1996 | Hardcover | 396 pages | 8 x 1 x 10.8 inches
A Communion of the Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers, and Their Stories represents the first national survey of African-American quiltmakers. It is also a personal record of how Roland L. Freeman's life has intertwined with the world of quiltmaking for almost sixty years, "as an African-American male; as a child who was deeply influenced by the cultural traditions and magical powers of quilts; and, for more than three decades, as a photographer and folklorist."
Included are the fascinating stories of a remarkable range of individuals, old and young, women and men, including Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Faith Ringgold. Organized chronologically, the book begins with Freeman's childhood years in the 1940s. "Quilts were special, even magical to me," he says. "They could heal and they could curse; they could capture history and affect the future; they could transform pain to celebration."