Both the Red and Blue Quilts were on display at the monthly Common Read meeting at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Orlando on Saturday, November 15. Dale Finley Slongwhite’s Fed Up: The High Costs of Cheap Food, which chronicles the oral histories of Lake Apopka farmworkers, was the Common Read selection for November.
Slongwhite, former Lake Apopka farmworkers Betty Dubose, Geraldean Matthew and Linda Lee, and FWAF staff presented to about 30 congregants on the social, ecological, and labor history of Lake Apopka. In addition, volunteer and artist Sarah Downs, who was instrumental in working with Linda Lee and the farmworkers in the quilt-making process, spoke movingly about her experience with presenting a quilt square to former farmworker, Johnnie Mae, of Johnnie's deceased daughter. Everyone in the room was moved by the stories. The Quilts, the book, and the people who made them possible combined to make this an informative and consciousness-raising event.