From the Publisher
African American Women and Their Church Hats:
"Our crowns have already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear them."
"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)
For writer Craig Marberry, "there's a lot of history under those hats." He and photographer Michael Cunningham have documented a fascinating African American tradition in the book Crowns: A Portrait of Black Women in Church Hats.
Featuring an introduction by Maya Angelou, Crowns presents 50 photos of black women arrayed in the hats they wear on Sunday. Each woman has a story. Some are funny. Some are heartbreaking. Some deal with department stores where black women couldn't try on hats. All of them illuminate an aspect of black life. Marberry says Crowns is "everything that is strong and loving and beautiful about black women.