Quilt a Well-Used Remnant
Of the Early Years of Gospel
Old photos, concert posters, record covers, sheet music-those are thingsyou'd expect at a museum exhibit on gospel music.
But there is something unexpected, too, at an ongoing retrospective of
"good news music" at the Billy Graham Museum in Wheaton: A quilt.
Made from pieces of discarded clothes and cotton seed sacks, the quilt is the largest piece in the exhibit "The Gospel Sound, 1940s-1960s."
The blanket, made in 1947 by Flora Stokes, served as a cover for a parade of traveling black singers who sought shelter at Stokes' home in
Orangeburg. S.C. Barred from whites-only hotels, they sought a break from sleeping in their usual refuge - their cars.
Lodging in the home, known informally as "Stokes Hotel," sometimes meant the only thing between the singers and the floor was the quilt itself.
It was a tough life for gospel singers but also, as the exhibit - portrays it, a happy life. It was a period when, as the display's subtitle puts it, "Good News Music was Golden."
Examining the quilt, one reads the accompanying passage on life at the Stokes Hotel.
The Chicago Sun Times Newspaper
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Books on Quilts:
Signs and Symbols: African Images in African-American Quilts
by Maude Sothwell Wahlman
Maude Sothwell Wahlman's published research on African
and African-American art includes six academic books,
eight exhibition catalogs, and thirty articles since 1972.
This is her first popular book. She has shared her work
with popular audiences in more than sixty invited lectures around
the United States, and is a consultant to Hollywood and television films.
To order this item complete and email the form on the
Main Order Page
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A Communion of the Spirits:
African-American Quilters, Preservers, and Their Stories
by Roland L. Freeman
A Communion of the Spirits represents the first national
survey of African-American quiltmakers. It is also a personal record
of how Roland L. Freeman's life has intertwined
with the world of quiltmaking for almost sixty
years--"as an African-American male; as a child who was deeply
influenced by the cultural traditions and magical
powers of quilts; and, for more than three decades, as a photographer
Shows and Exhibits of "The Gospel Sound" Display and Quilts
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||City & State||Date/Year||Quilts|
Matheson Historical Center||Gainesville, FL||Oct-Dec 1994||2 quilts|
|Santa Fe Community College - President's Area
||Gainesville, FL|| Jan-Feb 1995||1 quilt|
|Santa Fe Community College - The Starke Campus
||Starke, FL||March 1995||1 quilt|
1st United Methodist Church||Gainesville, FL||April 1995||1 quilt|
Fort White Middle School||Fort White, FL||May 1995||1 quilt|
The Rock Church School||Gainesville, FL||May 1995||1 quilt|
Florida Folklife Festival||White Springs, FL||May 14 - June 1995||1 quilt|
Alachua County Fair||Gainesville, FL||Oct 1995||1 quilt|
The Billy Graham Archives and Museum||Wheaton, Ill||Dec 1995 - March 1996||1 quilt|
Millhopper Branch of the Alachua County Public Library||Gainesville, FL||April 1996||1 quilt|
The United Church of Hyde Park||Chicago, Ill||April 1996|
Newberry Middle School||Newberry, FL||May 1996||1 quilt|
Downtown Branch of the Alachua County Public Library||Gainesville, FL||June 1996||1 quilt|
Micanopy Substance Abuse Center and Senior Citizens Group||Micanopy, FL||July - August 1996||2 quilts|
Downtown Branch of the Miami Public Library||Miami, FL||Jan-March, 1997||1 quilt|
African American Museum||Dallas, TX||May-July 1997||5 quilts made in the early 1900's|
Assemblies of God College||Lakeland, FL||Oct 1997-Jan 1998||2 quilts|
United Church of Hyde Park||Chicago, ILL||April 1998||3 quilts 6 Dolls|
Back to Africa: 1880-1920 Marcus Garvey Movement||Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Tallahassee, Jacksonville||June 1998 December 2000||1 quilt made 1917|
North Central Florida Traveling Exhibit||St.Petersburg,|
|Several 1920 African American Dolls|
|Three prisons also hosted displays in 1996,1997, and 1998|