Mrs. Richard’s African American Literature class recently began a quilting unit as part of a study of African American literacy under slavery. Since literacy laws made it illegal for slaves to learn to read and write (and illegal to teach them), alternate literacies were developed in the form of quilting and musical codes. These codes were used to communicate on the Underground Railroad.
The class is now developing their own quilt code based on the principles of equality and will work together to produce a class quilt. To begin their project, they met with Mrs. Schultz, who is an experienced quilter. At their first meeting, Mrs. Schultz explained the process and the timeline while showing students examples of her work.