From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Bond, Ruth E. Clement

(born: 1904  -  died: 2005) 

Ruth E. Clement was born in Louisville, KY four years after her brother, Rufus E. Clement. They were the children of George Clement, Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and Emma C. Williams Clement, the first African American woman to be named Mother of the Year.

Ruth Bond and her husband, J. Max Bond, Sr., were the parents of J. Max Bond, Jr. From 1934-1938, the senior Bond supervised the training of  African American construction workers at the TVA Wheeler Dam Project in northern Alabama.

Ruth Bond established a home beautification program for the wives of the workers and began designing quilt patterns (although Mrs. Bond initially did not know how to quilt, the women she worked with were experts). The first quilt, called  Black Power, symbolized the TVA's promise for electricity. The quilts became known as the TVA Quilts and have been documented and displayed in a number of sources and venues, e.g., the 2004 Art Quilts from the Collection of the Museum of Arts and Design.

Ruth Bond was a graduate of Northwestern University in Illinois. At one point in her career, she taught English Literature and French at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University].

For more see Y. S. Lamb, "Ruth Clement Bond; Quilter, Civic Activist," Washington Post, 11/8/2005, p. B05; "Fabric of Change: The Quilt Art of Ruth Clement Bond" at the museum of arts and design website; "TVA Quilt" at the Tennessee Valley Authority website; "Ruth Clement Bond: Quilt Art, Activism, and an Extraordinary African-American Life" at the Michigan State University Museum website; and M. Fox, "Ruth C. Bond dies at 101; Her Quilts Had a Message," The New York Times, 11/13/2005, p. 43.

For details on the Wheeler Dam Project from the TVA, see The Wheeler project. A comprehensive report on the planning, design, construction, and initial operations of the Wheeler project..., 1940 (online at the Hathi Trust).

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Clement, Rufus E.
NKAA Entry: Clement, Emma C. Williams
NKAA Entry: Bond, J. Max, Sr.
NKAA Entry: Bond, James Max, Jr.
NKAA Source: The Washington post (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The New York times (newspaper)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bond, Ruth E. Clement,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-10-08 16:45:13