In this Book

The Freedom Quilting Bee
summary

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

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. List of Plates/Maps
  2. p. viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. The Freedom Quilting Bee
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. 1. From Civil Rights to Patchwork Quilts
  2. pp. 3-18
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  1. 2. Quilt Auctions in New York City
  2. pp. 19-30
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  1. 3. Gee's Bend: The Culture that Shaped the Quilting Bee
  2. pp. 31-44
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  1. 4. The Quilting Bee Obtains Professional Help
  2. pp. 45-49
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  1. 5. Freedom Sparks the "Patchwork Look"
  2. pp. 50-67
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  1. 6. The Quilting Bee Goes Commercial
  2. pp. 68-90
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  1. 7. A Factory Comes to the Cornfield
  2. pp. 91-104
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  1. 8. Church Groups Aid the Quilting Bee
  2. pp. 105-113
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  1. 9. Freedom's Bread and Butter: The Sears Contract
  2. pp. 114-130
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  1. 10. Freedom Leads the Co-op Movement
  2. pp. 131-140
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  1. The Women of the Freedom Quilting Bee
  2. pp. 141-144
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  1. Minder Pettway Coleman
  2. pp. 145-151
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  1. Aolar Carson Mosely
  2. pp. 152-159
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  1. Mattie Clark Ross
  2. pp. 160-169
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  1. Mary Boykin Robinson
  2. pp. 170-174
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  1. China Grove Myles
  2. pp. 175-181
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  1. Lucy Marie Mingo
  2. pp. 182-186
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  1. Nettie Pettway Young
  2. pp. 187-195
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  1. Polly Mooney Bennett
  2. pp. 196-206
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  1. Mama Willie Abrams
  2. pp. 207-213
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  1. Estelle Abrams Witherspoon
  2. pp. 214-242
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 243-250
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 251-255
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  1. Image Plates
  2. pp. 256-263
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