African American quilting is almost as old as the history of America. Slave women were needed for spinning, weaving, sewing and quilting on plantations and in other wealthy households. While many African American women may have quilted as part of their slave/work duties, quilting also was a means of providing necessary linens in their own homes made from scraps, discarded clothing or any other materials they were able to acquire. Many became very skillful at their craft and some, like Harriet Powers works, are admired in the Smithsonian today. The Underground railroad is said to have been enabled by codes sewn in the design of quilts.
The national NAACP office is putting together a NAACP Centennial Quilt to recognize and honor the work of all of the local units across the country that have helped to make us the nation’s oldest, largest, most loved, most hated, most talked about, most cussed and discussed civil rights organization. Each unit was requested to send in a quilt piece meeting specific requirements. The Lawton OK Branch NAACP patch incorporates images of significant civil rights events in Lawton such as the march led by Clara Luper on Doe Doe Park and the local NAACP leaders standing up for Fair Housing. The quilt will be assembled and made available to travel to various NAACP events across the country.