Make it Very Black: Stacey Watson, National Quilt Museum

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Stacey Watson

Stacey Watson is the Director of Equitable Partnerships at The National Quilt Museum. She has been an educator for nearly 17 years and specializes in African American history and culture. Watson has a Museum Studies certification from the University of West Georgia and a graduate degree in History from Fort Valley State University. One of Watson's objectives is to uphold the museum's mission of "bringing the work of today's quilters to audiences" by creating opportunities and experiences that will display all voices of the community. Her overall goal is to collaborate and build partnerships within the community locally and regionally. In addition to engaging the community, Watson lends her expertise as a history professor to the museum by researching the past and helping audiences connect history to art. Watson is a member of the Association of African American Museums and Southeastern Museum Conference.


Lisa Woolfork

Lisa Woolfork is an associate professor of English, specializing in African American literature and culture. Her teaching and research explore Black women writers, Black identity, trauma theory, and American slavery. She is the founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she actively resisted the white supremacist marches in her community, Charlottesville Virginia. The city became a symbol of lethal resurging white supremacist violence. She remains active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the Community Engaged Scholars program. She believes in the power of creative liberation.


Insights from this Episode

  • Stacey's academic background and her commitment to history
  • The importance behind knowing your history as a Black person
  • Lisa's thoughts on Black people making history
  • What Stacey's students are able to get when they visit the quilts museum
  • Stacey's role at The National Quilt Museum
  • How does Stacey get the inspiration for the exhibitions at the museum
  • Stacey's example of looking at a quilt that is teaching something different or in a more powerful way
  • How Stacey's students apply the detective technique in order to understand quilts
  • Stacey's advice to get our stitch together


Quotes from the Show: 

  • "We associate history with events and people from the past but we forget about the foundation of this history and they get lost and I think it's important that we remember those who have been lost on history whether it was intentional or not" - Stacey Watson in “Stitch Please”
  • "[About the Watson Method] What was the motive for some of these events that happened, who were involved and not justo who are the victims and who are the suspects...What were the organizations, What they were doing, how they were supportive, so I want my students to think beyond what's being presented" - Stacey Watson in “Stitch Please”
  • "[About getting the local Black community on good terms with the museum] Community conversations was a program that I created to allow the community to come in to meet the Quilt Museum and for the Quilt Museum to meet the local community " - Stacey Watson in “Stitch Please”
  • "There's no such thing as being too ambitious. You need to get your stitch together and know that everything can be done. Nothing is impossible. You don't need a whole entire team for your one vision" - Stacey Watson in “Stitch Please”


Stay Connected:

Lisa Woolfork

Instagram: Lisa Woolfork

Twitter: Lisa Woolfork


Stacey Watson

LinkedIn: Stacey Watson

The National Quilt Museum:


This episode was produced and managed by Podcast Laundry.

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Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.