Sunday Morning Celebration

African American Women’s Sunday Styles

Easter Painting by Green

Easter by Jonathan Green (1989)


Sunday morning celebration is the best collection of hats, music, and fashion. It is an emotional and visual representation of African American freedom and beauty.

Church          Hair          Hats & Fashion          Music

Welcome to our Sunday Morning Celebration: African American Women’s Sunday Styles. This web site is a collection of verbal and visual representations of African American women’s styles. From hair to music, from fashion to God, African American women display the best of themselves on Sunday mornings.
The significance of the celebration on Sunday can be understood by examining the liberation of domestic workers on Sundays. Elizabeth Clark-Lewis’ book, Living in, Living Out examined the oral histories of female live-in domestic workers in Washington, D.C., in the twentieth century Great Migration. These women workers recalled their struggles to become living-out workers, women who had their own apartments, rooms, visitors, and social lives. African American domestics fought to win Sundays off from their duties as servants. Their free Sundays opened the door to a new style of urban living. Non-domestic women were also influenced by this transition. Sunday freedom allowed all women to publicly praise God.  Both then and now, African American women’s styles are brilliantly displayed during church services.
By examining women’s Sunday morning experiences in Steelton, PA, and relating them to the stories that our narrators shared, we examined the evolution of African American women’s culture through clothing, hats, and hair. We learned that Sunday morning worship has been important to the community of African American women and their struggle for a cultural identity. The changes in African American women’s styles are an important index of social change in America.
Physical freedom from labor was only one aspect of the Sunday morning celebration for African American women. Emotional freedom in the church community and its music drew well-dressed African Americans to Sunday service. This web site will examine styles that some African American women proudly exhibit on Sunday mornings, in the name of glorifying God.

Framed Art

African Art, courtesy of Swazyne Savage


Reflections          Bibliography          Dickinson College          Steelton Mosaic