94-Year-Old Gets Wedding Dress Surprise After Racism Denied Her The Chance

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A great-grandmother in Birmingham, Alabama got a surprise of a lifetime when her family took her to a bridal shop to try on a wedding dress. Martha Mae Ophelia Moon Tucker was married in 1952, a time in American history when Black women weren’t allowed into bridal shops. 

According to ABC 7 Chicago, the 94-year-old was watching the movie Coming to America when her granddaughter heard her say she’s always wanted to try on a wedding gown. She was denied the opportunity for her wedding day because of Jim Crow laws. On her wedding day, Martha Mae Tucker wore a blue dress someone loaned to her. 

To help fulfill a lifelong dream for Tucker, her granddaughter, with the help of cousins, sprung into action, booking an appointment at a local David’s Bridal shop.

“Our grandmother has sacrificed so much for us, so to be able to turn around and grant her a ‘want,’ that was just priceless for me,” Anglea Strozier, one of Tucker’s granddaughters, told ABC 33/40.

After trying her dress on at the bridal shop, the matriarch said she didn’t want to take it off. 

“I looked in the mirror at myself wanting to know who is that,” Tucker said. “Yeah, I was very excited! I felt great! I told ya, it felt just like I was getting married!”

Tucker retired last November as chief poll worker, having worked 57 years to ensure Black votes were counted in Alabama’s elections. She has four children, 11 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

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