In December of 1965, the year of the Selma-to-Montgomery march, a white Episcopal priest driving through a desperately poor, primarily black section of Wilcox County found himself at a great bend of the Alabama River. He noticed a cabin clothesline from which were hanging three magnificent quilts unlike any he had ever seen. They were of strong, bold colors in original, op-art patterns - same art style then fashionable in New York City and other cultural centers. An idea was born and within weeks took on life, in the form of the Freedom Quilting Bee a handcraft cooperative of black women artisans who would become acclaimed throughout the nation.
Nancy Callahan is an independent writer and journalist living in Tuscaloosa, AL. She has published many articles and one book, Freedom Quilting Bee, and is currently working on a book-length social and historical study of Hurricane Creek.