Quilt showcase in New Jersey tells African-American stories dating back generations

ByTom Kretschmer WPVI logo
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Quilt showcase tells African-American stories dating back generations
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Ralph Hunter says the showcase is a way for folks young and old to view the histories of their people and families.

NEWTONVILLE, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A new quilt showcase at the African-American Heritage Museum of Southern Jersey is telling stories that go back generations.

Ralph Hunter, of the African-American Heritage Museum, based in Newtonville, New Jersey, says it's a way for folks young and old to view the histories of their people and families.

Quilt making came out of a necessity to the early slaves from Africa as a way to keep warm and for extra clothes, says quiltmaker Doreen Mollette-Sullivan.

"They all have a story. My family's quilt goes back to 1800 all the way up to 2022. The different pictures depicting my family's history speaks volumes so the children that come after me can look at this and relate to it and their ancestors."

She says one of her favorite quilts is called Grandmother's Garden.

"This one was done by hand, and I went around and around and around so much I had to go to the hospital because my hand was so swollen. There are several hundred hexagons and in the middle is Queen Nefretiri. That's a favorite of mine because it was done by hand."

There will be an artist's reception on January 14 at the Newtonville location where the quiltmakers themselves will be on hand for a meet and greet.

To find out more information about the quilt showcase, please visit https://www.aahmsnj.org