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For those confused by Aretha Franklin's regal hat, may I recommend:

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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:17 AM
Original message
For those confused by Aretha Franklin's regal hat, may I recommend:


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.

http://www.amazon.com/Crowns-Portraits-Black-Women-Chur...
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. nice post. n/t
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. I adore Aretha's hat. I want one. It was awesome.
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #23
53. not me. i'm more of a floppy hippie hat kind of girl:








(you get the idea)
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #53
60. oooh. cute. :) I love hats.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEE the springtime around here
The town I live in is predominantly black and the beautiful pastel hats on Sunday are a tradition that I adore.
And you are absolutely correct...I'd probably see them nekkid before I would see them hatless. :rofl:
BUT to be fair, the men all wear nice hats too. I love the formality of it all.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
37. I used to love to go downtown as a teen because everyone still wore
hats here. That was after Columbus invaded America and before fish became obnoxious. :)
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B o d i Donating Member (543 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:55 AM
Response to Original message
3. I never really 'got' fancy hats, could you explain it to me?
I understand when they serve a purpose, like hard hats or racing helmets or baseball caps or tennis visors, but feathers? flowers? crowns?

They're for people who don't like how their hair looks today?

100 words or less please ;-)
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sweetpotato Donating Member (678 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Fashion needs no explaining.
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 04:58 AM by aphopkin
I would remind you of those *golden* 1950s when everyone wore a hat if they left the house. Remember the Cleavers? Mom never left the house hat-less, nor did Dad. Men and women wore hats every day and women also were expected to wear gloves. Even when it wasn't cold outside. It was the fashion and style of the day.

Another tid-bit from 1950s fashion - shoes and handbag MUST match.

I suppose this is a holdover of the formality of earlier times.

Mostly, they wear them because they LIKE them.

edited to correct spelling - it bothers me - I'm OCD
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Then there's the big hat Ladies and the little hat Ladies.
and Red Hat Ladies.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. it has to do with dignity and authority. My grandmas would NEVER
leave the house without their hat, gloves and matching purse and shoes. EVER. It was what a 'decent' person did and what marked you as decent. All the men had a nice fedora and the women often had veils. I miss that. It is striking, beautiful, dignified and grown up.
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B o d i Donating Member (543 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #24
32. re: veils - So, it's kind of like a burka then? just optional, not mandatory?
:shrug:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. It was a sign of respect, not an effort to cage women. And veils on hats
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 02:59 PM by sfexpat2000
were instruments of flirtation, the opposite of burkas.
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B o d i Donating Member (543 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #35
42. Wow, did you see her ankles? HOT
Sorry, I don't see how they're opposites instead of similar, other than the being optional part.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. Veils on hats are pretty much invisible unless you're in close proximity
to the wearer. So, they function just like other kinds of see-through clothes, not like a real obstruction to the gaze.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #32
45. google hat fashions of the thirties, fourties and fifties. They were
just over the eye, sort of sexy as hell. :)
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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:57 AM
Response to Original message
4. Excellent post. Thank you. And K&R.
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 04:03 AM by ConsAreLiars
E pluribus unum. Out of many. We are made up of many cultures and heritages, and, unfortunately, most of us have had no more than a glimpse into more than one or two other than our own. Thanks for that peek.

(edit to add a dropped word)
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timtom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:49 AM
Response to Original message
5. Thank you for the clarification.
I am a firm believer in any ethnic group retaining strong links to its culture, while being an active participant in the larger culture in which it lives.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
7. I loved the hat... as someone said, Aretha came to us,
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 06:34 AM by hlthe2b
Gift-wrapped! As well she should. You're a treasure Ms. Aretha! ;)
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:56 AM
Response to Original message
9. Nice post but it's not just black women
The same is true in Britain, the Caribbean and Australia. I'd need to do more research but the 'hat parade' among colonial elites is linked to the 'theatre of the great' associated with great horse racing meets in the colonial days. In the Caribbean it is black women who love hats the most, but on Derby Day women of a variety of hues compete for 'hattention'.

Afro Caribbean women love hats and milliners do a thriving business here.
Here's a link from OZ
http://www.louisemacdonald.com.au /

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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. The hat in that picture is more like a piece of art
Definitely makes you stop and look for a bit.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
26. SJP was universally mocked for the hat she wore to the premiere of
Sex and the City. It did look silly as a hat, but it was nevertheless, as you have said of the hat in picture above, a work of art:

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chalky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. So true! I was shocked on my first visit when I witnessed an English wedding and spotted all the
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 08:50 AM by chalky
ladies (young AND older) wearing hats I'd only seen on black women in church here in the states. When an expat coworker told me that hats are such a serious deal over there that they actually have rentals, I almost fell over.

I had an aunt who's only instructions for her funeral were that she be buried wearing a hat.
It took some tweaking to get that hat on her just right, but we honored her wishes.

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. LOL


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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
39. Very cool--I lurve me some hats but would stand out like lime green
skyscraper in the Sonoran desert if I wore one here, siiiigh...
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
46. I saw a wedding party in the Bahamas that took my breath away
So much regal fashion, so much dignity and joy :)
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Rockholm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
10. Aretha's hat was a covert cell tower.
Loved it!
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:09 AM
Response to Original message
12. I thought she looked fabulous!
Loved her performance and appearance. She's just great. :toast:

Splendid post BTW.

Julie
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
14. One of my favorite PJ O'Rourke essays is "Horrible Protestant Hats"
Just seems like an appropriate place to mention this.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Yep the 'theatre of the great'
was very Protestant.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #14
31. Ha! I have to read that.
:)
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
17. sorry -- that was NOT a regal hat.
Not by a long shot. :shrug:
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mimitabby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
18. confused?
i thought it was beautiful!

when i was a little girl, we all wore hats I know i am aging myself, but one of my favorite things to do as a young girl was to go to the department store with my mother and try hats on.
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
19. that hat totally rocked.
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #19
41. Totally agree!! n/t
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
20. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
21. Thank you for posting this. K&R n/t
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Stevenmarc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
22. The higher the hat the closer to God
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southernyankeebelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
25. No Bow
Ms Franklin looked lovely in the gray. Loved the hat but that bow got to go.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
27. I thought Aretha's hat was FABULOUS.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
28. I'm thinking a thread about her hat should have a picture of it:
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slay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 03:40 AM
Response to Reply #28
57. Nice - thanks
Oh and cool hat. :party:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
29. I don't think that hat was big enough. I wanted her to have two pages
just to help her with her hat. She was lovely. :)
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
30. all the ladies in my grandmother's baptist church wore hats
and gloves. this was back in the sixties but as others have mentioned, decent folk did not leave their houses without hats, gloves and coats. all the men wore hats too...a tradition my dad passed on to me and my brother.
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slampoet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
33. I admire the Tradion of "Sunday-go-to-meetin'" hats. So great to see there is a book about it.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
34. Aretha made the hat work. n/t
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #34
61. I Agree
Looooved it on her, would look like an ass in it myself. I'm just too white for that kind of thing.
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likesmountains 52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
36. My great aunt was in charge of the millinery (hat) department of a large department
store in the 1950s. We used to just love visiting her and trying on all of the beautiful hats. I remember my mom having a closet full of hat boxes. Thanks for the great post.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
38. Thank you for the heads up, I gotta make sure my library has that book!
Awesome! Thanks.
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Love Bug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
40. I loved Aretha's hat! It had a very vintage feel about it
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
44. I'm too SEXY for my hat. Too sexy
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 04:04 PM by chill_wind



Toby Ziegler: I don't know from where you get the idea that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for anything of which they disapprove. Lots of 'em don't like tanks... even more don't like Congress.

Tawny Cryer, Appropriations Committee: Here's a woman who gets naked, covers herself completely in chocolate, and sings. Does that appeal to you?

Toby Ziegler: By and large, I'm not wild about musicals.

C.J. Cregg: {singing as she crosses the room to Toby} I'm too sexy for my skirt, too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for the other things...

Toby Ziegler: What in God's name is...

C.J. Cregg: He got the question.

Toby Ziegler: Who?

C.J. Cregg: The Majority Leader.

Toby Ziegler: When?

C.J. Cregg: Last night. Local news, Cleveland, Ohio - oh me-o, oh my-o, oh Cleveland, Ohio! He got the question.
Bonnie: What was the question?

Toby Ziegler: "Why do you want to be president?"

Bonnie: And what did he say?

C.J. Cregg: {reading from a transcript of the interview}
"The reason I would run, were I to run, is I have a great belief in this country as a country and in this people as a people that go into making this country a nation with the greatest natural resources and population of people, educated people."


C.J. Cregg: Chk-chk, boom!

Toby Ziegler: I'll spread it around.

C.J. Cregg: {singing her way out of the room} I'm too sexy for my shoes, too sexy for the blues, too sexy...

http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0018970/quotes



Bring back the great hats. And bring back a whole new West Wing-- man I miss that show. :-)





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fizzgig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #44
62. gods, i miss that show
toby's line about musical kills me :rofl:
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MaraJade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
47. Yes indeedy!
Aretha's Crown looked a lot like one of my mother's hats, and she has many!

The big spectacular hat is deeply ingrained in African American Culture, but it is also
invading other cultures as well. Red Hat Ladies and ladies who attend certain functions (like Ascot
or the Kentucky Derby) also wear big lovely hats.

And Aretha's hat has become a sensation worldwide!

http://www.freep.com/article/20090121/NEWS01/90121110/A...
(Detroit Free Press)

There is just something so dignified about those hats!
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
48. This Morning, I Didn't Get What All the "Schooling" Was About, re: Hats
But I hadn't yet seen the Daily Show when Stewart called Aretha's hat unfortunate or something negative.

They're guys. They wear backwards baseball caps. What do they know about head fashion?
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antigone382 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
49. I got to see a musical at the Alliance Theatre of Atlanta based on this book...
It was really fascinating...loved the hats but didn't really grasp their cultural significance until then.
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Patiod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. It was great - saw it at the McCarter in Princeton
SO couldn't go, so I went alone because I knew I'd enjoy the gospel feel, and it was well worth it

Didn't grasp the significance until I saw the musical, either
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
50. we have many in my church
and it is Catholic! I always admire them. :)
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
51. I'm a white woman who wears hats alot in winter, not much in summer.
It's too warm here for that. I wear berets, brimmed hats, some with silk flowers, some with feathers. Love them. Yes, white women should take up this fashion more frequently.

Aretha's hat was sublime! Great color, size, trimming on it. Perfect.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
54. Well but of course!
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
55. Hysterical Facebook comments on Aretha's hat here:
http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2009/01/arethas-giant-hat....

My favorite one:

Andrew Fox would like his civil rights, but might settle for Aretha's hat.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
56. I was at a friend's ordination ceremony a couple of years ago when . . .
I looked up and saw this HUGE hat walking in the side door of the church . . . with the people in front of me, I couldn't see who was wearing it, and for a moment I thought it might be part of the religious regalia . . . turns out it was the president of the local NAACP, who apparently is well known for her vast collection of immense, decorative "church hats" . . . personally, I'd never seen anything like it . . .
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 04:17 AM
Response to Original message
58. I LOVED her hat
I wish more people both men and women wore hats. When I was a little girl I loved to wear an Easter hat. :-)
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 04:29 AM
Response to Original message
59. Obama should have worn a top hat, like JFK did.
The men should have worn morning coats (tailcoats with a pearl gray waistcoat(vest) and tophat.

The women should have worn hats too, just to keep warm!!!

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asdjrocky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
63. Yeah, when I heard all the stuff about her hat I wanted to tell everyone they-
needed to go to a black church or two.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
64. I think it was a cool hat, and considering how cold it was - I'm glad she wore one!
I mean, christfuck, it was so cold I felt cold watching it at home in California!
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Blaze Diem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
65. Ellen DeGeneres wore one similar on her show yesterday..
In admiration of and next to a pic of Aretha wearing hers.
lol
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