International Journal of Art & Design Education

Seeing History: Malaika Favorite's Furious Flower Poetry Quilt Painting and Pan-African Memory

Volume 29.2   2010



Malaika Favorite's Furious Flower Poetry Quilt (2004) is an acrylic painting that depicts 24 portraits of leading poets of the African Diaspora. Commissioned by Dr Joanne Gabbin, English professor and director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University, the painting is part of a larger programme of poetry education. The painting's interweaving of the portraits with fragments from the poets’ writing functions to create an interactive visual-textual body of poets and poetry, a collection which has been taught at all levels of education from primary school to university. Its quilt structure pays homage to the historic role of women in preserving history and memory. The painting also serves to construct a pan-African identity and collective memory about slavery, African American history and empowerment.