Sunday Go to Meeting

Sunday Go To Meeting: African American Women and Church Hats in Houston

May 28, 2016 – October 28, 2016

The African American Library at the Gregory School










The earliest known traditional hats in history were worn in Thebes and seen on ancient Egyptian murals. Centuries later, Phrygian caps were worn by the freed slaves in Rome, signifying their independence. In the early 20th century, Sunday church services provided African American women who worked as domestic servants or in other subservient roles the only real chance to break away from their drab, dreary workday uniforms. They favored bright colors and textured fabric, the bolder the better, and topped their outfits off with an adorned hat, or “crown”. This exhibition highlights historical photos from the Gregory School collection  and church hats from various women in Houston.