"It's sort of like home for me," said Wilson, who lives in Ohio.
Kemp has spent her life studying, documenting and preserving her family's history and hopes the traveling quilt exhibit will encourage other families to recognize their history's worth.
"Take pictures of the things you have of your ancestors. Write down as much as you can remember about the person it came from. Care for passed-down treasures in the right way -- don't throw them in plastic bags," she said. "A lot of families have priceless quilts and don't even realize it and sleep in them and destroy them. They will find that, when they look closely, each piece of fabric was a day in the life of that person and has meaning. Nothing was wasted, and everything was recycled by my family."
The quilt exhibit also is used to promote outreach programs and not only educates communities on past transgressions, but on present violations of human rights.
"By educating people on the ways of the past, we are able to change the future through science, technology and environmental awareness," she said. "We are facilitating safe dialogue between people that will heal communities of racism and hatred. We are able to heal communities and educate and inspire future generations of historians and preservationists."
The Underground Railroad Secret Quilt Code Exhibit is on display at WVSU's Della Brown Taylor Art Gallery in the Davis Fine Arts Building from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit plantationquilts.com.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at Mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5100.