Minerva by Paloma Parra


no longer available from 1 source show
August 2006
Lace ?
22 stitches and 23 rows = 4 inches
US 8 - 5.0 mm
Flag of English English
Out of print. This pattern was available for free.

Minerva magazine, bearing the subtitle “a biweekly publication for the woman of color” was published in Cuba from 1888-1889. It was created to offer a forum for recently emancipated (1886) women of color to express their opinions, develop their professional writing skills and promote the education of black women.

Between 1868-78 the Ten Years War for independence from Spain caused many people including enslaved and free black women to flee the island and find refuge in the United States and other countries in the Americas. Many of these people retained strong ties to Cuba and the nationalist cause which would not be realized until 1898. Minerva’s contributors and supporters hailed from as far away as Kingston, Tampa and New York.

The contributors to Minerva were far more concerned with expanding black women’s rights and opportunities than in swapping recipes or patterns, and to my knowledge none were included in the magazine. However, I could not help but be inspired by the beautiful photos of Minerva’s proud collaborators with beautiful lacy yokes and collars adorning their Victorian dresses.

Wear this lacy scarf folded in half and secured with a pin across your bosom, or extend it across your table and use it as a lacy runner; either way will evoke the lavish use of lace of the Victorian era. An era which, should after all, not only be remembered for its oppressive fashions and limited idealized view of women’s roles, but also for the outspoken women who constantly struggled to expand the horizons of possibility for their sisters and daughters. Women like: Queen Victoria herself, Amelia Bloomer, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth…the list, of course, could (and does) go on and on…