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Bianca Springer was born and raised in The Bahamas, now lives in Pearland, Texas, with her husband and two children. She learned to sew as a child, but says motherhood cultivated her passion for the craft. Representation matters and Bianca always tries to honor that through her writings. Recently she wrote REPRESENT! an embroidery book that looks like you! It celebrates diversity with more than 50 embroidery motifs of people in a wide array of skin colors, body shapes, and natural hairstyles. No need for painstaking design alterations—you can simply jump right in and start stitching. These inclusive embroidery projects represent every kind of beauty; see yourself and your loved ones in these designs. Expand your embroidery and sewing skills while increasing your appreciation of others! Celebrate beautiful YOU!
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 convener and 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. #Charlottesville. 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
- What does the word “represent” means to Bianca
- Why does Bianca feel a strong urge to represent the black community in an unapologetic way
- Bianca’s trajectory writing down her designs and patterns on blogs and magazines
- How was Bianca’s process to write her book
- How Bianca’s character has been put to test in the industry
- Bianca’s thoughts on community building
- Bianca’s “Represent!” book and its frames
- What would Bianca say to a person that is looking to “get their stitch together”
Quotes from the Show:
- “[About the meaning of represent] It means authentically showing off as your true self or allowing people into your space so they can do that as well” – Bianca Springer in “Stitch Please”
- “This is me stepping into a space, I am not whispering, I am not easing in, I am not trying to stand back and wait for you to acknowledge me, I feel like in my craft life and in the craft spaces I have been in as an introvert, I had been happy to do that” – Bianca Springer in “Stitch Please”
- “We are the ones we have been waiting for” – Lisa Woolfork in “Stitch Please”
- “As someone who is trying to encourage others into craft, I want people to understand perfection is not the goal so if your work is less than perfect framing it elevates it. I’m highlighting the imperfection” – Bianca Springer in “Stitch Please”
- “I say this book [Represent!] is for everyone, not about everyone” – Bianca Springer in “Stitch Please”
- “Try something different and ask themselves two questions beyond their resistance, whatever thing is stopping you from advancing, ask yourself why and then why not and once you begin to explore that, you’re gonna get some stitches together” – Bianca Springer in “Stitch Please”
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