Tanner was one of the first Black painters to find major success. He depicted biblical scenes and is best known for the paintings “Nicodemus Visiting Jesus” (1899), “The Banjo Lesson” (1893) and “The Thankful Poor” (1894). It was not easy for Tanner. By the 1900s, he went to France to get away from the extreme racism in the States. He ended up staying.
Ringgold is a political painter and civil rights activist with a strong desire to depict the lives and struggles of Black people in the U.S. In the 1960s, she created a body of work called the “American People” series that focused on the civil rights movement from a Black woman’s perspective. She has also created African-inspired art in her career and has written numerous children’s books. Ringgold also works with textiles.