In African American culture, quilts can carry great meaning. That is why The African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey, Inc. (AAHMSNJ) is presenting an exhibition of quilts by members of the Sewing Club from Rockland County, New York.
A reception for the artists was held on January 14 at the AAHMSNJ, Newtonville venue, located in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, 661 Jackson Road, Newtonville.
The quilts will be on display now through February 28.
“Hosting the Quilt Showcase during African American History Month lets us share the significance of the quilt to our history,” says Ralph Hunter, president and founder of the AAHMSNJ. “During slavery, it was against the law to teach an enslaved person to read or write. Other ways were found to communicate. The use of coded symbols on a quilt draped over a fence could warn of danger, tell of a clandestine prayer meeting by the river, or direct passengers on the Underground Railroad to the next ‘station.’ ”
The quilts on display leading up to and during Black History Month in Newtonville are examples of modern quilting by the members of the Sewing Club who are continuing the tradition of telling stories with bits of cloth. Doreen Mollette-Sullivan, organized the exhibit of colorful quilts with fellow quilters Frances Thomas, Ronald Porcher, Joan Raynor, Deseria Ramos, and Deborah Williams.
The AAHMSNJ, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization with museum locations in Atlantic City and Newtonville. Its mission is to showcase the accomplishments and impact of African Americans in South Jersey and around the country.
Admission to the museum is free, but donations are encouraged.
Visit aahmsnj.org for more information about exhibits, events and the Traveling Museum for schools, community organizations and businesses.