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African American Culture

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Presentation on theme: "African American Culture"— Presentation transcript:

1 African American Culture
The Underground Railroad Quilts & Codes

2 Double Wedding Ring: This pattern did not exist until after the American Civil War. However, the Double Irish Chain pattern did and is believed to have symbolized the chains of slavery. When a slave saw this quilt displayed, it meant the rings or shackles of slavery could be removed. When marrying, slaves did not exchange wedding rings; they “jumped the broom”.

3 Broken Dishes: A symbol referring to a signal that involved broken crockery at some future landmark.
Rose Wreath: A symbol that indicated someone had died on the journey. It was an African tradition to leave floral wreaths on the graves of deceased.

4 Flying Geese: A signal to follow the direction of the flying geese as they migrated north in the spring. Most slaves escaped during the spring; along the way, the flying geese could be used as a guide to find water, food and places to rest. The quilt maker had flexibility with this pattern as it could be used in any quilt. It could also be used as a compass where several patterns are used together. North Star Copy this design here.

5 North Star: A signal with two messages--one to prepare to escape and the other to follow the North Star to freedom in Canada. North was the direction of traffic on the Underground Railroad. This signal was often used in conjunction with the song, “Follow the Drinking Gourd”, which contains a reference to the Big Dipper constellation. Two of the Big Dipper’s points lead to the North Star. Monkey Wrench: A signal to gather all the tools required for the fleeing slave’s journey, meaning the physical tools, as well as the mental and spiritual ones.

6 Britches: A symbol indicating the escaping slave needed to dress as a free person.
Crossroads: A symbol referring to Cleveland, Ohio, which was the main crossroads with several routes to freedom. On a less literal level, the term “crossroads” also means reaching a turning point in one’s life, where a choice must be made and then carry on. Bear's Paw: Follow a mountain trail, out of view, and then follow an actual bear’s trail which would lead to water and food.

7 Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson (Atheneum, 2002)
Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson (Atheneum, 2002). This historic chronicle traces the escape of a group of slaves and their eventual rescue on the Underground Railroad. Told in prose from the perspective of an adolescent girl, the story explains how quilts were used to mark safehouses. “In most quilts, center squares are red for home and earth,” but a quilt with a blue center signals a house that hides runaways. Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney (Scholastic, 2000). Using simple poetic language, illuminated by brilliant photographs, this is a remarkable book of affirmation for African American children. Photographic portraits and striking descriptions of varied skin tones, hair texture, and eye color convey a strong sense of pride in a unique heritage. Shades of Black is a joyous celebration of children, as well as a gracious invitation to readers of all ages and cultures to explore and embrace the rich diversity among African Americans. Shoofly: A symbol that possibly identifies a person who can guide and help; a person who helped slaves escape along the Underground Railroad and who knew the codes.

8 Sailboat: A signal that either a body of water was nearby or that boats were available.

9 African Textiles

10 Compose “quilt” from best work this week.
African American Culture & TU “Catch the Spirit” Exhibition M T W Th F K Bkgd Underground RR/ Quilts – Quilt Codes WATERCOLOR PREVIOUS DESIGN Create “Quite Place” quilt Square Compose “quilt” from best work this week. Construct Texturized design. Watercolor bkgs. Color, crayons Color Homework: Texture Collection: Sailboat 2 Create “Quite Place” quilt Square 2 Color, color pencils Homework: Texture Collection: Flying Geese 2 Create “Quite Place” quilt Square 3 Color, crayons Homework: Texture Collection: North Star 2 Create “Quite Place” quilt Square 4 Color, pastels Color theory: Value: neutrals – Texture HW Create “Quite Place” quilt Square 5 Color, crayons 6th Grade Quilt Legacy Proposal Symbols 'n Scents Lab research: plant of fav scent Sketch it, 3 ways: Research skills upped Critique student work from wk:mount and install new stu work WELL Art Criticism Worksheet, Clean- up, firing prep. Homework: create “My Spirit” painting proposal. Create “Quite Place” quilt Square 6 Compose TU Catch SP pkg toDay - take Last Purim Masks to SM J museum b4 5 Art Club After School - gets GT pkg 4 miss last week Distribute U RR Package 6 next week:Create quilt “mock up” for clay legacy integrating class QP & scent sketches. GT/AI Compose U RR Quilt Project-


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