*This* is my favorite spot at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson: viewing Hystercine Rankin’s 1992 ‘Parchman Prison’ quilt in this space:
Hystercine Rankin received a National Heritage Fellowship from the NEA in 1997 and worked with the Mississippi Cultural Crossroads in Port Gibson (she passed away in 2010).
When we visited the Crossroads in PG again this summer, I noticed that they had a bio on her which read in part:
“Her family’s oral history states that her great-great-grandmother was part Indian and partnered an African slave. This man and his eleven- and twelve-year-old sons were conscripted into the Confederate Army to dig trenches, carry water, and gather wood. All three of them were killed during the siege of Vicksburg in 1863.”
The bio further tells of her father’s murder in 1939, and the memory quilt she made, ‘After My Father’s Funeral’. That particular quilt looks to be on the market currently at $18k.
Hystercine is also featured in the book ‘A Communion of the Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers, and their Stories‘.