Saturday, June 5, 2010

60s Style--Barbara, Faith and Michele

     The 60s for us was all about style, although not so much about photographs. We're all wearing Afros so Black cultural nationalism is in its heyday.  For all three of us (our little immediate circle composed of Barbara Wallace, Faith Ringgold and Michele Wallace), I have very few photographs particularly in the late 60s.  Not sure why that is except that these were turbulent times and I, myself, as a teenager felt very unsettled.

By the time this photograph is taken for a magazine profile of Faith, (1968-1969), she is 38 and although still teaching full time in the public schools, she is also fully into the swing of her career as an artist and an activist in the black community and the art world.  Barbara is a junior in high school and I am a senior at the New Lincoln School (which would make me 16).  Not sure when it would have been that I  made my statement about not wanting to go to college  but it must have been around this time.  That jump suit made by my grandmother Mme. Willi Posey was my favorite thing to wear.  We are sitting on the livingroom couch at 345 West 145th Street in Harlem.  The couch is covered by those custom made plastic covers designed to protect the furniture.  It really does seem like yesterday in a sense.

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About Me

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I am a writer and a professor of English at the City College of New York, and the CUNY Graduate Center. My books include Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman (1979), Invisibility Blues (1990), Black Popular Culture (1992), and Dark Designs and Visual Culture (2005). I write cultural criticism frequently and am currently working on a project on creativity and feminism among the women in my family, some of which is posted on the Soul Pictures blog.