Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Let's Hear Your Story

Everyone Has a Story. We Want to Hear Yours on September 20th I don't know about you, but I get tired of reading about the history of North Lawndale, how it was once a lively community; how African Americans came here in the 1950's; the white flight and jobs leaving, and how the community was basically destroyed by the riots after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Almost every written history you read about the community seems to give the impression that our history stops after the Riots. Almost every newspaper account of the community is about the negatives—the crime, the poverty, the drugs, poor performing schools, etc. The truth of the matter is, North Lawndale is so much greater than that. African Americans have contributed so much--whether they are seemingly immortal figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., or they worked quietly in the shadows, in our churches, block clubs, families and community organizations. The North Lawndale African American Heritage Quilting Project is combining research, documentation, workshops and quilting to document the rich African American Experience here in North Lawndale. The lead organizations are Art Forward, Better Boys Foundation, Historic K-Town, Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society, Prevention Force Family Center, Sankofa Safe Child Initiative and Urban Art Retreat. I am the project manager. We will host a series of workshops to share our stories and learn embroidery and quilting skills. At the end of the process, we will create a beautiful community quilt(s) that includes our stories and helps us to build community and strengthen our social fabric. Our first workshop will be Tuesday, September 20, 2011 from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm at Better Boys Foundation (BBF), on the corner of 15th and Pulaski. We will get an overview of North Lawndale history from an African American perspective, and share our own stories of family and neighborhood traditions. You will have the chance to start your first quilting block, using fabric markers to write a message or draw a picture to tell a story. These blocks will be used for the community quilt. We have included brochures and flyers with more information about the project. Please, print out the flyers and pass them on to your neighbors and encourage them to come out. Also, forward this e-mail to everyone you know who might be interested. It is so important that we begin to focus on the little things that make this community great. We look forward to seeing you tonight. In the meantime, if you have any questions, let me know. Brochure 2 Poster 2 One Fourth Page Flyer Quilting

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