Written by | Cyrena Rose

Subtle, dramatic, showy, stylish, trimmed in feathers-bows-ribbons-buttons-flowers and more church-hats or ‘CROWNS‘ come in all sizes and styles and so do the women who adorn them!

In churches across the country on Sunday morning, at weddings, women’s day banquets or at the infamous Kentucky Derby crowns highlight a woman’s thrill of self-expression.  The crown adds flavor to a woman’s appearance and boosts their confidence!

Aretha Franklin’s hat wowed the crowd more than her vocals when she sang at the Inauguration of President Obama. The Smithsonian Museum wanted her big-bowed crown!  The hat inspired many designers to re-create their own version in different colors and sizes!  TIME was so fascinated with Aretha’s crown they did a piece on the accessory entitled Crowns:  A Brief History of Church Hats.

A musical based on the life of Civil Rights godmother, the late Dorothy Height, was named If This Hat Could Talk.  Those who knew her and her trademark crowns understand how the title was chosen.

In 2002 an off-Broadway play entitled Crowns, told the story of six African-American women through the hats they wear to church.  The play was adapted from the 1998 book two friends (photographer Michael Cunningham and journalist Craig Marberry) put together called Crowns:  Portraits of Black Women & Church Hats.  Together they found out women wore hats to ‘present their best’ unto God during worship service; they adorned their heads with their best crowns!

In the video below, Indie rock band the Rapture, utilized the extreme stylishness of  ladies’ church hats.  Vocalist Luke Jenner is seen standing at about 4 inches tall as he follows black women getting ready for church and chosing their best crown.  Take a look: [youtube id=”AoedK3XcoBE” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Ironically, drug gangs respect Sunday Mornings and pay homage to ‘CROWNS‘ that women wear to worship service!  The term is ‘the Sunday Truce.’  Take a look at the clip (around the 3:43 mark) from HBO’s The Wire below:[youtube id=”mPVY0WKTB8A” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Some women won’t dare be seen on the scene without a crown!

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