Faith Ringgold’s Work Weaves Activism with Artistry

Happy birthday, Faith Ringgold! Today we are celebrating this multimedia artists’ activism. 

Faith Ringgold practices many mediums of art including painting, sculptures, performance art and even children’s books. She is perhaps best known for her quilts, which bring racial justice and gender equality into their vibrant and intricate designs. Faith has also been an activist since the seventies; she participated in the group Women Artists in Revolution and was a founding member of both the National Black Feminist Organization and the Black Arts Movement. 

Describing Faith’s much-deserved major exhibition at the New Museum that opened in 2022, FF2 contributor Jessica Bond says, “The Faith Ringgold: American People exhibition at the New Museum shows how Faith’s work has had a significant impact on the art community due to its depiction of Black voices with the intersection of feminist perspectives. In this way, Faith Ringgold: American People shows how Faith’s work has influenced generations of artists across all gender and racial continua.”

Her pieces showcase Black women and integrate their stories into her beautiful, colorful designs.

Looking at Faith’s art in all of its forms, it is clear that social justice is an integral part of her life and what she creates. Her pieces showcase Black women and integrate their stories into her beautiful, colorful designs. Many of her pieces act as protests in themselves. One series of murals is entitled “The Flag is Bleeding”, which depicts people of varying races and the tensions between them set on a backdrop of a flag that drips with blood. One of her quilts, entitled “Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima?”, attempts to fictionally retell the story of Aunt Jemima, a historically extremely damaging Black female stereotype. 

Reflecting on an exhibition featuring Faith’s quilts, FF2 contributor Jessica Bond states, “Faith’s innovative way of depicting the Black experience in the USA transcends generations. Sometimes words are not enough to convey emotions ranging from anger and disillusionment to hope. Faith continues to influence young creatives, inspiring them to continue writing their own stories.”

Faith is an integral part of Black art history and an influential activist. She is certainly a woman who deserves celebration, today and every day. 

© Julia Lasker (10/8/22) Special for FF2 Media®


Read Jessica Bond’s article about the Faith Ringgold: American People exhibition.

Read Jessica Bond’s article about Faith Ringgold’s Narrative Quilts.

Explore more of Faith Ringgold’s art.


Featured Photo: Coming to Jones Road Part II: Sojourner Truth Tanka #2: Ain’t I A Woman?, 2010. Photo courtesy of FF2 Media Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner. © FF2 Media® and authorized for responsible use as long as URL for this page is included with the credits.

Tags: African American Quilts, Black artists, Faith Ringgold, Jess Bond, Julia Lasker, New Museum, Quilts, SWAN of the day

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As an associate for FF2 Media, Julia writes reviews and features for films made by women. She is currently a senior at Barnard College studying Psychology. Outside of FF2, her interests include acting, creative writing, thrift shopping, crafting, and making and eating baked goods. Julia has been at FF2 for almost 4 years, and loves the company and its mission dearly.
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