a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Dimensions: L = 26 inches; W = 47 inches
Techniques: Machine appliqué. Machine quilted.
Materials: Cotton batting, top and back. Metallic thread and beads.
During the night of April 14, 2014, 276 girls were abducted
from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok,
Borno State, Nigeria, by local terrorists known
Jama atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda a Waati Wal Jihad;
better known as Boko Haram (which roughly
translates as “Western education is forbidden”).
Parents searched deep into the forest for the girls.
It is presumed the girls have been forced to convert
and were married off in neighboring Cameroon and
Chad; and/or forced to join the terrorists. To date (2015)
57 girls have escaped. In 2018, many of the original
girls were released after extensive government efforts.
On both sides of the Atlantic mothers and fathers
are crying for their children. From Ferguson to
Chibok, mothers are crying for their children
murdered and stolen away. The Nigerian writer
Uzodinma Iweala, says “Kidnapping causes a long
-term rupture in the psyche of those kidnapped and
those who wait for their return. It doesn’t end.”
The red in this quilt is symbolic of the spirit of hope and
resistance – that resides both within the girls, the
culture, and is all around us. It is the color of
the women’s protest movement #bringbackourgirls, in
Nigeria and the international community. I want to
honor the memory of those girls lost and missing
from Chibok and surrounding areas.
Power to the generations!
More information about this quilt can be found in the following video from the Sacred Threads exhibition, via the Quilt Alliance YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/vQG1_XVMaG8
Jacqueline Johnson is a multi-disciplined artist creating in poetry, fiction writing and fiber arts. She is the author of A Woman’s Season, on Main Street Rag Press, and A Gathering of Mother Tongues, published by White Pine Press, and is the winner of the Third Annual White Pine Press Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in Fifth Wednesday, Callaloo, Renaissance Noir and Tidal Basin Review. Ms. Johnson has received fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Mid Atlantic Writers Association’s Creative Writing Award in Poetry and McDowell Colony for the Arts. She is a Cave Canem fellow and BEI fellow 2018-2021. Works in progress include: The Privilege of Memory and How to Stop a Hurricane, a collection of short stories. She is a graduate of New York University and the City University of New York. A native of Philadelphia, PA., she resides in Brooklyn, New York.