Skip to Main Content

Binding Us Together: Quilts of the African Diaspora: Articles & Essays

The purpose of this guide is to highlight resources related to quilting in the United States, on the African continent, and throughout the African Diaspora. Guide by Tracy Crawford.

Selected Articles

Academic Search Premier

Benberry, Cuesta. “Woven into History.” American Visions, vol. 8, no. 6, Dec. 1993, p. 14.

Johnson, Mark M. “Contemporary African-American FOLK QUILTS.” Arts & Activities, vol. 138, no. 4, Dec. 2005, pp. 22–24.

Shanahan, Maureen G. “Seeing History: Malaika Favorite’s Furious Flower Poetry Quilt Painting and Pan-African Memory.” International Journal of Art & Design Education, vol. 29, no. 2, June 2010, pp. 96–102.


Ethnic NewsWatch

"The Gift of Quilting." New York Amsterdam News, Feb 2007, p. 22.

Dobard, Raymond G. "Knowing Hands: Binding Heritage in African American Quilts." The New Crisis Nov 2001: 47-50.

Okeowo, Alexis. "Harlem Quilters on Display." New York Amsterdam News, Jul 2005, p. 18. 


Gale Primary Resources

"Cuesta Benberry." Times, 16 Oct. 2007, p. 55. The Times Digital Archive

Bernstein, Stacey. "Women Artists." NOW NYC News, January-February 1990. Archives of Sexuality and Gender.



Davis, Olga Idriss. “The Rhetoric of Quilts: Creating Identity in African-American Children's Literature.” African American Review, vol. 32, no. 1, 1998, pp. 67–76.

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. “Anatomy of a Quilt: The Gees' Bend Freedom Quilting Bee.” Anthropology Today, vol. 19, no. 4, 2003, pp. 15–21.


New York Times

Brown, Patricia L. "A Sense of Place, Stitched: Quilts that Tell Tales of Oakland." New York Times (1923-Current file), Feb 03 2016, p. 2.

Brown, Patricia L. "From the Bottomlands, Soulful Stitches." New York Times (1923-Current file), Nov 21 2002, p. 2.

Schwendener, Martha. "The Practical Art of Quilting: From Plain Patterns to Complex Lore, African-American Women Binding Warmth and History." New York Times (1923-Current file), Nov 16 2014, p. 1.


ProQuest Research Library

Joan, Seeman Robinson. "Carolyn Mazloomi's Stories in Cloth." American Craft Apr 1998: 40-3. ProQuest. Web. 3 June 2020.

McCray, Donyelle. "Quilting the Sermon: Homiletical Insights from Harriet Powers." Religions 9.2 (2018): 46. ProQuest. Web. 4 June 2020.

Moore, Jeania Ree V. "African American Quilting and the Art of being Human: Theological Aesthetics and Womanist Theological Anthropology." Anglican Theological Review 98.3 (2016): 457-78.


Collection Highlights

Everyday Use book cover.

Everyday Use

Alice Walker's early story, "Everyday Use," has remained a cornerstone of her work. Her use of quilting as a metaphor for the creative legacy that African Americans inherited from their maternal ancestors changed the way we define art, women's culture, and African American lives. By putting African American women's voices at the center of the narrative for the first time, "Everyday Use" anticipated the focus of an entire generation of black women writers. This casebook includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of Walker's life, an authoritative text of "Everyday Use" and of "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens," an interview with Walker, six critical essays, and a bibliography.

Mrs. Hunter, Quilter

Picture of of Mrs. Hunter quilting from the National Archives.

Mrs. Hunter is Well-known on John's Island
for the Beautiful Quilts She Sews

Environmental Protection Agency
National Archives

"Friendship Quilt"

Picture of Friendship Quilt Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

Friendship Quilt
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
Creator: Martha Custalow Taylor