Black History Month Wrap-up - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Black History Month Wrap-up

 In Arts & Mysteries Blog, Woodworking Blogs

Through no fault of my own, I was seperated from my laptop containing several interesting blogs about African American Woodworkers. Now that we are united, I feel the month is gone and the moment lost. But I do want to say a few things about Black History Month before I leave it until next year.

I’m not sure if I share any recent African ancestry. And tho I grew up in an all black neighborhood, I have no claim to anything particularly related to African Americans. That said I feel a pride in these woodworkers and an emotional attachment to them and their stories as if they were my own blood relatives. At risk of pandering to Schwarz (who I suspect will be all over this), I’m going to have to label my relationship to these fellow woodworkers as a “wood kinship”. These guys (our wood kin) are ours just like you and I are related not just by what we do, but how we view the world, solve problems etc.

I have more and better stories for next year. African American woodworkers’ stories are a patchwork quilt of woodworking lore and history certainly deserving of our time. Until then Dennis Heyza has compiled a fine webpage on the subject. I’m sure he’d appreciate your additions, and comments. Thanks Dennis for sharing your work with us.


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  • Adam

    It seems to me, in the antiques business, rare and interesting sell. Not sure why a museum like Philadelphia hasn’t done an exhibit of African American furniture. I would think, like Cesar Chellor planes, the furniture from this group of craftsmen would be highly collectible. I find their work and lives fascinating.

    I’m not sure their work has been ignored. Overlooked might be a better word choice. It’s only been recently that Southern furniture has been at the center of collectors’ reticules. I have my hesitations with that furniture from an art history standpoint.


  • Clayton Blake

    I enjoyed your blog on John Hemmings. I think to ignore the African American contributions to the craft would do history a huge disservice. Unfortunately, many times, minority contributions are deemed a lesser effort and therefore shuttled off to the back pages of history. Thank you for bringing this mans story to light. I look forward to next years offerings.

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