Cathing God's Eye...The Easter Hat

black women black women and church hats black women and hats black women traditions easter easter bonnet easter hats

Easter Memories

Happy Easter and Passover Week to You! This time of year brings fond childhood memories to the forefront of my mind. For instance, my mom and I dying Easter eggs, Easter baskets filled with lots of candy, chocolate bunnies and toys. I also remember getting a new outfit fully accessorized with dainty gloves, shiny patent leather shoes, ruffled lace ankle socks and a tiny handbag to pull it all together. It wasn't until my early teens, when my parents joined a church, that I first saw a full blown Easter parade, of sorts. There were no floats or clowns in this parade. Instead, there were beautifully attired families in their newest, brightest and best Easter suits. And the Grand Marshall? Sorry fellas, but this title was always held by the multitude of women in the congregation who had donned their most elaborate and spectacular hats for an occasion such as this, Easter Sunday!


Honey chile, let me tell you those hats were something to see! Some were generously covered in feathers with sprinkles of shimmering rhinestones throughout, some had well placed large flowers with a simple ribbon accent. Others were small and sat on the head much like a bowl turned upside down. But, they were accented on one side by a cascade of decorative extra large plums, of other material that had been displayed in an exaggerated formation of some type.

There was always someone present who wore what I lovingly called, "The Show Stopper". The Show Stopper was one of those massively huge, exaggerated wide brimmed hats that the wearer wore stilted at an angle toward one side of her head. It was one of my favorites! Unless, I ended up sitting behind someone wearing one. Because you couldn't see a gosh dang thing in front of you. (LOL)

Pass One On

In Black culture hats were not worn only on Easter Sunday though. They were a tradition and many women worn one every Sunday. But, on Easter Sunday they had a tendency to be much more elaborate. Over the years it seems this tradition has faded somewhat. Most often you will see a hat being fashionably worn by an elderly women.

As much as I enjoy seeing women wear hats, I myself, am not a hat wearer. But, whenever the need has arisen I just reached out to some beautiful, old school saints who are happy to style me with one that accents my 'fit perfectly! 

To learn more about the tradition of hats in the Black community check out the book entitled, "Crowns, Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats", by Michael Cunningham, Craig Marberry with forward by Maya Angelou.

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