A Communion of the Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers, and Their Stories

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Rutledge Hill Press, 1996 - Crafts & Hobbies - 396 pages
A Communion of the Spirits represents the first national survey of African-American quiltmakers. It is also a personal record of how Roland L. Freeman's life has intertwined with the world of quiltmaking for almost sixty years--"as an African-American male; as a child who was deeply influenced by the cultural traditions and magical powers of quilts; and, for more than three decades, as a photographer and folklorist."Included are the fascinating stories of a remarkable range of individuals, old and young, women and men, including Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Faith Ringgold.Organized chronologically, the book begins with Freeman's childhood years in the 1940s. "Quilts were special, even magical to me," he says. "They could heal and they could curse; they could capture history and affect the future; they could transform pain to celebration."

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Classic, must-have book for African American quilt history. Read full review


part one Something to Keep You Warm
Early Photodocumentation 197484
Expanding the Project 198590

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35 mm cr Adinkra African African Diaspora African-American quilters AfricaTown Alabama Alberta Alcorn College Alice Walker American Quilt Anna Williams Annie Apex Museum appliqued Arabbers Arkansas asked Aunt Baton Rouge BAUCHI BEAUFORT COUNTY BERKELEY COUNTY Bernice Johnson Reagon black Seminole bor n born Brackettville buffalo soldiers California called Carolyn Center church CLAIBORNE COUNTY CLARK COUNTY colors Connecticut COUNTY cross-stitch cultural Daddy Joe daughter didn't don't Dorothy Christie Essence magazine exhibit fabric Faith Ringgold family quilted Florida folk Folklife folklorist Fort Davis frame FRANKLIN COUNTY FULTON COUNTY GARLAND COUNTY Gee's Bend GEORGETOWN COUNTY Georgia Gerald Davis going Guild Hampton University Harriet Tubman Howard Thurman Howard University However husband I've Interstate 29 Interstate 80 it's Jackson State University James Chaney Janie Hunter Jeannetta Johnson Jones Juneteenth Kentucky Las Vegas learned to quilt left to right lived Lost Creek Township Louisiana married Martin Luther King Mary Maryland maternal grandmother Maya Angelou Mecosta County Melrose Plantation Michigan migrated Mississippi Missouri MM CI MM CT mother Museum Nancy Callahan National Heritage Fellowship Native Americans never Nigeria Nikki Giovanni Oklahoma Ollie Crawford pattern Pawleys Island Penn Center photograph pieces plantation Port Gibson Quilting Bee quiltmaking Rankin Roland L row left Ruby Dee says seamstress sewing sharecropping sister slaves something Sonia Sanchez South Carolina Spelman College started quilting stitches Swayback talk taught Tennessee Texas that's told took traditional Ulysses Davis Underground Railroad Victoria Bennett Viola Allen Virginia Wanda G wanted Washington WAYNE COUNTY went West Virginia Wilcox County Wilkinson County women York York City Zora Neale Hurston

About the author (1996)

Roland L. Freeman a highly regarded photodocumentarian whose work has been exhibited worldwide.He has been a field research photographer for the Smithsonian Institution for more than twenty years and has been recognized through awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Black Arts Festival through its 1994 Living Legend Award. He is president of The Group for Cultural Documentation based in Washington, D.C.His successful commercial career has included assignments for Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, London Sunday Times (England), Der Stern (Germany), and Paris-Match (France).

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