Stitching Holiday Traditions with Martha McIntosh

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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 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.


Martha McIntosh

Martha is a proud Garifuna-American from the Bronx, NY, with strong roots in Livingston, Guatemala. She is a sewing enthusiast learning to sew for her curvy, plus-size body and others as well. 


Insights from this episode:

  • Details about her Garifuna origin
  • Her Christmas traditions growing up
  • Transferring those traditions to her children
  • Christmas traditions as a Garifuna
  • The influence of Garifuna tradition on her sewing


Quotes from the show:

  • “I already knew what to expect because of how my parents had prepared me, you know, here in the United States. Even though we were not able to go for Christmas every year, my mom and my dad made sure to tell me and share their memories of what it was growing up and what those experiences were that” —Florence Taylor in “Stitch Please”
  • “Trying to figure out what my favorite aspect of our tradition is, is kinda hard because I love it all. There is nothing that I don’t love about being Garifuna” —Florence Taylor in “Stitch Please”
  • “According to Garifuna traditions, shared generation to generation, taught to me by my grandmother, taught to me by my parents, and as I share those stories with my children, the Wanaragua dance is a reenactment of when we were fighting the British in St. Vincent” —Florence Taylor in “Stitch Please”
  • “It is truly inspired by the culture (Garifuna). My sewing always takes and leads to the bold, that’s what speaks to me: the bold fabric, the colorful fabric. I truly credit that to a lot of the Garifuna traditional wears that we do” —Florence Taylor in “Stitch Please”


Stay Connected:

Lisa Woolfork

Instagram: Lisa Woolfork

Twitter: Lisa Woolfork


Martha McIntosh


Instagram: Martha McIntosh


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.