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We Flew over the Bridge: The Memoirs of Faith Ringgold Paperback – March 11, 2005


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We Flew over the Bridge: The Memoirs of Faith Ringgold + Tar Beach + Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (March 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822335646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822335641
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Contemporary artist and children's book author Ringgold (Tar Beach) chronicles her efforts as a black woman, born in 1930s Harlem, in fighting sexism and racism to make her mark in the world. Her socially conscious paintings (The Flag Is Bleeding, 1967; Die, 1967), story quilts (Who's Afraid of Aunt Jemima? 1983) and various sculptures, dolls, masks and live performances have all received favorable review attention. The artist has also enjoyed a long and varied teaching career. Unfortunately, this portrait is filled with contradictions that often undermine Ringgold's sincerity and prevent her from establishing an emotional bond with the reader. Though she lists her activist stance in support of rights and opportunities for African Americans and, more broadly, for all women, her narratives fail to convey the passion of her described convictions. Ringgold stresses the importance of "family" and "values," but her unconventional marriage, living and child-rearing arrangements do not reflect her good intentions. The end result reads like the sanitized diary of a self-absorbed woman.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This lively and delightfully written autobiography is set against a background of cultural and political upheaval. Ringgold's struggle to establish herself as a black artist and her need to define the meaning of a "woman's art" are the major themes found throughout this book?indeed, in all her projects. A talented painter, she is also known for her work in soft sculpture, textiles, masks, performance art, and writing children's books. Ringgold is represented in many public and private collections, ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and Chicago's Harold Washington Library Center to Brooklyn's Crown Heights Public School 22. This book is well illustrated with family photos as well as examples of the artist's enormous output. Recommended for most public and art libraries and those with a special focus on feminist and African American studies.?Margarete Gross, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Faith Ringgold was born in Harlem in 1930. She received a degree in art education from the City College of New York and was an art teacher long before she became a professional artist. She is best known for her 'painted story quilts,' some of which hang in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Tar Beach, RinggoldÕs first book for children, won the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration and was named a Caldecott Honor Book. Ringgold is now a professor of art at the University of California at San Diego. She lives in California and in New Jersey.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AfroAmericanHeritage on November 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Faith Ringgold began her artistic career in the 1960's as a painter, but is best known for her painted story quilts and her children's books such as the award-winning TAR BEACH. Her memoirs, first published in 1995 and reprinted in this 10th Anniversary Edition, were actually begun in the late 1970's after she returned from a trip to West Africa, a time when she herself was still very much a "work in progress" personally and professionally. Then again, Faith Ringgold will always be evolving; this is not a woman content to rest on her many laurels.

A memoir is revealing on two levels: since it's selective remembering, what the author chooses to tell us about herself ends up telling us something additional. WE FLEW OVER THE BRIDGE is candid, sometimes humorous, sometimes bordering on bitter, and almost quilt-like as she pieces together a wide range of topics, from the intensely personal to political and professional. Harlem at the close of the Renaissance, the art world's resistance to nonwhite artists, Black Power's resistance to feminism, combining marital life and parenthood with a career - all are viewed through her unique lens. For example, raised in a solidly middle-class environment by a mother who was a fashion designer and who inspired her interests in fabric art (and even collaborated at times), Ringgold seems to have felt overdressed at the revolution. She doesn't quite "fit in" but then again, I'm not sure she wanted to; she creates her own routes of activism. To any aspiring artist, I'd especially recommend Part III: Making Art, Making Waves, and Making Money.

In addition to 40 beautiful color plates illustrating her work (mostly the story quilts), the book has numerous black and white photos of her family, associates, performance art and early paintings. You can keep up with her current work at FaithRinggold.com.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Martha Ringgold Jones on July 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a must read biography of one of the most important artists of the country. A book about a Black Woman Fine Artist telling her story is a rare find and unsurprisingly interesting, poignant, insightful, triumphant.
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