On View
Segregation Gallery
Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation, 1876-1968
Created by
Rosa Parks, American, 1913 - 2005
Subject of
Black Fashion Museum, American, 1979 - 2007
1955 - 1956
synthetic fiber and metal
H x W x D: 47 1/2 × 16 3/4 × 1 1/4 in. (120.7 × 42.5 × 3.2 cm)
Chest: 40 in. (101.6 cm)
Waist: 28 1/4 in. (71.8 cm)
Hem circumference: 78 in. (198.1 cm)
Belt: 2 3/4 × 33 1/4 × 3/8 in. (7 × 84.5 × 1 cm)
This dress (a) is a wrap style made from a plain weave viscose fabric with a printed design of dark brown and yellow flowers and leaves. The wrap effect is achieved by crossing the front bodice at the waist seam and gathered fabric on the proper left side of the waist. The skirt is flaired with six (6) gores and three pleats in the skirt at the center front add further to the wrap effect. The set-in full length sleeves are gathered at a 1 1/4" cuff that closes with two metal snaps. The dress has a small shawl collar and a v-neck. The dress closes at the proper left side waist with a zipper. It is unlined, and the seams are pressed open with raw edges exposed. It is machine-sewn except for the hem, which is turned up 2 inches and hand stitched. There are two belt loops made of a thin yellow braid, one at each side seam, which hold the accompanying belt (b) in place.
The belt (b) is made from the same fashion fabric as the dress, with a plain weave beige fabric backing. The front and back of the belt are machine stitched around the edge, and a layer of interfacing beteen them provides some stiffening. The belt has an oval-shaped metal single-prong buckle covered in the dark brown and yellow floral fabric, and five (5) white grommets on the opposite end of the belt for an adjustable closure.
Place made
Montgomery, Alabama, United States, North and Central America
Collection title
Black Fashion Museum Collection
Civil Rights Movement
American South
Civil rights
Clothing and dress
U.S. History, 1953-1961
Urban life
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions

Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at NMAAHCDigiTeam@si.edu

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