In the Fray: Black Women and Craft, 1850 - 1910

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In the Fray: Black Women and Craft, 1850- 1910, examines the lives of Black craftswomen from enslavement and beyond emancipation, suggesting that these women have been historically invisible within and outside of the craft canon. By examining craft through the lens of skilled craftswomen, this research centers on Black women who lived between 1850 and 1910, looking specifically at the change from craftswomen being enslaved to craftswomen being free women entering into institutionalized education. By taking the upper South, including the Southern Appalachian Mountains, as a geographical area of reference, this paper puts forth an analysis that refutes existing work that suggested that this area was without a Black craft history. Additionally, this approach highlights change over time in the upper South while resting on the context of Black life during this tumultuous period of American history.
Black Women, Craft, Material Culture, Textiles, Slavery, Education, Handmade, Vocational, Material Knowledge, Feminist, Objects