Who is the female black American artist who creates story quilts and has written and illustrated children's books?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The artist to whom you are referring is Faith Ringgold. She is an award-winning artist and illustrator of children's books. She was born in Harlem, NY in 1930 and she was educated at the City College of New York. Her works of art have been featured in prestigious museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

She is very well-known in the field of education (she was a teacher and an activist as well) for her Caldecott Medal-winning book, Tar Beach. She also won a Coretta Scott King award which is given to talented illustrators.

Ringgold uses the quilt to replicate a practice done by slaves, and by her ancestors, in the past. This practice was to use quilts in lieu of words as a way to tell stories. The women would create symbols and pictures on the quilt and they would hand them down from generation to generation. It was also a very convenient way to carry around history, so to speak, because the quilt was easy to take from place to place.  Her first story quilt was presented in 1984 and, ever since then, she has continued with this traditional method.


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