Piecing Our History Together With Quilts

From May 1, 2021 through November 1, 2021, JCPL will celebrate the art of quilt making with workshops, presentations, scavenger hunts, and a community quilt project.

Just like books, quilts tell stories, mark momentous occasions, record history, and paint pictures of our lives. According to Connie Martin, MA, quilts may have helped guide some enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

Pre-Civil War Quilts: Secret Codes to Freedom on the Underground Railroad

In the virtual program Pre-Civil War Quilts: Secret Codes to Freedom on the Underground Railroad, Martin will share family stories about the secret codes stitched into quilts.

Her multi-media presentation will include a display of over a dozen hand-crafted quilt replicas of patterns and special stitching used over 300 years ago by abolitionists and fugitive slaves to signify escape routes to the North.

Please join us on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 6:00 PM on Zoom. Registration is required

Lizzie’s Story: A Slave Family’s Journey to Freedom

Martin is a 6th generation descendant of people who were captured in Africa and enslaved. Her mother, Dr. Clarice Cannon Boswell, was born and raised in Nicholasville. Martin based her presentation on her mother’s book, Lizzie’s Story: A Slave Family’s Journey to Freedom.

The JCPL Book Club invites you to join them for a discussion of Dr. Boswell’s book on May 27, 2021 at 6:00 PM on Zoom. Registration is required.

Registrants may check out a copy of the book at the Customer Service Desk.

About Connie Martin

Connie MartinMartin earned a BA from Illinois State University and an MA from Aurora University with a Thesis in Integrating African American History Lessons in educational curriculums. 

She is a member of the Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Speakers Bureau for 2021 and 2022. In a recent email, Martin wrote that she is excited to present in the city where her mother was raised and “near the area our ancestors thrived.”