“An American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery” with author Rachel May

Tuesday, January 117:00—8:00 PMVirtual ProgramNewburyport Public LibraryNewburyport Public Library, 94 State Street, Newburyport, MA, 01950

The Newburyport Public Library, in collaboration with several other area libraries, is happy to welcome Dr. Rachel May for a presentation of her book, An American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery. Following the trail left by an unfinished quilt, this illuminating saga examines slavery from the cotton fields of the South to the textile mills of New England– and the humanity behind it.

May’s book explores the far reach of slavery, from New England to the Caribbean, the role it played in the growth of mercantile America, and the bonds between the agrarian south and the industrial north in the antebellum era–all through the discovery of a remarkable quilt. While studying objects in a textile collection, she opened a veritable treasure-trove: a carefully folded, unfinished quilt made of 1830’s-era fabrics, its backing containing fragile, aged papers that mentioned “shuger”, “rum”, and “West Indies”. The quilt top sent May on a journey to piece together the story of the women behind it– both enslaved and free.

This program will be held on Zoom. Register HERE or by calling 978-465-4428 x242.

May is the author of Quilting with a Modern Slant, a 2014 Library Journal and Amazon.com Best Book of the Year. She is an assistant professor at Northern Michigan University. See more information about her HERE.

This program is made possible by the collaboration of the following libraries: Newburyport Public Library, Billerica Public Library, Portsmouth Public Library, Boxford Town Library, Langley-Adams Library in Groveland, Peabody Institute Library in Danvers, Chelmsford Public Library, Saugus Public Library, and Bigelow Free Public Library in Clinton. 

Register via Zoom link in event description