QuiltWeek exhibit Quilts of the Green Book showcases African American history through art

PADUCAH — This QuiltWeek, quilts are helping start a conversation about race and segregation.

They highlight the struggles so many went through to break racial barriers in an exhibit Quilts of the Green Book — named for “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” the travel guide that helped African Americans travel safely in America during segregation. It’s presented by the Hotel Metropolitan — which was once listed in that guide. The quilts in the exhibit are all by African American quilters.

Dr. Nancy Dawson

Thursday, Dr. Nancy Dawson an African American history researcher and quilter talked about the collection. She also talked about Cherokee State Park — now part of Kenlake State Park.

It was a place African Americans could go to sleep, fish and swim.

Dawson said Kentucky was progressive for the time in the fight for equality by allowing a state park to have no “whites only” signs.

The exhibit will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday at West Kentucky Community College’s Clemens Fine Arts Center.