Rosa Parks changed the pattern of history by sparking a powerful movement in the name of Civil Rights. It was this same drive to help her community that moved her, a talented seamstress by profession, to use her skills to memorialize and honor those who lived with HIV/AIDS.
In the top right corner of this Quilt section, you can see a panel made by Roda Parks for her friend Deborah Haynes, which she signed with her name.
Rosa Parks was no stranger to the bridge between quilting and family, piecing her first quilt with the help of both her mother and grandmother at just the age of six. Parks is additionally no stranger to loss, leaving school to care for both her grandmother and mother as they each became ill. During these hard times, her sewing supported them. For Parks, sewing and support became deeply intertwined.
Thus, it is no surprise that at the intersection of her sewing and support grew activism and justice. Cleve Jones, who conceived the AIDS Memorial Quilt, could easily attest to how Park’s panels had honored many lives, including three panels for a grandmother, mother, and infant daughter. Her presence resonated with him and will continue to resonate with each person who views her panels.
It's time to Change the Pattern in the fight to end HIV and AIDS in the Southern United States. Be a part of this new initiative!