When quiltmaker Ozella McDaniels told Jacqueline Tobin of the Underground Railroad Quilt Code, it sparked Tobin to place the tale within the history of the Underground Railroad. Hidden in Plain View documents Tobin and Raymond Dobard's journey of discovery, linking Ozella's stories to other forms of hidden communication from history books, codes, and songs. Each quilt, which could be laid out to air without arousing suspicion, gave slaves directions for their escape. Ozella tells Tobin how quilt patterns like the wagon wheel, log cabin, and shoofly signaled slaves how and when to prepare for their journey. Stitching and knots created maps, showing slaves the way to safety.
The authors construct history around Ozella's story, finding evidence in cultural artifacts like slave narratives, folk songs, spirituals, documented slave codes, and children's' stories. Tobin and Dobard write that "from the time of slavery until today, secrecy was one way the black community could protect itself. If the white man didn't know what was going on, he couldn't seek reprisals." Hidden in Plain View is a multilayered and unique piece of scholarship, oral history, and cultural exploration that reveals slaves as deliberate agents in their own quest for freedom even as it shows that history can sometimes be found where you least expect it. --Amy Wan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Startling--intriguing."--The New York TimesSee all Editorial Reviews
This is a well written book regarding quilt patterns and their meanings.Published 19 days ago by Yolanda Cofield
I have not yet read the book, but based on the contradicting information out there on the subject I'm sure it will be of great interest. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lorraine P. Zigman
This story has been examined by experts in the field of textiles and the civil war. There is not even one fact in primary sources about the underground railroad to back this up. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nancy A. North-gates
I need this book to prove to the ignorant that the concept was an intellectual concept and not a choo-choo trainPublished 2 months ago by bluebellepie
This book is based on false information. Do your research and you will find that some of the patterns mentioned were not even created until the 20th century. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rose Scarlet
Excellent study on the underground Railroad. Found the quilt stories very interesting and will use some of the material to frame the book I'm currently working on.Published 3 months ago by Gary P. Chriske
I actually find I love the quilt how to books or art books better than reading the secret stories--it was interesting, but for me, I'd rather be out touching, buying and creating... Read morePublished 5 months ago by the real skinny