, May 9th at 7:00pm, along with a panel discussion including Draper and model Mikki Taylor.

Newark, with its rich history as an epicenter for the production and trade of jewelry and accessories in the 19th and early 20th centuries, has been a site of creativity and innovation in the world of contemporary fashion for more than 75 years. A generation of inspiration has come out of the Brick City,

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In one of his famed self-portraits, Omar Victor Diop, a Senegalese photographer and artist, wears a three-piece suit and an extravagant paisley bow tie, preparing to blow a yellow, plastic whistle. The elaborately staged photograph evokes the memory of Frederick Douglass, the one-time fugitive slave who in the 19th century rose to become a leading abolitionist, activist, writer and orator, as well as the first African American to be nominated for vice president of the United States.

Diop is no stranger to portraying the aches and hopes of Black people across the world. Throughout his oeuvre, which incorporates historical references and costumes, he has highlighted the vital role of Black and African figures in world history, celebrated the dignity of African migrants and refugees, weaved together the history of Black protests from the Selma march to the Soweto uprising in South Africa, and examined the impact of climate change on Africa and the Global South.

Through his bold images, Diop examines the interplay between African and diasporic experiences by knitting together the past and present.

“I am fascinated and surprised about how Africa is still present in everything an African American would do; they don’t even realize it,” said Diop, who lives and works in Dakar and Paris. “Sometimes you look at an African American in reality TV and you happen to be looking at your sisters and your aunts because of the expressions — it’s translated and said in English, but she could be in Dakar, speaking Wolof.”

Omar Victor Diop wearing a three-piece dark green suit with a white shirt and holding a yellow whistle close to his lips. His green paisley vest and bow tie match the background behind him.

Omar Victor Diop

In a 2015 self-portrait (top), from Diop’s series “Project Diaspora,” the artist emulates Frederick Douglass, who was the most photographed man of his era. Douglass sat for over 160 portraits, including a daguerreotype circa 1855 (bottom), to challenge negative representations of African Americans.

Frederick Douglass posing for a seated portrait, in mid-19th century attire. The portrait is black-and-white and encased in a gold frame.

Cultural Archive/Alamy

In a 2015

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You may not realize it, but the city of Philadelphia has played a significant role in African American history – from abolition to hip-hop and beyond. Did you know, for example, that the first abolitionist organization in the United States, The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, was founded in Philly in 1775? That’s a full year before the city would host the Second Continental Congress, which, of course, ended with the Declaration of Independence.

While the city is gearing up for the 250th anniversary of US independence in 2026, Philadelphia has always touted its role in the fight for the freedom of Black Americans proudly, with multiple historical sites dedicated to stops along the Underground Railroad. But Philly’s contribution to the fabric of African American culture doesn’t stop there. As hip-hop celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Philadelphia’s contributions are undeniable: from half of Jay-Z’s legendary Roc-A-Fella Records roster, to Jimmy Fallon’s house band (or The Legendary Roots Crew, as hip-hop fans have known them for years), to our favorite 90s sitcom (and its 21st-century reboot) about a young man who was sent to live “with his auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.”

Today, this vibrant city is a melting pot of cultures, home to countless Black-owned restaurants and shops and host to some of The Culture’s favorite festivals. So why haven’t you been there recently or at all? Here are seven reasons to add Philly to your must-visit list this summer.

1. Festivals For All Seasons And All Reasons

From The Roots Picnic in early June to Made in America, which takes place over Labor Day weekend, Philly summers belong to the culture! The city’s many music festivals cover a multitude of genres, tastes and interests. Philly is also home to the Odunde

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