Museum’s exhibit features church hats

Bay City Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Donnye Stone, in this photo and others of her on this page, shows off three of the hats she donated for the Black HIstory Month exhibit under way at Matagorda County Museum.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story on the hats that African-American women wear for church is part of the Black History Month exhibit at Matagorda County Museum.
   The text comes from Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry - plus a forward from Maya Angelou.

   James Baldwin quoted: “Our “Crowns” have already be brought and paid for, all we have to do is wear them.”  
   The tradition began with the writing of the Apostle Paul, who said women must cover their heads when they come to worship and that every woman who Prays or Prophecies with her head unveiled dishonors her head. (1 Corinthians 11).  
   For African American women and 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 our carriage when you wear a nice Hat.  
   “There’s something special about you.”

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