Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats by Michael CunninghamCrowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats by Michael Cunningham

Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats

byMichael Cunningham, Craig Marberry

Hardcover | October 31, 2000

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Countless black women would rather attend church naked than hatless. For these women, a church hat, flamboyant as it may be, is no mere fashion accessory;  it's a cherished African American custom, one observed with boundless passion by black women of various religious denominations. A woman's hat speaks long before its wearer utters a word.  It's what Deirdre Guion calls "hattitude...there's a little more strut in your carriage when you wear a nice hat. There's something special about you." If a hat says a lot about a person, it says even more about a people-the customs they observe, the symbols they prize, and the fashions they fancy.

Photographer Michael Cunningham beautifully captures the self-expressions of women of all ages-from young glamorous women to serene but stylish grandmothers. Award-winning journalist Craig Marberry provides an intimate look at the women and their lives. Together they've captured a captivating custom, this wearing of church hats, a peculiar convergence of faith and fashion that keeps the Sabbath both holy and glamorous.
Michael Cunningham is a commercial photographer whose clients include Coca-Cola and Sara Lee. Two of his photographs are currently on loan to the Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum, and his works have been featured in the New York Times and Ebony. He lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.Craig Marberry, a former TV reporter, holds a maste...
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Title:Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church HatsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.26 × 7.81 × 0.95 inPublished:October 31, 2000Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385500866

ISBN - 13:9780385500869

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Reviews

From Our Editors

It takes a lot of verve, style and pride to wear an extravagant hat. For many black women, wearing colourful, showy church hats is beyond fashion; it’s an expression of tradition and individual style. Featuring 50 exquisite black-and-white photographs, Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats presents women of all ages who enjoy making the Sabbath as glamorous as it is holy. Craig Marberry’s delightful interviews enhance Michael Cunningham’s captivating photographs, offering a glimpse into each woman’s life. These essays reveal the connection between African head ornaments and hats in American black churches.

Editorial Reviews

African American Women and Their Church Hats:"Our crowns have already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear them." -James Baldwin"We just know inside that we're queens. And these are the crowns we wear." -Felecia McMillan, journalist"Listen, never touch my hat! Admire it from a distance. Those are the hat queen rules, honey."-Peggy Knox, child care provider"You can flirt with a fan in your hand. You can flirt holding a cigarette, too. But a woman can really flirt with a hat." -Dolores Foster, real estate agent (retired)"My husband said, 'You don't need another hat. You don't have but one head.'"-Dorothy Wynecroff, middle school teacher (retired)