Submitted by Dianne McD with the help of Rosalie Movius and Sheridan Collins.
This month brings the third annual Portland Textile Month. PTM aims to engage the textile community in a month-long festival of events. The theme for this year’s events is Repair and Reuse.
As part of PTM, the Oregon Historical Society will display the Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt. While Portland was dealing with it’s issues of racism within the city, 15 African-American women from the area came together in 1974 to decide which historical events and success stories to include in the 30-block quilt. This quilt is owned by the OHS and has not been displayed since 1997.
The following is an excerpt from a piece written by Sheridan Collins about the quilt and it’s makers:
Overall, the quilt’s message is an uplifting one. Despite their collective history of disappointments, the makers of the Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt decided to stress citizenship rather than bitterness over racism. They sought to look at the road ahead showing their pride in country, race and community, while honoring the best of what was past. This beautiful textile is a marker of time and place but can also serve as a road map to Portland citizens for repairing racial divides and working in common for a bright future.
I have included a link to her entire article. It’s a wonderful story of a purpose driven by the collective determination of these women to document their heritage. It is also a very worth-while read.Sheridan Collins Article
The quilt will be on display from October 1 through November 2, 2020. For more information about the display and about Portland Textile Month, just click on the button. Portland Textile Month
Thank you, Rosalie, for bringing this to our attention.