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The Lynch Quilts Project

This issue dedicated to those ready to fight for social justice and human rights to return back to a progressive path in 2020.
Special Edition: Election 2016
(October, November, December) 

Greetings All!

I just wanted to connect, as I felt it necessary to say something now rather than later. Although, my voice is just one of many I think reminding people of the power of art is necessary right now.

As such, we will begin this response with celebration.Thanks to bad ass quilter Trish Williams, 
Quilt VI: Failed State . . . TBD was completed today.
This quilt explores the hypocritical and political framework that allowed lynching to thrive in our country. Seems fitting it would be finished now right after such a divisive election that endorsed racism, sexism, fascism, war, violence and restrictions on freedom of the press. After 468 blocks completed by people all over the nation, 6 years to sew, 13 years stewing as an idea, we are done. A more full explanation of the quilt will be available in upcoming Fall  2016 newsletter, as well as more detailed photos and an excerpt from Ms. Williams.


It been two days since the elections. I’ve needed this time to process what has happened to form words.

During this time, I have been attending an
Undoing Racism Workshop, spending this time going through the entire exploration of white supremacy, historical racism and how we got to here in general. ARGH! But it is actually through that workshop that I was able to channel many things.
While disappointed and mildly tense during this about the elections, especially for the 7 young ones in my family off to college in hostile territories without familial support and protection, for my Muslim family and friends and how the act of covering their hair makes them a target, I cover my hair often as well. And about the general level of violence that has been unleashed across the nation in less than 48 hours.
(People Share Frightening Images In The Aftermath Of Trump’s Victory and Donald Trump's victory followed by wave of hate crime attacks against minorities across US - led by his supporters)

With that said, I AM NOT SHOCKED by the election.
America has once again stayed in line with its historical tendencies. Whenever there has been progressive movement, especially for people of color, then it is immediately followed by a backlash.
We can think of Reconstruction Era after the Civil War, the result was the rise of the Klu Klux Klan, whose rhetoric has been used heavily by the Tea Party.  This white-lash lead to the destruction of dozens of black townships across the nation, as well as lies at the root of much lynching.
The annihilation of Rosewood, FL and Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK are just a few examples of this sad and horrifying history of America’s home grown form of terrorism. Below are a few articles exploring these histories.
If you’ve been keeping up with The Lynch Quilts Project, then you’ll remember we visited Tulsa, OK back in 2012 for the John Hope Franklin National Symposium on Racial Reconciliation to present
Quilt I, Her Name was Laura Nelson. Click here and here and here to revisit that journey with us. One hundred years later and I could still feel the mark of trauma upon this community. That Tulsa was marked by this terrible history in many ways. Spiritually the area has a great sadness hanging in the air. Visually nearly the entire area has been mowed down and a highway built over it adding insult to injury as if this never, ever happened and these people and their community was a myth.
My network of folks had reactions across the board: 

Black women I know felt extra, extra vulnerable. Not only would we now have to be more vigilant due to the potential rise in racial tensions, but also we now have a president that has proven not only his complete racists view points, but low regard for women. This is the world of Laura Nelson where blatant racism and sexism intersect. Given the history of Black women and how their bodies have been abused and coveted at the same time, this is has made my Spidey senses on notice to be extra aware. From slavery forward, black women have been vulnerable to predatory behavior and unsavory depictions, which have skewed and created stereotypical views on how black women’s sexuality is to be viewed.

My great-grandmother often quoted how her father was proud his wife “didn’t have to work for the white people.” She was safe from their hands. From slavery forward, black women have always been sexually vulnerable. I, myself, will begin keeping track to see if there is a rise in both sexual assaults and racial attacks. When the elected “leader” of your country won being openly racist and sexist, you can guarantee some are going to take this as a que that they too can be as vile as he and begin mimicking his behavior. Learn more about this history through these two articles. Quite a few had their proverbial bubble busted. These past few days have been full of tears. Many thought Barack Obama was proof that our world had changed. Nope. The world has only been further revealed. If you have been paying attention to the racial climate in the country since literally the day after the election of our current POTUS, then apart of you has been waiting for the good ole’ boy America to reveal its true face. Well, here it is. Donald Trump is the symptom of the systemic racism of America. He didn’t bring it out, he just validated what was always there always seething under the skin of the red, white and blue.

Many were upset, but ready to get back to doing the real work of removing this blight on humanity from office in 2020, to take the racial, human and social justice fights to every corner of their communities.  There is a time of mourning, but now also is the time for fighting. Take your time, a few days or even a week or two. But by January 2017, be ready to fight.

Check out these articles for inspiration:
But my favorite response comes from Dr. Boyce Watkins:
  • “While many of my friends were fearful and felt that the world was coming to an end, I simply said, "The only people who are capable of controlling the future of the black community are black people.

    The fact is that we've had presidents who were members of the KKK and we survived.  We've had presidents who've openly supported slavery, and we survived that too.  

    However, my belief is that we are capable of doing more than simply surviving.  Instead, we can thrive, elevate, win, compete, get ahead and build one of the most powerful communities on this earth if we make moves right now to build the black nation we desire. 
Well said, but we’ve built those communities before and didn’t pay attention to the world around us or try to find ways to dismantle the systems of oppression. We must do the heavy lifting of dismantling racism. Work such as The Lynch Quilts Project are a key component to that fight.

here for a list of resources on race justice and race relations training.
With that said, I hope that those of you that have followed this journey from the beginning, joined us along the way these past 14 years or are looking to see how you can help. All are welcomed regardless of background, creed and skill level. The desire to use art to transform the world is what is required. My parting words come from two very different sources.

On Staying Sane
"When People get involved in a long conflict, such as a strike or a civil rights fight; and the pressure increases each day; there is a deep need for spiritual advice. Without it, we see families crumble, leadership weaken, and hard workers grow tired." Cesar Chavez

Moral of the Story: Make sure to get your support systems in place so you can hang in there for the long haul.

On Doing Our Work:
"Your work is not to drag the world kicking and screaming into a new awareness. Your job is to simply do your work... Sacredly, secretly, and silently... and those with eyes to see and ears to hear will respond." - The Arcturians
Moral of the Story: Roll-up your sleeves, start working or continue the work you’ve started.

On the Role of Artists:
"No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear: In times of dread, artists must never choose to remain silent." - Toni Morrison

Moral: Art for creative social change. Click
to read the entire article.

Of all my encounters, my heart was heaviest for my elders who have been towing the little red justice wagons for decades. Especially for a colleague that has been fighting the civil rights fight for nearly half a century. She felt her entire life’s work had been for naught. I explained to her that no; that wasn't true. That her work had paved the way for the work we were doing now. That this election was a hiccup and shows us the type of work that must be next. That she had done the heavy lifting for decades and now it is our time to carry on and hand it off to the generation after us, to join forces across a multi-generational platform and become a fist of justice to beat back hate.

Nice speech.

She still cried.

But I will hold fast to my belief.
So, let’s fight like hell for the next 4 years to ensure that both Trump and Pence are one term in the oval office.

Stay safe out there and look out for each other in this strange new world.


Make sure to shine your light everyday!


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

Quilt II, RedRum Summer 1919,  resting and gearing up for travel.

Quilt III, A Partial Listing, is on hiatus until January 2017.

Quilt IV, Failed Stated . . . TBD,  is completed as of November 2016.

Quilt V, The Making Quilt, we took a trip to the Cincinnati Museum of Art last year and then this fall a fabric was dyed for it. Moving forward in early 2017. 

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.

Quilt VIII, The Ties That Bind, its launched and moving. Recently renamed from All My Relations.

Quilt IX, Angles in America, still forming and making itself in my mind and requires additional partnerships we are exploring.



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. 


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



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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