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Quilt square codes


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the debate over whether slaves actually communicated through quilt squares about the underground railroad.

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Quilt square codes

  1. 1. Two different perspectives
  2. 2.   Slaves used quilts as a way to communicate to others about their plan to escape and the pathway to follow.  Reported to have been used in different ways:  Hanging outside to signal safe house  Containing a description of the pathway  Used to communicate to slaves on the plantation Claim
  3. 3.   Hidden in Plain View – a book written by Jacqueline Tobin and Dr. Raymond Dobard  Tells of the stories passed down through generations about slaves using the designs of quilts to share messages about the Underground Railroad  Availably only orally to avoid risk of being found out Support
  4. 4.   Ozella McDaniel Williams, quilt seller in Charleston, told the poem to the authors  Claimed poem was passed down generation from generation by her family members Support
  5. 5.   No quilts or quilt blocks remain to prove the theory  No mention of quilts in ANY written or recorded interview with slaves  Lack of materials and time available to slaves for them to create it  Many different “codes” exist  Can’t agree on meanings Opposition
  6. 6.   No quilts exist because the materials they had access to would not have been good enough quality to last  It was not mentioned because it was such a protected secret Support
  7. 7.   What do you think?  Timed Pair Share with your shoulder partner Your Turn