When he started shooting photos of ladies in their church hats, journalist Craig Marberry found his interest piqued. "I think it's because it's rooted in the African tradition that says that when one presents oneself before God… that you should be at your best –- that you should present excellence before the Almighty," Marberry told NPR in an interview about his book Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats which includes more than 50 women in majestic millinery. "And that tradition of adorning the head for worship is a very African tradition." Not to mention an excuse to go shopping for accessories; according to the author, on average, the women owned 54 hats - each.
Here are some fun hats to help get you inspired:
- pink, orange and avocado felt hats - all BerkleyHat.com
- miniature of Harriet Rosebud's pink soutache Class A hat - comes with a hatbox and a hangtag with the story behind the hat. "As I look through every moment of our history, we as Black women have worn hats," reminisces Rosebud. "We have marched in them, we "sat-in" them and we worship in them. I remember my aunt wearing a baby pink pillbox with tiny silk flowers all over the hat, just to go to the market. I remember the First Lady of our church in a different hat every Sunday. I remember the first white hat my mother ever bought at the hat shop on Central Avenue. These are my remembrances. That which inspires me. And although hats change in shape and size over the years, one thing remains the same: Our love for them. They are our hats to hold on to."
- Crowns is available at Amazon.com.
- Lesley Scott
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