Black History Month Reading List at Tatter

Words by Narkita Wiley
February 29th, 2024

Too often, when Black American contributions to textile art and history are recognized, they are boxed into limiting narratives about improvisation and quilting. While there are generations of beautiful work derived from this approach and tradition respectively, the work of Black Americans in textiles cannot be contained to these practices. From folk art to fashion, their work is vast and exemplary. They are thought leaders and disruptors in the industry and their work deserves to be recognized, discussed, and collected. 

This reading list, developed by the TATTER team, is a jumping off point to introduce TATTER library lovers to the history and work of Black American artists, activists, sewists, makers, and dreamers who are making art as a tactic of liberation. 

At TATTER, we endeavor to center the lived experiences of those whose voices have been erased and dismissed. This reading list is a manifestation of our commitment to uplifting these voices in our community and beyond, from Brooklyn organizer, author, and sewist, Hekima Hapa who is transferring her skills to the next generation before our eyes to world renowned artist, Nick Cave, who is taking up space in art institutions like the Guggenheim. Textile histories offer us the opportunity to connect, understand, and celebrate diversity in craft.