Harriet Powers: A Story of Art and Faith

Featuring Tiya Miles, Harvard University

Harriet Powers is considered the mother of the African American story quilt tradition. Born into slavery in 1837, she began making extraordinary quilts in the 1870s. “Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories” is the first time her Bible quilt and the Pictorial quilt—the only known surviving works by the artist—have been displayed together. This 5-minute video features the words of historian and author Tiya Miles, in a close examination of Powers’s art as an expression of her faith. Tiya Miles is a professor of history and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at Harvard University. Her latest book, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, is a 2021 National Book Awards finalist.