18 February 2014

Quilts served as "road map" to freedom for slaves -- Fact or Fiction?

Though one can get plenty of news available online, I still get a “print” newspaper which I can read while I eat my breakfast and have a cup of coffee.  I find I just “see” more of the newspapers content and it’s always fun when an article catches my eye.

This Sunday, the article “Artist: Quilts Guided Slaves” grabbed my attention.  What a fascinating read.  And, it’s something that could make sense ...

Because many slaves couldn’t read, their supporters came up with a “road map” of patterns they could rely on while traveling the Underground Railroad ...

This idea is similarly discussed in Did Quilts Hold Codes to the Underground Railroad? (National Geographic News)

You can learn a lot about the timeline of this topic in Betsy Ross redux: the Underground Railroad "Quilt Code".

Ignoring the controversy, an interesting element is that it reminded me of the "Underground Railroad" and the challenges faced by those enslaved and seeking freedom and those who helped them.  As we celebrate Black History Month, isn't being reminded of such history what this month is all about?

What do you think?  Is the idea of a quilt code plausible? Have you ever heard rumors of such?

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