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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stitched in Silence: Life Experiences Told in African-American Quilts
by Bassard, Deborah Craig, M.A., Bowie State University, 2017, 145; 10287605
Abstract (Summary)

This study seeks to explore the historical influence of quilting within the African-American community, its development as a form of non-verbal communication, through the evolution of an organizational culture originating from the period of Reconstruction, and its relevance as a continued communication medium among quilters of today. The study will trace the influence of cultural traditions from Africa, through the period of Reconstruction to the 21st century. The goal of the research is to identify the development of cultural and organizational behaviors that influenced a sustainable form of non-verbal communication that is generational, as well as cultural, particularly among African-American women. The study will further explore the use of quilting as a new medium of non-verbal communication for social issues, giving voice many life experiences that may be overlooked. It will also explore ways in which quilting can be used to further educate others as it assumes the identity of a new and important art form.

The research will use a qualitative analysis approach, conducting interviews with generational quilters from Baltimore, MD, Charleston, Florence, Georgetown, and Beaufort, SC, who are believed to have first-hand experience of the art form due to the predominance of quilting within those specific African –American communities. In addition, a review of peer research will be assessed to evaluate the correlation between present day first-hand accounts quilting and the relevance of prior research in determining if quilting is still a culturally motivated skill. Theories founded in research studies from the science of anthropology, will describe how organizational culture is instrumental in developing specific behaviors and patterns of assimilation within a community. It will further define how values, norms and traditions provide the framework of quilting as a non-verbal means of expression within a community or culture. It is believed that the research will show that quilting has been influenced by the life experiences contained within specific cultural structures. It is also the goal of this study to prove that quilting is an art form that has been limited in its past assessment as an influential form of non-verbal communication, and personal expression, and that the craft is communicated through generations, in an historical context which has contained a predominant cultural influence among African-American women.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cubbage, Jayne
Commitee: Krishnasamy, Adrian, Welch, William
School: Bowie State University
Department: Organizational Communications
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: MAI 56/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black studies, Fine arts, Communication, Organization Theory
Keywords: African-American, Communication theory, Quilts, Slavery
Publication Number: 10287605
ISBN: 978-0-355-12112-4
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