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Lucy Mingo
Lucy Mingo, American, born 1931
Blocks and Strips Work-Clothes Quilt
Cotton and denim
78 3/4 x 69 1/4 inches (200 x 175.9 cm)
Collection of the Tinwood Alliance
Photo by Stephen Pitkin, Pitkin Studio, Rockford, Illinois

Lucy Mingo

You know, we had hard times. We worked in the fields, we picked cotton, and sometimes we had it and sometimes we didn’t. And so you look at your quilt and you say, “This is some of the old clothes that I wore in the fields. I wore them out, but they’re still doing good. —Lucy Mingo

Born in Rehoboth, a settlement just north of Gee’s Bend, Lucy Mingo grew up picking crops, cooking for her family, and walking four miles to and from school each day. Her father worked as a longshoreman in Mobile. Mingo married her husband, David, in 1949, and together they raised ten children. In 1965, she joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on a march to Selma and also bravely registered to vote in Camden, Alabama, with other residents of Gee’s Bend. In 2006, Mingo and her daughter, Polly Raymond, received a Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant, given by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, which matches master artists with apprentices. The grant covered the costs of Mingo teaching her daughter how to quilt.

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