Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Lynch Quilt Project with LaShawnda Crowe Storm

Are you familiar with The Lynch Quilt Project? This community quilt project is lead by artist LaShawnda Crowe Storm of Indianapolis, IN. (Her 2004 quilt in the photo here is title "Her Name Was Laura Nelson.")

The Lynch Quilts Project is a community-based effort meant to explore the history of lynching and consequences of racial violence. You don't have to be in Indianapolis to participate - visit website to learn how you can take part. Specifically - LaShawnda tells me they are looking for volunteers to finish the last 100 blocks (out of 440!) for one of the pieces for the Quilt IV segment.

You can read the December 2011 Indianapolis Recorder article about the project by clicking here.

Lynchings as a theme in quiltmaking is not new. Click here to see April Shipp's "Strange Fruit Quilt" or Gwen Magee's Southern Heritage; Southern Shame quilt.


Lori said...

Wow, that is powerful! Thank you for posting this I am going to look into it.

Kristi's Book Nook said...

Definitely makes you stop and think.

Big Mama said...

Kyra, I surely hope enough quilters will step forward. This is one time I wish I could quilt. Mom

Sandra Scott Textile Artist said...

This is so disturbing! What a lot of suffering and pain these powerful images evoke.
We must never forget but we must forgive and pray that with love and goodness we will erase all the hate which sadly sometimes still exists today.

Anonymous said...

"The Lynch Quilts Project is a community-based effort meant to explore the history of lynching and consequences of racial violence."


I highly doubt that putting an image of a Black woman (or man) on a quilt in the throws of suffocation and impending death from lynching/torture is a way of sincerely addressing the injustice, the lack of judicial consequences for the perpetrators (including those in the gov't and the media outlets/newspapers who announced the dates, times, and locations of daily lynchings...most of those papers are still operating today and have a large Black readership), and so on.

If anything, it has allowed people to become even more desensitized to the continued torture, assault on, and suffering of indigenous African-Americans. Putting it on a quilt, especially in the form of a "group project" makes it seem damn near normal - like putting a stuffed bear on a child's quilt.

I'm not interested in joining in with the masses, if the masses are behind such a project. This is superficial, and the detached way in which this post was written (and the stereotypical "we have to forgive and pray" comment from Sandra Scott above) is indicative of the continued manipulation in the US and lack of justice for its indigenous African-American population.

Forgiveness comes with JUSTICE, Ms. Scott. Though you likely don't realize it, your words are the words of the enslaver and the enslaver's descendants who demanded that you "forgive them" of the atrocities they committed against your people as they mass raped, enslaved children from the age of three, and tortured our parents to break down every fiber of their being. Don't speak to me or anyone else about "forgiveness" until you FIRST speak of JUSTICE.

Kyra said...

I hope the Anonymous writer will take a moment to visit the website for the Lynch Quilt Project and speak with Ms. Storm and view the other quilts in the series. One can not tell by this one quilt image that the issue of Justice was NOT addressed in the project.

I wish the writer of the message above had the courage to leave his/her name vs being anonymous.

Best, Kyra

Unknown said...

This quilt is now on display at the Central Library in Indianapolis as part of Meet the Artist. This is sponsored by the library's African American History Committee. The exhibit continues through March 23rd. There will be a Gala Reception on Saturday, February 9th from 5:45-10:00 pm. You can get more information on our Facebook page - Indypl African American History Committee