Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Seamstresses Unite!

Seams (I know, I know) that there is an activist thread (I know, I know) that runs through the stitching community.

From today's The Writer's Almanac (

It was on this day in 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the front of a bus to a white passenger. She was unknown, a seamstress, the secretary of her local chapter of the NAACP. She was arrested and fined, but she appealed her case, and another relatively unknown person, a young pastor, Martin Luther King Jr., took up her cause. He founded the Montgomery Improvement Association and called for a boycott of the city-owned bus company. For 382 days, boycotters walked, biked, carpooled, or even rode horses to get to work. Across the country, black churches started campaigns to donate money or shoes to the boycotters, because they wore out their shoes by walking so much. Finally, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation of buses was unconstitutional, a major victory for the Civil Rights movement.
Rosa Parks died in 2005, at age 92.  
And now there is a movie, Made in Dagenham, about the seamstresses who brought us equal pay for women.  They were mightily underpaid upholstery sewers at the English Ford plant in Dagenham whose walkout led to England's equal pay legislation, the wellspring for similar legislation in many countries.  
Keep on stitching...


  1. Hear Hear! I always have a rush of pride when reminded of what women of humble origins have achieved in history but even more so when seamstresses are involved. Viva la thread and needle.

  2. Thanks for reminding us of how far we have come and how far we had to go. Women with needles should rule the world.

  3. I also really appreciated this particular entry...thank you for reminding us. Kathe