701 Cocoa Ave, Hershey, PA 17033

(717) 533-6555 library@derrytownship.org

The Underground Railroad in Quilts?


Sunday, October 22, at 2:00 p.m.

Register online, or call the Circulation desk at (717) 533-6555.

The Underground Railroad, the secret paths traveled by African-Americans who escaped slavery in the South, is well documented by historians. With the aid of “conductors” like Harriet Tubman and shelter “stations” in the homes of sympathetic Northerners and free African Americans, thousands of slaves made their way to freedom in the North and in Canada. Several well-known quilt patterns are said to have been used by people involved with the Underground Railroad to pass along information in code to help guide the escaping African-Americans on their way to freedom. But does historical research support these claims?
Commonwealth Speaker Cassandra Gunkel’s hands-on talk and demonstration will address the ongoing debate. With the use of authentic 19th century quilts and modern reproductions, Gunkel will explore some of the ways in which women may have stitched their politics, history and mythology in quilt designs. She will share her knowledge of the lives of women who captured our histories and stories in their creative work. Cassandra lives in Bucks County and holds a PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania.

Registration for this program sponsored by the Friends of the Hershey Public Library begins September 22.