27 Stones.
On this day in 1990 South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years. After his release Mandela was instrumental in the establishment of a multiracial government and along with South African President F.W. de Klerk, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.1E-3D-2662_2.11.13

Carolyn Crump of Houston, Texas made this quilt, titled “Courageous,” in 2011. Excerpted from Crump’s artist statement: “In creating this tribute to Nelson Mandela, I wanted to symbolize each hardship on his path, as well as his inspiring triumphs. He stands with his back to the viewer, his actual prisoner number across his shoulders above the slogans he fought for and refused to give up in 1963. In his hands, clasped behind his back, are the old and new South African flags. At the lowest center edge of the quilt are 27 stones, representing each year he was incarcerated for fighting for equality.”

“Courageous” is part of the Michigan State University Museum collection.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about it’s history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.


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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance