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GLADYS-MARIE FRY, FOLKLORIST OF BLACK HISTORY, DIES AT 84

Gladys-Marie Fry

Written by Bart Barnes, The Washington Post

Photo Courtesy of Nancy Andrews

Gladys-Marie Fry, a folklorist of African-Americana who wrote books and curated exhibits on slaves’ quilting in the pre-Civil War South and the role of white supremacist “night riders” in the story-telling traditions of black culture, died Nov. 7 at a hospital in Silver Spring, Md. She was 84. 

The cause was a heart attack, said a niece, A’Lexa Hawkins.

Dr. Fry spent 30 years teaching at the University of Maryland and became a professor of folklore and English before retiring in 2000. She was the author of “Night Riders in Black Folk History” (1975) and “Stitched from the Soul: Slave Quilts from the Antebellum South” (1990).

She had written or contributed to eight museum catalogues and was curator for a dozen museum exhibitions. These included the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery and Anacostia Museum of Art, both in Washington, and the Eva and Morris Feld Gallery of the Museum of American Folk Art at Lincoln Square in New York.

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Date of Publication: 
1/5/16