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The African American Quilt Collection

View From the Mountain Top
Beverly Ann White
Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan
82 ½" x 48 ½"
MSUM #2003:50.1
Photos by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

Beverly Ann White's quilt "View from the Mountain Top" was made to teach students, family, and friends about important heroes in African-American history. The quilt features appliquéd and embroidered portraits of Medgar Evers, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Frances E. W. Harper, Sojourner Truth, Mary McLeod Bethune, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Bunche, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B. Dubois.

Of "View from the Mountain Top, White says,
"I cannot chronicle the brave and valiant fight of each and everyone of the honorable souls who have fought for the rights of African-Americans throughout the history of the United States; I can, however, attempt to show several of those heroes who have impressed me. May GOD and those who are not represented here forgive me and perhaps their souls will move other African-Americans to produce more and more quilts that will extol their efforts and keep the struggle alive to ensure the ultimate goal of equality for all."

White (left) donated her quilts "View from the Mountain Top" and "Nelson Mandela" to the Michigan State University Museum in November 2003. The GLQC/MSU Museum's Michigan African American Quilt Collection includes over thirty-five quilts, as well as documentary materials, which reflect the wide range of individual styles and traditions found with the Michigan African-American quilting community. Quilts from this collection have been featured in the book, African American Quiltmaking in Michigan, edited by Marsha MacDowell (right) (Michigan State University Press, 1997).


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