Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Barry Bell

Second Advisor

Faye Prichard

Third Advisor

Tawnya Pettiford Wates


The Freedom Quilt is a play that I have written and adapted from Deborah Hokinson’s book, Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. This story explores the historic and dramatic implications in the idea of coded quilts as a form of communication among African American slaves; specifically as coded maps to freedom. There is an ongoing scholarly debate challenging the existence of these quilts, let alone that they could have been used in such a complex manner. The Freedom Quilt however, is one girl’s unique and individual story, and does not in any way suggest that maps, encoded in quilts were used by a large number of escaping slaves. I don’t know if the actuality of these quilts can ever be proven or disproven, but history has revealed that there were many paths to freedom, and following a map of this kind could very well have been one of them. This document was created in Microsoft Word 2000


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2009