Hidden in Plain View Hardcover – Jan 19 1999
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
When quiltmaker Ozella McDaniels told Jacqueline Tobin of the Underground Railroad Quilt Code, it sparked Tobin to place the tale within the history of the Underground Railroad. Hidden in Plain View documents Tobin and Raymond Dobard's journey of discovery, linking Ozella's stories to other forms of hidden communication from history books, codes, and songs. Each quilt, which could be laid out to air without arousing suspicion, gave slaves directions for their escape. Ozella tells Tobin how quilt patterns like the wagon wheel, log cabin, and shoofly signaled slaves how and when to prepare for their journey. Stitching and knots created maps, showing slaves the way to safety.
The authors construct history around Ozella's story, finding evidence in cultural artifacts like slave narratives, folk songs, spirituals, documented slave codes, and children's' stories. Tobin and Dobard write that "from the time of slavery until today, secrecy was one way the black community could protect itself. If the white man didn't know what was going on, he couldn't seek reprisals." Hidden in Plain View is a multilayered and unique piece of scholarship, oral history, and cultural exploration that reveals slaves as deliberate agents in their own quest for freedom even as it shows that history can sometimes be found where you least expect it. --Amy Wan
From the Forewords:
"Tobin and Dobard have taken quilt scholarship to another level. They have revealed that quilts are at once sources of pleasure, information, and meaning and are central to understanding the history of people of African ancestry in North America."
--Floyd Coleman, Ph.D.
"Jacqueline Tobin is to be applauded for being in the right place at the right time, and having enough faith to go back again and again to listen to the story of one family's effort to encode knowledge in their quilt tops. And one salutes her partnership with Raymond Dobard, whose knowledge of quilting technology is so outstanding. Their persistence--is vital to our understanding of African American culture and its myriad contributions to American life."
--Maude Southwell Wahlman, Ph.D., author of Signs and Symbols: African Images in African American Quilts
"By engaging in a vast amount of research, authors Tobin and Dobard have established a significant linkage between the Underground Railroad effort, escaping slaves, and the American patchwork quilt."
--Cuesta Benberry, author of Always There: The African American Presence in American Quilts
Top Customer Reviews
When I first began to read the book, I was actually quite interested, as I had never heard the story before. However, it became somewhat of a struggle to finish; at times the book seemed repetitive, or I got the feeling that the authors had to stretch their imaginations too much to get their desired end-result. Despite this change of heart, I did find the story quite enjoyable. The existence of such a code may be hard to swallow for historians and others in our society, but the possibility of its truth make the story worth reading.
My concern here (and I will be echoing the comments of lots of others who have written reviews) is that the authors' have virtually no corroborative evidence to back up their theories, and this is a major flaw in a book that purports to be a scholarly text. I understand very well that the lack of evidence is probably unavoidable, given the fragility of textiles, particularly from the age and circumstances that these would be, and also given the whole premise of these quilts being "hidden in plain sight." I guess that I would wish that the authors would have framed their discussion with some a discussion of some of this so that their story does not appear to be quite so speculative.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a replacement for one of my favourite books ever. Someone borrowed my copy and did not return it! Read morePublished 5 months ago by linda rogers
Bought this as a gift and the receiver loved the product, but I was personally disappointed that the information was presented as fact, and no mention was made of how heavily... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Stephanie A MacKay
Hi everyone, I am sure that I have my facts correct only because I live In B.R. Ontario where we have our famous spot for one of the underground railroads. Read morePublished on April 2 2014 by J. Tschirhart
This book gives as much information about the Underground Railroad from the Southern States to Canada as possible. The detailed information is wonderful. Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2013 by Pam
As a quilter, I was completely amazed on how they all began. My sister-in-law who loves to quilt as a past time was quite taken when I told her about this amazing book.Published on Dec 27 2012 by Ethel Jensson
I was intrigued when I found this book and really wanted to like it. However, I feel that HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW has no substance and offers no new information that can be validated. Read morePublished on June 8 2004 by Judith Miller
I agree with most of the reviews of this book that the material is indeed fascinating. It just doesn't happen to be true. Read morePublished on March 23 2004 by Paul Farr
I am interested in both quilts and the underground railroad. However, this book struck me as speculation and heresay rather than a well-researched record of historical fact. Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2003 by E. Burton
I bought this book at an historic site in Savannah, GA and assumed it was factual. The deeper I read into the book, the more I questioned what the authors wanted me to believe. Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2003 by Consumer
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Needlecrafts & Textile Crafts > Quilts & Quilting
- Books > History > Americas > United States > 19th Century
- Books > History > Americas > United States > African Americans
- Books > History > Historical Study > Social History
- Books > History > United States > 19th Century
- Books > History > United States > African Americans
- Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Sociology
- Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Special Groups > African-American Studies