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If you’ve ever wondered what’s behind (or under) the flamboyant hats that African-American women wear to church, just explore the pages of CROWNS. Marberry interviewed fifty women who make it abundantly clear that church hats are much more than a fashion statement—they are a reflection of a treasured tradition and a spot on symbol of who they are.

From feisty twentysomethings to serene grandmothers, the women in CROWNS understand the secret of keeping the Sabbath both holy and glamorous. Their engaging oral histories also make clear the fake ids connection between African head ornaments and the hats worn in America’s black churches.

These are revelations so entertaining that actress/playwright Regina Taylor adapted them into an award-winning play. Each enlightening narrative is accompanied by a gorgeous black-and-white photograph by Michael Cunningham.

Read an Excerpt
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