Thursday, October 30, 2008

Honoring Georgia Bass - Atlanta Quilter 1913

I'm working on a new book - yes, it's about African American quilting. Earlier this week I stumbled upon this article from the Atlanta Constitution newspaper dated June 29, 1913. As you can see, the headline of the article is "Passing of the Negro "Mammies" of Old South - But Few of Type Now Remain in Atlanta." Essentially the reporter, Ned McIntosh, laments that many of the "mammies" in the city are growing older and passing away, along with other customs of the Old South.

I'm sharing my experience regarding this article here not to hate that such an article was published by a MAJOR American newspaper less than 100 years ago, but to honor the women featured in the article, including a Sistah quilter. I am a quilt historian specializing in African American quilt and quilter history BECAUSE I want to make sure others know about our quilt stories 100 years from now. And, because its an amazing adventure to re-discover quilters past.

May I introduce you to the ladies from the headline? Let's honor... Top left: Georgia Bass.... piecing a quilt at her home on 16 Ennis Alley. Center and with the children: Sylvia Moore. She was the housekeeper (I just can't say "mammy") to the S. T. Weyman family on Fourteenth Street. Samuel T. Weyman was the president of the City Savings Bank & Trust Company in Atlanta. The children in the photo are: Fontaine Weyman, George Weyman, and a young neighbor. Bottom left: Lucinda Hayes, who lived on West Mitchell Street in Atlanta.

I wonder - have any of Georgia Bass' quilts survived? Blessings.


Karoda said...

how bitter sweet your discovery...these women are long overdue for their re-honoring.

Big Mama said...

This blog is so newsy, even to a noquilter like me. I am absolutely amazed that your blog has had 60 thousand "hits: from around the world!

I hadn't checked the map in months. What a pleasant surprise!
Proud of you!

Anonymous said...

I agree with karoda that dredging up the past is bittersweet, but the healing comes in reclaiming it through our own words. God bless you in your creative and informative process and thank you for providing us with a much needed facet in America's history. I added you to my blog list to keep up with your work and writing!

My House Boutique, "Where life is handmade and heart-loved."

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the writer of the article missed most. the fact that "old south" was becoming extinct, or that there were few and few women who had cared for the homes and children others who devalue them.

Carol-Ann Allen said...

Hi Kyra,
I was just browsing through the comment section of some older posts on my sister's blog, Rocky Mountain Blue, and followed a link over here! I've bookmarked your blog and shall certainly be back later on to read!

Jeanette said...

Well, I came over to visit because of your comment on my blog, and I see my sister has been here before me!

Excellent writing, Kyra, and an amazing amount of information. I have thoroughly enjoyed my browse and hope to come back again soon.