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125th Street

Faith Ringgold

Flying Home: Harlem Heroes and Heroines (Downtown and Uptown), 1996

Glass mosaic on platform walls

Flying Home is a mosaic mural that honors Harlem notables and makes them fly. The mural on one platform depicts performers, painters, and sports figures like Dinah Washington, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Josephine Baker. The opposite platform shows leaders like Malcolm X and writer Zora Neale Hurston, brought to life in mosaics that recall the cultural zenith of Harlem. The title is based on a Lionel Hampton song which Faith Ringgold heard as a child. The artist sought to capture its spirit in this work, which she expressed by posing the figures as if they were in flight. "I love every one of these people," Ringgold says, "I wanted to share those memories, to give the community - and others just passing through - a glimpse of all the wonderful people who were part of Harlem. I wanted them to realize what Harlem has produced and inspired."

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