A&T Four Middle college students with the quilt they created honoring Black contributions to agriculture. The students visited the University Farm, researched an agriculturalist, created the designs and put the quilt together.

Once framed, the quilt will hang in Hodgin Hall.

On March 6, the A&T Four Middle College, in partnership with the Greensboro Chapter of the Links, Inc., unveiled a collaborative quilt project celebrating the achievements and importance of Black farming and agriculture through the “Connecting the Threads” initiative.

The quilt, featuring several notable African American farmers, inventors and scientists, was designed and crafted by the 16 students of the Middle College and Greensboro fabric artist Andrea Stoddard Coleman over a three-month period.

“The project entailed designing a decorative quilt exhibiting artwork conceived by students focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics,” said Tamera Ziglar, director of corporate engagement at N.C. A&T.  “The goal was threefold: to introduce students to the history and importance of quilting in the African American community; to demonstrate how a quilt design is created through coding; and re-engage students in the art of quilting.”

According to Ziglar, during the early design period, the students were taught the history of African American agriculture by Antoine Alston, Ph.D., associate dean of academics in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

“Given the current climate nationally that minimizes the importance and authentic truth of Black history, it is imperative that we have projects such this to instill this knowledge with the current generation.” said Alston. “I had the honor of presenting about African American agricultural history to the Middle College, specifically discussing the legacy and contributions that African American agriculturalists have made to American and global agriculture. It was truly a rewarding experience.”

Following a visit to the University Farm, Ziglar said, the students were asked to take what they learned, identify and research one of these historical figures, then create a representative design, working with Coleman to design and craft the work.

Once framed, the quilt will be hung in Hodgin Hall on the N.C. A&T campus.

The A&T Four Middle College is an alternative, all-male, public Guilford County High School that allows students to take university classes while in high school, combined with character development and leadership skills. The middle college opened in 2003.