And Still We Rise: African American Story Quilts narrates four centuries of African American history through the display of nearly 70 handcrafted story quilts created by an international group of artists from the Women of Color Quilters Network. An art form that goes beyond simple quilting patterns, story quilting expands on traditional textile-arts techniques to record, in fabric, events of personal or historical significance. Works in this exhibition give voice to the unique histories of African American men and women and relate the stories of enslaved people, soldiers, athletes, poets, political leaders, and many others while also drawing attention to social challenges America continues to face today.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether or not you go, And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations traces the path of black history in the United States with 97 original works exploring important events, places, people, and ideas over 400 years. Arranged in chronological order, quilt themes include the first enslaved people brought over by Dutch traders in 1619, the brave souls marching for civil rights, the ascendant influence of African American culture on the American cultural landscape, and the election of the first African American president. Other quilts commemorate and celebrate cultural milestones and memories, such as the first African American teacher, the Buffalo Soldier, the first black man to play Othello on Broadway, Muhammed Ali, and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The 69 artists who contributed works for this curated collection provide narrative explaining the important stories and histories behind the quilts.