Monday, February 08, 2016

The Intergenerational African-American Quilting Workshop at the Brooklyn Public Library

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

This week’s cool idea is the Brooklyn Public Library's intergenerational African American quilting workshop, which honors the historical significance of quilting in the days before the Civil War.

(Check our archives.)

The African American quilting tradition dates back to the U.S. antebellum period, but has deeper roots in the West African textile arts.

Youths are taught about this history while learning a useful skill from older adult volunteers.

Some quilts were created out of necessity, while others were encoded with secret messages and symbols–African Adinkra symbols popular amongst the Akan of Ghana, West Africa–to aide enslaved Africans in their escape from chattel slavery.

During a time period when it was illegal for African Americans to read and write, other quilts were created to record family history and use as tools during storytelling.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group. We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.

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