Underground Railroad Quilt Exhibit at Concord College November 14-30, 2000
Athens, W.Va. - Bluefield State College and Concord College are co-hosting the highly-acclaimed exhibition, Underground Railroad Secret Quilt Messages, according to Bluefield State College President Robert Moore and Concord College President Jerry Beasley. Bluefield State College will be announcing the location and hours for the exhibition, as well as scheduled lectures by Serena Wilson in a separate announcement.
The quilt exhibition, as well as African-American artifacts will be on display at the Concord College Center Cafeteria Annex (2nd floor), Monday through Friday, November 14-30, 2000, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (excluding Thanksgiving holiday, November 22, 23, 24).
Serena Wilson, an expert on African-American history will be delivering two one-hour lectures on the historical significance of the quilts and artifacts: the first will be at 7:00 p.m., Monday, November 13, 2000 in the College Center Ballroom, the second will be at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 14 in the same location. The quilt exhibition and lectures are free to the public.
“Two student organizations and various staff members have stepped up to the plate to assist with staffing the exhibit,” stated Debbie Curry, interim student affairs director. “Students with the Black Student Union and the International Students Club are volunteering their time to keep the exhibit open. The Student Government Association is also co-sponsoring the project. We are excited that the exhibit is at Concord and that we have this kind of support from our students and employees. This exhibition gives us an opportunity to meet and work with staff at BSC, and we are proud to be able to work together and make this type of exhibition available to residents in southern West Virginia. ”
Judy Mwamuka, Black Student Union president, stated that, “The quilts are significant symbols of African-American heritage. They are important aspects of the Underground Railroad that show the ingenuity of the slaves and the great lengths they went to to gain freedom.”
“Quilts have always been a part of the American tradition,” stated Alex Andonov, president of the International Students Club. “For African-Americans in the 19th century, quilts meant much more than throws on a bed. They were an expression of spirit for within the quilt patterns and colors existed a secret language that expressed a way to freedom. We are truly fortunate to have Mrs. Wilson and the McDaniel Secret Quilt Code Gallery exhibit visit Concord College.”
Representatives from both colleges finalized arrangements for the exhibit and lecture including: Concord College President Jerry Beasley, Interim Student Affairs Director Debbie Curry, Director of English and Language Training Program Nancy Ellison and Black Student Union Advisor Diane Grych. Bluefield State College was represented by President Robert Moore, Vice President for Student Affairs Juanita Loundmon-Clay, Director of Title III Felica Blanks and Director of Multicultural Affairs Ronando Holland.
For more information about the quilt exhibition at Concord, please contact Nancy Ellison at 1-304-384-6086.
Photo: (Back row) Nancy Ellison, Debbie Curry, Juanita Loundmon-Clay, Felica Blanks, (Front row) Jerry Beasley, Robert Moore