African American Art, Black Art, Faith Ringgold, Brooklyn Museum, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

The Black American Women Who Made Their Own Art World | Hyperallergic We Wanted a Revolution at the Brooklyn Museum tracks the shape-shifting radicalism of black women artists, authors, filmmakers, dancers, gallerists, and public figures between 1965 and 1985.



On the heels of the Civil Rights movement, in a 1971 New York Times article, Toni Morrison made a terse assessment of the downstream effects of second-wave feminism, as observed by black women:

What do black women feel about Women’s Lib? Distrust. It is white, therefore suspect. In spite of the fact that liberating movements in the black world have been catalysts for white feminism, too many movements and organizations have made deliberate overtures to enroll blacks and have ended up by rolling them. They don’t want to be used again to help somebody gain power- a power that is carefully kept out of their hands. They look at white women and see them as the enemy- for they know that racism is not confined to white men, and that there are more white women than men in this country, and that 53 percent of the population sustained an eloquent silence during times of greatest stress.

Morrison’s indictment of the exclusionary politics of white feminists seems eerily prescient for today’s times, especially in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election. Black women, as the novelist recounts, “had nothing to fall back on; not maleness, not whiteness, not ladyhood, not anything.

African American Art, Black Art, Faith Ringgold, Brooklyn Museum, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNFaith Ringgold (American, born 1930). For the Women’s House, 1971. | Courtesy of Rose M. Singer Center, Rikers Island Correctional Center.

African American Art, Black Art, Faith Ringgold, Brooklyn Museum, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNInstallation view of We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 | Brooklyn Museum

African American Art, Black Art, Faith Ringgold, Brooklyn Museum, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNJan van Raay, “Faith Ringgold (right) and Michele W allace (middle) at Art Workers Coalition Protest, Whitney Museum” (1971), digital C-print | Courtesy of Jan van Raay, Portland, Oregon

African American Art, Black Art, Faith Ringgold, Brooklyn Museum, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNWorks by Lorraine O’Grady in We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 | Brooklyn Museum

African American Art, Black Art, Faith Ringgold, Brooklyn Museum, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN


BROOKLYN MUSEUM | BROOKLYN, NY

The Brooklyn Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. Its world-renowned permanent collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures.

The mission of the Brooklyn Museum is to act as a bridge between the rich artistic heritage of world cultures, as embodied in its collections, and the unique experience of each visitor. (Website).