Martin Luther King Jr. visited and spoke in Gee's Bend on the eve of the Selma march in 1965; later, mules from Gee's Bend pulled his casket.
Traditionally, quilts were hung on clotheslines to "air out" during the spring. Many quilters used this once-a-year public display as an opportunity to discover new ideas for their compositions.
Gee’s Benders have coined their own terms for common quilt patterns. They call the square-in-a-square Log Cabin pattern by the name "Housetop"; the Courthouse Steps variation is known locally as "Bricklayer." The Roman Stripes or Fence Rail pattern is, in Gee’s Bend, a "Crazy" quilt (no relation to the Crazy quilts made with irregular scraps).
In 1937 and '38, the federal government commissioned two series of photographs of Gee's Bend. The images have since become some of the most famous images of Depression-era American life.
In earlier years, one of the primary influences on the Gee's Bend quilt aesthetic was the newspaper- and magazine-collages used for insulation on the inside walls of homes in the rural American South.