Downtown Library Features Quilt

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

YDL is pleased to share a lovely work of art with our community. “Up From Africa to America” is a unique quilted wall hanging which depicts the African American experience from slavery to modern times. This historical story is told through pictures woven into a hand-sewn quilt which incorporates fabric that came from Africa and includes many professionally transferred images.

Ms. Pennia Ford, an Ypsilanti resident since 1995, created this work of art. Her quilting projects deal with family, country, and history. She has made many other quilts, including one depicting the generations in her own family and another illustrating black women who have worked with United States presidents. Ms. Ford is a former reading specialist and in that capacity taught teachers in Belgium, Israel, Egypt, Malawi, and Gambia.

The quilt has been designed to move through the African-American experience from its origin to the current day. The bottom of the quilt depicts the African experience before being exploited as slaves. Moving towards the top of the quilt transports the viewer through the years of slavery, then to more recent history, with images representing African-Americans and their contributions to research, education, and commerce.

The wall hanging can be seen at the YDL-Michigan Avenue library, 229 West Michigan Avenue through January 30, 2009.

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