Hidden in plain view: the secret story of quilts and the Underground Railroad

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1st ed.
"There are five square knots on the quilt every two inches apart. They escaped on the fifth knot on the tenth pattern and went to Ontario, Canada. The monkey wrench turns the wagon wheel toward Canada on a bear's paw trail to the crossroads--" And so begins the fascinating story that was passed down from generation to generation in the family of Ozella McDaniel Williams. But what appears to be a simple story that was handed down from grandmother to mother to daughter is actually much, much more than that. In fact, it is a coded message steeped in African textile traditions that provides a link between slave-made quilts and the Underground Railroad. In 1993, author Jacqueline Tobin visited the Old Market Building in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina, where local craftspeople sell their wares. Amid piles of beautiful handmade quilts, Tobin met African American quilter Ozella Williams and the two struck up a conversation. With the admonition to "write this down," Williams began to tell a fascinating story that had been handed down from her mother and grandmother before her. As Tobin sat in rapt attention, Williams began to describe how slaves made coded quilts and then used them to navigate their escape on the Underground Railroad. But just as quickly as she started, Williams stopped, informing Tobin that she would learn the rest when she was "ready." During the three years it took for Williams's narrative to unfold--and as the friendship and trust between the two women grew--Tobin enlisted Raymond Dobard, Ph.D., an art history professor and well-known African American quilter, to help provide the historical context behind what Williams was describing. Now, based on Williams's story and their own research, Tobin and Dobard, in what they call "Ozella's Underground Railroad Quilt Code," offer proof that some slaves were involved in a sophisticated network that melded African textile traditions with American quilt practices and created a potent result: African American quilts with patterns that conveyed messages that were, in fact, essential tools for escape along the Underground Railroad.
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Grouped Work ID 6531dc6e-ee2b-f254-d7d4-f725c91709ff
Grouping Title hidden in plain view the secret story of quilts and the underground railroad
Grouping Author tobin jacqueline
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-01-04 13:07:10PM
Last Indexed 2019-02-23 05:05:42AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
auth_author2 Dobard, Raymond G.
author Tobin, Jacqueline, 1950-
author2-role Dobard, Raymond G.
author_display Tobin, Jacqueline
available_at_aacpl Kuethe Genealogical Library
detailed_location_aacpl Kuethe Historical and Genealogical Library - Call 410-760-9679 for location and hours.
format_aacpl Book
format_category_aacpl Books
id 6531dc6e-ee2b-f254-d7d4-f725c91709ff
isbn 9780385491372
item_details ils:a1051713|31997083167270|Kuethe Historical and Genealogical Library - Call 410-760-9679 for location and hours.|E450.T63|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||Z-KUETHE||
itype_aacpl Available at the Kuethe Historical and Genealogical Library
last_indexed 2019-02-23T10:05:42.346Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Other
literary_form_full Other
local_callnumber_aacpl E450.T63
owning_library_aacpl Anne Arundel County Public Library
owning_location_aacpl Kuethe Genealogical Library
primary_isbn 9780385491372
publishDate 1999
record_details ils:a1051713|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Doubleday,|1999.|x, 208 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:a1051713 31997083167270 On Shelf On Shelf false true false false false true
subject_facet African American quilts -- Social aspects -- History -- 19th century, Ciphers -- History -- 19th century, Fugitive slaves -- United States -- Communication -- History -- 19th century, Kuethe Library Historical & Genealogical Research Center ? G, Underground railroad
title_display Hidden in plain view the secret story of quilts and the Underground Railroad
title_full Hidden in plain view [Kuethe] : the secret story of quilts and the Underground Railroad / Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard
title_short Hidden in plain view
title_sub the secret story of quilts and the Underground Railroad
topic_facet African American quilts, Ciphers, Communication, Fugitive slaves, History, Social aspects, Underground railroad