- Don’t Tread on Me, God Damn, Let’s Go! — The Harlem Hellfighters
- 109 1⁄2 × 156 in.
- © 2022, Bisa Butler
- Credit Line
- Gift of David Bonderman
- Mediums Description
- cottons, silk, wool, and velvet
- Figure group — male
- African American
- History — United States — Black History
- History — United States — World War I
- Object Number
In this monumental quilt, Bisa Butler brings to life the history and emotions of nine members of the 369th Infantry Regiment known as the Harlem Hellfighters, a segregated unit of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I. Drawing from the wellsprings of African American quilting traditions and the Kool-Aid colors of the Black Power art movement, Butler pieced together layers of dazzling textiles to connect this present moment to the past.
“I look to their example to see for myself that the triumphs we experience today will outlast tyrants and that nothing can ever erase them—not time, not death. These protectors of our nation fought and put their very bodies and their lives on the line. My work is to continue to lift them up in history so they can be seen in public spaces, where their heroic sacrifices become part of the American quest to fight against oppression and for freedom.” —Bisa Butler
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, 2022