by Hakim Be

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Inspired by my Mother, my Grandmother and my trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Smithsonian) in November of 2016 with my mother ... where she bought a "Crown" for her collection and we also bought Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry's book "Crowns: A Brief History of Church Hats."


Corona - hakim bellamy

“But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” 1 Corinthians 15-16

Either way
it is your birthright

Whether matrilocal
or matrilineal.
By gender.
By God.

Manifest destiny claims your kingdom,
and acts like we are doing you “a solid”
by calling you queen.

By calling that “a crown”
without understanding the rules of engagement.

That Sundays aren’t just the Lord’s Day.
It was a feather in the cap of the slave,
the couple dollars you could squeeze out of being overworked
and underpaid to bless yo’self to something nice,
to the the only place you could afford to wear it,
Sunday is also the Pageant of Christ.

1.Don’t wear a heat wider than your shoulders
2.Don’t wear a hat that is darker than your shoes
3.If your hat has feathers, make sure they are never bent or broken
4.No sequins in the daytime

5.No borrowing under absolutely any circumstances (if you give it, YOU GIVE IT!
as an heirloom, as gift.)

6.You should never look lost in it
7.Attitude. You have to have one in order to wear a hat well.
8.Easter hats should be white, cream or pastel — even if it's still cold outside.
9.When they sacrifice your son, wear the biggest one you can find

to his funeral.

Keep them in boxes too.
A brand new one for every such occasion,
Mother’s Days and Resurrection Sundays included.
Sadly and gladly
by the time you are a grandmother
you will have enough to go around…

Remember, veils render them convertible, all purpose,
any occasion, just like Big Mama’s little black dress.

You recount the parable of Jesus washing the disciples feet,
I learn from watching you
to interpret that as
God never wanting me to set foot in a church without looking clean.

A sign of prosperity
because in the hood and the holla
God smiles upon our people in church hats and sneaker heads.

But I refuse to call it “a crown”
because you are not who you are
simply because of who you married.

Because man confers kings and queens, not God.
God’s in the business of putting wings on the backs moms.

I prefer to think of it as a halo,
because unlike a crown
It never comes off
not even when you are at work
bussing beer bottles on the night shift.

Because Monday through Saturday you are a walking miracle.

And on Sundays
you are a walking museum.

© Hakim Bellamy May 13, 2017


released May 14, 2017
Hakim Bellamy



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Hakim Be Albuquerque, New Mexico

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