Arlington, VA (PRWEB) March 26, 2007
Martha Ann Ricks did not give up easily. The ex-slave from Tennessee spent fifty years chasing her dream of meeting Queen Victoria in the late 1800s. Her true tale of strength and faith can now serve as a lesson to all children through Kyra Hicks' non-fiction book, "Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria" (ISBN 978-1933285597, Brown Books Publishing, 2007).
After Ricks' father bought his family's freedom, they moved to Liberia, where the British Navy patrolled the coastline to prevent slave catchers from kidnapping Blacks and forcing them into slavery. As a young girl, Ricks decided to thank Queen Victoria personally, but money for the 3,500-mile journey, a gift fit for royalty and laughter from friends and neighbors all stood in the way of her dream. Ricks was an expert seamstress and as a thank you gift for the Queen, chose to make a quilt depicting the coffee trees that grew on her family's Liberian farm.
In 1892, nine years before her own death, Ricks finally fulfilled her dream of meeting the Queen. News reports from the time indicate that a marching band and crowds came out to welcome Ricks when she returned home after her visit with Queen Victoria, and according to Hicks, some Liberians still use the term "Martha" to refer to someone with extraordinary determination.
"I hope that children reading 'Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria' will be inspired to dream big and feel confident that they can achieve their dreams with diligence and faith," says Hicks.
"Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria" is intended for an audience ages 7 to 10 years old. The book's rich illustrations pay homage to the appliqué style of Liberian quilting. Appliqué involves a technique of sewing fabric onto fabric, rather than side by side. Examples of Ricks' outstanding sewing skills have been displayed in Liberia, England and the United States. Ricks' resilient spirit provides children with a new face and fresh story to learn as they develop their knowledge of historical characters.
Kyra Hicks resides in Arlington, Virginia. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the London School of Economics and Howard University. Like Martha Ann Ricks, she is also a notable quilter whose works have been displayed in prestigious venues nationwide. "Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria" (ISBN 978-1933285597, Brown Books Publishing, 2007) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information or for a first edition, autographed copy from the author, visit http://www.BlackThreads.com. Publicity contact: http://www.readerviews.com. Review copies available upon request.