Pre-Civil War Quilts: Secret Codes to Freedom on the Underground Railroad (virtual)

Pre-Civil War Quilts: Secret Codes to Freedom on the Underground Railroad (virtual)

Join Connie Martin as she tells the stories passed down to her great-grandmother Lizzie of how her family survived the antebellum period through trials and tribulations, and how they used quilts that contained hidden codes and secret messages to assist abolitionists–white and black–to guide enslaved people to freedom through the Underground Railroad to Canada.  During this presentation, Connie shares eighteen different quilt patterns in replica quilts and refers to a book her mother, Dr. Clarice Boswell, wrote about their family called Lizzie’s Story: A Slave Family’s Journey to Freedom , she created and performed this family presentation for 16 years. Her words are the foundation of the presentation, and currently being made into a movie, “Freedom Code.”

Connie Martin is a retired middle school Language Arts teacher of 32 years, 35-year Aqua Fitness Master Trainer, Senior Fitness Instructor, and mother of three sons. She earned a BA from Illinois State University, and an MA from Aurora University with a Thesis in Integrating African American History in Educational Curriculums. She is an Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speaker, 2021-2024. Martin finds joy in telling the secret codes and hidden messages used over 200 years ago by abolitionists and freedom seekers to signify escape routes to the North—and in the family quilts of her ancestors. Such shows how quilts were used to signal plans, warn of dangers, indicate how transport might occur, or who might help as “Friends” on the Underground Railroad.

Please register; Zoom links will go out before the event.

Co-sponsored by the Avon Library, Avon Historical Society, and Avon Senior Center.

This program is 6pm EST, 5pm CST.