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The Lynch Quilts Project

This issue dedicated to Mohammad Ali. Truly the greatest!
 
Summer 2016
(July, August, September)


Greetings All!
 
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful and relaxing summer. On the national front, the Equal Justice Initiative is building a national lynching memorial in Alabama! Wow! 
So happy to see this work toward community healing, memory and justice going to an entirely new level. Click
here to read information about the project. 
 
Things are continuing to grow and evolve to new spaces and places previously untouched. Over the last year, every state in the union has been touched the LQP through the website except for South Dakota. There have been more than 5,000 visitors with clicks from more than 75 different countries on every continent. Most importantly, we have won a grant through the Indiana Arts Commission, which will lead to the completion of Quilt III, A Partial Listing, and Quilt VI, To Be Determined.
 
I am stringing together the blocks into rows for Quilt VI then it will be off to be quilted. It too is a large quilt at approximately 12” x 12” feet. This thing is so large I have to haul it to other places to fully lay it out to see what is going on, as I haven’t space in my tiny studio to manage it. So expect to see photos of Quilt VI, To Be Determined no later than December 2016.
 
This is the quilt, where the children added an additional line to the messaging as they felt both the quilt and message were incomplete as it did not link to the current reality of America’s continued racial strife. As one student put it, “Our lives should be reflected too.” Thanks to Pam Tabor for jumping right in and making the 22 blocks so that the youth voice could be heard. The multi-generational impact begins when we can hand-off our work to the next generation to continue, long after we are dust and done.
 
To further grow youth voice, I am working with an elementary school to look and see how we can move the project forward and use it in the classroom. We’ll connect math, art and social studies together as students make their own blocks. I am scheduled so to speak to the third grade class where we’ll discuss what does it mean to be a civic-minded person, what is one thing we each can do to change our corner of the world.
 
With the awarding of the grant and now work commencing on Quilt V as well, the original 6 quilts will come to a close in terms of production in the next year. That seems like a daunting task given we’ve been working on these since 2002. And to those original 10 members of the LQP Guild, thanks for to continuing to hang in there, and for those that have come on board over these years, thanks to you all, as this would not be able to happen without your belief and dedication that we can change the world through art.  

We now have three additional quilts added to the series, which I am breaking up into Series I (original 6) and Series II respectively. Series II includes the newly added quilts, which explore the link between lynching, anti-blackness and state violence. I’ll reveal mock-ups for the other two in the next newsletter, as they are still forming in my head and sketches.

  • Quilt VII: All Around the World the Same Song
  • Quilt VIII: The Ties that Bind (formerly, All My Relations)
  • Quilt IX: 100 Years of Black Boyhood
 
There are still opportunities for the community to contribute to these new quilts in the following manners:
  • Fabric donations
  • Community quilting of final pieced top fabric donations
  • Simple piecing of blocks (Quilt VII only)
  • Story-telling to accompany the quilts
Finally, again thank you all for continuing to support the work. It would not be able to happen without you.

With gratitude,

LaShawnda



 
ABOVE: Example of a Quilt IV, To Be Determined, block by Master Quilter Otis Grove. There are 468 blocks with 40 distinctive quilter patterns. More than 80% were gathered from quilters across the nation!

BELOW: Blocks being strung together in rows 21 blocks long.



COMMENTARY: Policing and Black in America
 
The last couple of years of really put into focus tense relationship between black, brown and red communities and the police. Many would argue that, but keep in mind, the modern American police force as we know it today ROOTS are heavily connected to slavery and the on-going control of poor and populations of color. Given this understanding, what we see today is a continuation of more than 400 years of oppression. It’s this history colliding with our current reality. Here are a few videos and articles to better acquaint ourselves with this history, so we can look at ways to reverse course our current reality.
 
As such, the past week really put into context what it means when African-Americans interact with law enforcement from a very personalized perspective.
 
Incident I: Kiddie Football
This past weekend, I was attending a kiddie football game and it was pouring down raining. The rules of the league are such that whenever it thunders, the game must stop for 30 minutes and then resume. At this point we were literally 2+ hours into this game due to delays and game stoppage.
 
Needless to say, everyone is tired and this only adds to the lunatic behavior that seems to overtake many parents at these games. Parents are screaming at the kids, running back and forth up and down the sidelines, a coach threw his clip board on the field and talking smack about the other teams.  Two fathers get into it and have a few words because one is upset with his son’s team performance. Said father had already berated his third grade son so much on the field that the child was crying. Said father was wearing his law enforcement uniform and has his gun.
 
The smack talking escalates and other parents step in to break the two up. Even as the other man is walking away, cop dad pursues this individual and escalates the confrontation. He then starts screaming I’m happy to take you to jail for this. The other father says, for what over a football game. Commotion and the cop puts his hand on his gun as if to draw it while threatening the other father. Keep in mind there are at least 25 kids 7-9 years old watching this entire scenario from the teams, not to mention all the little siblings in the middle of this chaos.
 
Incident II: The Cops and Ice Cream Video
In this video cops pull over people and give them ice cream instead of tickets. This is not funny and clearly shows the lack of understanding many have about the relationship of police force with black communities. Don’t get me wrong. I have needed the services of cops in the past and in my community work, work with many fine police officers and have several in my family and friends.
 
However, in general, as a black woman in America I cringe every time I see those flashing lights in my mirror or a cop car pulls up behind me. I’ll go so far as to turn down a street and if they follow, slow down, pull over, etc. so that they there is distance between us. Like it or not, interactions with police and judicial system is typically not a positive experience for blacks in America. And while there may be many good individual cops, the system of justice in the country is unequal.  See the video and extensive commentary here.
 
A variety of articles have come out on the topic of police state violence and the history of lynching. 

As we move forward and continue to have this difficult national and local dialogues, it is imperative that we also look at the history of how we got to here to better find ways to navigate and build new roads towards different futures.

- LaShawnda


 


 
      Yeah, I guess we are crazy! And I'm okay with that! Stay Crazy!

 


Make sure to shine your light everyday!
 

PROJECT UPDATE


Quilt I, Her Name was Laura Nelson, resting and gearing up to travel again. 

Quilt II, RedRum Summer 1919, in Paducah, KY until July 2016. Won second place in American Quilt Society exhibition in Paducah. Returned home a few weeks back and is resting before gearing up to travel again. 

Quilt III, A Partial Listing, is on hiatus until Quilt IV is completed.

Quilt IV, To Be Determined, Sewing has commenced and we should be finished piecing the top by end of Summer 2016.

Quilt V, The Making Quilt, Otis Grove and the group is starting to sew.

Quilt VI, Memoria: In Progress,
 will be exhibited in California this fall. 

Quilt VII, All Around the World the Same Song, still forming and making itself in my mind. As soon as pen hits paper and the community interacts with the idea, it will birth itself.

Quilt VIII, The Ties That Bind, its launched and moving. Recently renamed from All My Relations. Remixing on how to move the project forward.

Quilt IX, 100 Years of Black Boyhood, still forming itself mentally. As soon as pen hits paper and the community interacts with the idea, it will birth itself. 

 

 

PLEASE ACCEPT MY APOLOGY

I apologize if you are receiving this newsletter in error. A recent technical glitch required me to rebuild the database, which meant combining multiple email accounts, listserves and handwritten sign-in sheets. I have multiple emails without names attached.  As such, I am sure I missed a few as I tried to delete as many as possible, before it became kinda exhausting given there are hundreds upon hundreds of supporters. So if you are here and not by choice, I apologize. Please simply unsubscribe. 

ARTICLES ABOUT LQP

WTHR-13
Indy Reacts to the Quilt
Indianapolis Recorder
Clutch Mag On-Line
Madame Noire
Maybe Someone Should Write that Down
Beautiful Horror of History

TEDx INDIANPOLIS

 

Creative Power for Social Change!

 

Fighting for a racially healed and just future, since 2002.
 

Copyright © 2016 The Lynch Quilts Project, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
LaShawnda Crowe Storm
The Lynch Quilts Project
P.O. Box 90348
Indianapolis, IN 46290

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