Good Sister Watch: Riché Richardson


Riché Richardson lecturing to children at E.D. Nixon Elementary School in Montgomery, AL

This week I thought I would start this week off right! I wanted to introduce y’all to the art of a good friend of mine, Riché Richardson.

Born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, Riché received a B.A. from Spelman College in 1993 and a Ph.D. from Duke University in 1998.  She spent ten years on the faculty in the University of California system, and is currently an associate professor at Cornell University.  Her first book, Black Masculinity and the U.S. South:  From Uncle Tom to Gangsta, which was selected as an outstanding title by both Choice Books and Eastern Book Company in 2008, was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2007, where she also co-edits a books series entitled “The New Southern Studies.”   Her essays have appeared in American Literature, the Mississippi Quarterly, the Forum for Modern Language Studies, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, TransAtlantica, and NKA.

So now, y’all know that Riché is a seriously smart “Black Library Girl” type of sister. But what you also need to know is that Riché an otherworldly talented artist. Twenty-two of her art quilts were featured in a solo exhibition at the Rosa Parks Library and Museum Gallery in Montgomery, Alabama from July-September, 2008, and are the subject of a short film made in Paris by Géraldine Chouard and Anne Crémieux entitled A Portrait of the Artist (2008).

JoAnn and 'Junior Man': Easter Sunday, Montgomery, Alabama, 1954" Family Series

Her art quilts featuring President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama were among works selected for the historic “Quilts for Obama” exhibition at the Historical Society in Washington, DC curated by Roland Freeman.  In January of 2009, she served as a “Cultural Envoy” of the U.S. Embassy in France through a grant from the U.S. Department of State in their Speaker Series in tandem with the Paris opening of the national quilt exhibition touring France entitled Un Patchwork de Cultures, which reflected on the shared history of the U.S. and France with an emphasis on Louisiana and the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.

And for a real treat, click below to watch the first part of a documentary on Riché—if you want to watch the full documentary, visit her artist blog. It’s seriously sassy!

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