Kyra E. Hicks

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Kyra E. Hicks
Born (1965-10-01) October 1, 1965 (age 51)
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Michigan
Genre Non-fiction, History of quilting

Kyra E. Hicks (born October 1, 1965) is an author, quilter[1] and quilt historian. She is best known for writing about African-American quilt history[2] and encouraging quilt documentation. She specializes in creating original story quilts, such as Black Barbie, which is in the permanent collection of the Fenimore Art Museum[3] in New York City.[4]


Kyra Hicks graduated from Howard University and the University of Michigan. She works professionally as an ecommerce and marketing director. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.


Hicks specializes in creating narrative or story quilts. The themes she focuses on include being a single black woman, politics, family, and religion. All of her quilts include words as well as designs.

Her Patriotic Quilt (1995) is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. It includes the name of the American black women Lani Guinier, Joycelyn Elders, and Anita Hill.[5]

Hicks created her Black Barbie quilt, displayed in the Fenimore Art Museum's exhibition Through the Eyes of Others: African Americans and Identity in American Art, to address issues of body image, western society's obsession with beauty, and the neglect of the African American when creating toys and other ephemera for children. The illustration features the American Barbie doll depicted as a black woman, with the text "Barbie" above it, and below it the phrase: "Was never intended for me."[6]


In her quilt history research, Hicks found only the second known photograph to exist of Harriet Powers, an African-American slave, folk artist and quilt maker from rural Georgia, who used traditional appliqué techniques to record local legends, Bible stories, and astronomical events on her quilts. Only two of her quilts have survived: Bible Quilt 1886 and Pictorial Quilt 1898.

Hicks also confirmed the price of the Pictorial Quilt paid by the owner Maxim Karolik who donated the quilt to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Hicks was one of four African-American women quilters profiled in a PhD dissertation by Yolanda Woods, "New World African Conjurers Who Edify and Heal the Community.[7]


  • Hicks, Kyra E. (2003). Black threads: an African American quilting sourcebook. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co. ISBN 0786413743. 
  • Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria (2007)
  • This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers’ Bible Quilt and Other Pieces (2009)[8]
  • 1.6 Million African American Quilters: Survey, Sites, and a Half-Dozen Art Quilt Blocks (2010)
  • The Lord’s Supper Pattern Book: Imagining Harriet Powers’ Lost Bible Story Quilt (2011)
  • How to Self-Publish Your Own Quilt Catalog: A Workbook for Quilters, Guilds, Galleries and Textile Artists (2012)
  • Franklin Roosevelt’s Postage Stamp Quilt: The Story of Estella Weaver Nukes’ Presidential Gift (2012)
  • Liberia: A Visit Through Books (2008, co-author)
  • The Return of the Guinea Fowl: An Autobiographical Novel of a Liberian Doctor (2011, co-author) [9]
  • Crafted Lives: Stories and Studies of African American Quilters, Patricia A. Turner. University Press of Mississippi (2009). Kyra Hicks wrote the foreword
  • The Quilt: A History and Celebration of an American Art Form, by Elise Schebler Roberts, with contributions from Jennifer Chiaverini, Sandra Dallas, Kyra Hicks and Helen Kelley. Voyageur Press (2007). Hicks contributed the article "Black Women Have Always Quilted."
  • St. James Guide to Black Artists. Edited by Thomas Riggs. St. James Press (1997). Hicks contributed the profile of Sonia Boyce, British Painter and Mixed Media Artist.


  1. ^ "African American Quilting on the Rise Says Author Kyra E. Hicks". PRWeb. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Kyra E. Hicks". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Kyra Hicks". Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Quilter: Kyra Hicks". The Oprah Magazine. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  5. ^ The Patriotic Quilt Collections, Museum of Art and Design
  6. ^ Black Barbie Comes To Cooperstown Folk Art Cooperstown Blog, retrieved Feb 8, 2010.
  7. ^ Woods, Yolanda. PhD Dissertation, "New World African Conjurers Who Edify and Heal the Community" . (AAT9974639). University of Missouri, Columbia (2000). Hood's paper attempted to "read" the quilts and quilting production of these four quilters from the Midwest within a Womanist theoretical framework. The other quilters profiled were NedRa Bonds, Sherry Whetstone-McCall, and Edna Patterson-Petty.
  8. ^ "Kyra Hicks, "This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers’ Bible Quilt and Other Pieces"". Iowa State University. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Hicks, Kyra E.". WorldCat. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 

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