Faith Ringgold

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Faith Ringgold News: Faith Ringgold's art of fearlessness and joy, July 11, 2021 - CBS Sunday Morning - Nancy Giles

Faith Ringgold's art of fearlessness and joy

July 11, 2021 - CBS Sunday Morning - Nancy Giles

Watch Faith Ringgold on CBS Sunday Morning


Lush, colorful and daring, each piece, each artistic phase tells a story – the signature style of artist Faith Ringgold. She is best known for her story quilts – a patchwork of images with a story written right onto the fabric.

One, "Tar Beach" (1988), was adapted into a now-beloved, award-winning children's book. 

But in fact, Ringgold's work spans over 70 years, an observation of decades of social upheaval in America.

Correspondent Nancy Giles asked, "When people said one thing, you would say, 'But I'm gonna do it anyway'?"

"Yes," Ringgold replied. "That's necessary if you want to do something. You cannot just go by what other people want."

A consummate fighter for justice, Ringgold – now 90 – struggled to be seen and heard as a Black female artist through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and the Women's Liberation Movement of the 1970s.

"I constantly looked for the galleries that accepted Black artists," she said. "If I asked, and they said, 'No,' it didn't bother me, because I expected to hear, 'No.'"

Born in Harlem in 1930, Ringgold credits her determination to her parents. Due to debilitating asthma, she was educated mostly at home, which, she says, gave her the freedom to be herself.

"I think there was a lot of feeling at that time that, 'We can't do this, we can't do that.' Oh, yes, we can! We can do it. All you gotta do is try."

So, when the art world rejected her or tried to pigeonhole her work, she fought back.

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