“Freedom Quilting Bee is a modern success story about people cooperating, about women who work hard to make their dreams come true. It is a story about poverty, civil rights, folk art and crafts in rural Alabama, about caring humans who became involved to help one another.” From The Alabama Review of The Freedom Quilting Bee by Nancy Callahan.
“The fingers, the hands, the care, the love and the skill with which a Freedom quilt has been brought into being represent the Southern black woman at her finest hour.”
Freedom Quilting Bee Legacy is a relatively new organization compared to the original FQB, which was established in 1966 during the tumultuous times of the Civil Rights Movement.
Freedom Quilting Bee Legacy was created to ensure the heroic, historic, innovative, artistic and incredible odds-beating work of the women of the original FQB isn’t lost to history. But, this is not all! Our mission is multi-layered:
- To celebrate and teach about the work and accomplishments of those women (and men) past, present and future, who made the Bee such a powerful artistic and community force.
- To offer real economic opportunities for a new generation of quilt makers and artisans.
- To provide solutions to community needs, such as Internet access and voter registration for those who otherwise couldn’t access it.
- To advance our plans to draw tourism to the area and offer a deeper experience of the FQB Legacy history and current activities, with shops, lodging, classes and interactive exhibits.
- To preserve the past and evolve into the future by creating jobs, building wealth and teaching life skills to enhance our community.
Just as the original Freedom Quilting Bee was a juggernaut for change in women’s lives, families’ futures and the community at large, Freedom Quilting Bee Legacy has broad and powerful goals for its future.
Economic opportunity and personal dignity for black women are at the heart of our vision. We plan to develop the property here in Alberta, Alabama to draw tourism, historians and textile fans. In the future, we envision:
- A café and gift shop, cabins for rent (there is currently no lodging in the area) and housing for artists and workshop instructors and participants.
- Studio space for painting and music.
- Workshops and classrooms where our local artists can teach their skills to new generations of children who can learn about the proud history of their great grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and sisters.
- A library and technology lab (the nearest library right now is 35 miles away).
- An event center.
- A walking trail to promote basic low impact exercising to contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
- Events and celebrations, such as weddings, reunions and more, being held on this rich and historic Blackbelt soil.