This historical presentation is a 1-hour, multi-media experience including PowerPoint slides, storytelling, and display of over a dozen beautifully hand-crafted quilt replicas, representing patterns and special stitching used over 200 years ago by abolitionists and fugitive slaves to signify escape routes to the North. Connie Martin shows how quilts were used to signal plans, warn of dangers, indicate how transport might occur, or who might help as “Friends” on the Underground Railroad. Based upon her mother’s book: Lizzie’s Story: A Slave Family’s Journey to Freedom, by Dr. Clarice Boswell, Connie tells the fascinating family stories of how these quilt codes were kept and used by her ancestors. You will learn the code meanings and interpretations that have been passed down to her, a 6th-generation descendant of captured African Slaves.
“Sometimes a quilt is just a quilt, other times it has hidden messages that helped freedom seekers escape to the North.” --Connie Martin
Connie Martin earned a BA from Illinois State University and a MA from Aurora University with a thesis in Integrating African American History in Educational Curriculums. A retired middle school Language Arts teacher of 32 years, 35-year Aqua Fitness Master Trainer, Senior Fitness Instructor, and mother of three sons, Connie finds joy in telling the secret codes and hidden messages in her family quilts her ancestors used over 200 years ago by abolitionists and fugitive slaves to signify escape routes to the North.