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Taxes on us Without our Consent (from the portfolio Declaration of Freedom and Independence)

Ringgold, Faith
American (1930- )
Place made: 
Taxes on us Without our Consent (from the portfolio Declaration of Freedom and Independence), 2009
Mat: 20 in x 24 in; 50.8 cm x 61 cm; Sheet: 15 1/16 in x 22 1/2 in; 38.3 cm x 57.1 cm; Image: 12 1/4 in x 15 11/16 in; 31.1 cm x 39.8 cm
Partial gift of the Experimental Printmaking Institute, Lafayette College and purchase with the Susan and Bernard Schilling (Susan Eisenhart, Class of 1932) Fund
MH 2016.2.12.7a-b

Both activist and artist, Faith Ringgold has spent her career fighting for the rights of women and African Americans. This is from a series of six prints in which Ringgold pairs images of the founding fathers and the American Revolution with images of the Civil Rights Movement.

An illustration of the Boston Tea Party of 1773 occupies the left half of the print. Demonstrating against the British Tea Act and taxation without representation, protestors boarded vessels bringing tea into Boston and dumped the imported tea into the sea. Many of the protesters donned Mohawk warrior costumes to show their allegiance was with America, not Britain.

Ringgold pairs this with a depiction of the 1965 Civil Rights March in Selma during which peaceful demonstrators advocating for voting rights were attacked by armed police with clubs and tear gas. Ringgold juxtaposes the two images of American protest, drawing parallels between the two while also pointing to the harsh realities of racial inequality and disenfranchisement rooted in the founding of the United States.