Lucy Terry Prince: The Griot's Voice, 2012
Peggie Hartwell
Summerville, South Carolina
47.5 x 48 in.
Materials: Cotton fabric, cotton batting, cotton thread, nylon thread Techniques: Hand appliqué, machine appliqué, machine embroidery, machine quilting
1746: Lucy Terry, an enslaved person, becomes the earliest known African American poet when she writes about the last Native American attack on her village of Deerfield, Massachusetts. Abijah Prince, a freed slave, bought Lucy’s freedom and married her. They would become parents of six children, and Mrs. Prince would become the family spokesperson who protected their personal and family rights. Her poem, “Bar's Fight,” will not be published until 1855.

Far Into the Night: The Weary Blues , 2012
Sherise Marie Wright
Calumet City, Illinois
41.5 x 34 in.
Materials: Cotton fabric, embroidery floss, cotton batting
Techniques: Hand embroidery, machine quilting
1926: Langston Hughes publishes The Weary Blues, his first book of poetry. The title stanza of the poem reads: “I got the Weary Blues/ And I can’t be satisfied--/ I ain’t happy no mo’/ And I wish that I had died.” A pivotal force in the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes will go on to become one of the twentieth century's most recognized American writers.

And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations

January 16, 2016 - April 24, 2016

Using the powerful medium of story quilts, this exhibition narrates nearly four centuries of African American history, from the first slave ships to the first African American president and beyond. Through 40 quilts from artists of the Women of Color Quilters Network, the exhibition reveals the stories of freedom’s heroes, ranging from Phillis Wheatley to Frederick Douglass to the Tuskegee Airmen.

Story quilting expands on traditional textile-arts techniques to record, in fabric, events of personal or historical significance. Through the accessibility of their colors, patterns and symbols, the quilts of “And Still We Rise” relate narratives that enable conversations about sensitive topics from our national history, furthering the discussion of racial reconciliation in America.

  • Curated by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi 
  • Organized by Cincinnati Museum Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the Women of Color Quilters Network.​

The exhibition is generously underwritten by Eileen Fisher, First Republic, a Committee of Honor, and the Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

The series Craft & Social Change in America is brought to you by:


“Thoughtful, sincere, inspiring, transformative!”
“It is rare to see such a marvelous harmony of social themes and artistic technique. Wonderful!”
“Everyone should see this exhibit - what we all could learn!”
“A provoking and powerful exhibit. Amazing!” 
“The quilts are beautiful, heartbreaking and an incredible representation of our history.” 
“Magnificent artistry and a powerful telling of a proud and painful history.” 
“The most powerful exhibit I've seen in a long time. It should travel the country and find a home in the Smithsonian.” 
“Amazing! A must see!!”