Peace Makers Outreach Group to Discuss African American History, Culture through Quilts, June 20 at Library
Members of the Peace Makers Outreach
Ministries of Moberly, MO, will display some of the quilts they have
made as part of the African-American Quilt project and will discuss
African-American history and culture using the quilts as visual aids on
July 20 at 1 p.m.
For generations quilts have been used as tools for conserving memories. They are given as wedding gifts, at a baby's birth, and made to commemorate specific events. They are made of many fabrics, by many methods, and by many generations and races. However, all are made from bits and pieces into something that is better than it was. Early African-American quiltmakers learned they could also be used as a means of communication. From log cabin blocks representing shelter to flying geese blocks pointing the way, they communicated the road to freedom.
These quilts represent that road, its heroes, and the journey along it. Not all the blocks are pretty but, all are part of history. It's been a long journey and a rough road, but the heroes have been many. These quilts tell their story so young African-American people do not forget they come from a culture of heroes. They come from a people that were taken to a foreign land with unknown customs to be sold as livestock. They come from a people that, unknown to each other, banded together to build a new community. Using bits and pieces of their past, they made things better than they were. They began a journey that led from slavery to the White House.
The journey isn't over. The road continues. The faces and stories on these quilts are meant as road signs. They point the way for a new generation. They speak of how African-American culture evolved. They speak of the strength of that culture's people. Keeping the past in front of tomorrow's leaders can give them the pride to become heroes for this generation. To paraphrase quilt maker Vydella Chapman, "only by understanding where they have been, can they see where they need to go."