cover of book

The Freedom Quilting Bee: Folk Art and the Civil Rights Movement
by Nancy Callahan
University of Alabama Press, 2005
Paper: 978-0-8173-5247-9 | Cloth: 978-0-8173-0310-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-8856-0
Library of Congress Classification NK9112.C34 1987
Dewey Decimal Classification 976.03800496073


The original book on the renowned Freedom quilters of Gee's Bend.

In December of 1965, the year of the Selma-to-Montgomery march, a white Episcopal priest driving through a desperately poor, primarily black section of Wilcox County found himself at a great bend of the Alabama River. He noticed a cabin clothesline from which were hanging three magnificent quilts unlike any he had ever seen. They were of strong, bold colors in original, op-art patterns—the same art style then fashionable in New York City and other cultural centers. An idea was born and within weeks took on life, in the form of the Freedom Quilting Bee, a handcraft cooperative of black women artisans who would become acclaimed throughout the nation.

"The author expertly weaves the history, the hardships of poor blacks in a downtrodden racist society and the economics of the long struggle to become self-sufficient. Callahan proves she can handle a complex, multi-charactered, significant piece of Southern history."

—Atlanta Constitution

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