Ringgold's parents descended from working-class families displaced by the Great Migration.
Faith Ringgold was born on October 8, 1930, in Harlem Hospital, New York City, New York, United States, to Andrew Louis Jones and Willie Posey Jones. She was the youngest of three children.
As her mother was a fashion designer and father an avid storyteller, Ringgold was raised in an environment that encouraged her creativity. After the Harlem Renaissance, Ringgold’s childhood home in Harlem was left with a vibrant and thriving arts scene. Figures such as Duke Ellington and Langston Hughes lived just around the corner from her home. Her childhood friend, Sonny Rollins, who would later become a prominent jazz musician, often visited her family and practiced his saxophone at their parties.