I have been going to church on Sundays since I can remember. My grandmother was one of the first female deacons of Corinth Baptist Church in New York and my mother and her sisters sang in a gospel group that often traveled to churches around the south. For me, going to church is an engrained tradition that speaks to who I am, how I live, and how I raise my boys.
Going to church also brings back fond memories of tasty Sunday dinners, soulful singing, Easter parts, and colorful hats. Yes – colorful hats! As I sat in church this Sunday, an usher walked two elderly ladies down the aisle to their seats. I noticed the elegance of both women, the way in which they walked gracefully down the aisle, the “sharp” way in which they were dressed, and the confidence they exuded. Each woman wore a brightly colored hat (pink and blue) with a wide-brim that twisted festively to the side. I thought, “What a beautiful sight!” I also noticed how they were the only two women with hats. See, “back in the day,” African American women always wore hats to church, a tradition that has been relegated to “hat-themed” bridal showers and women’s clubs.
It forced me think about the importance of tradition in a world that is rapidly changing. Can we, as a society, balance both? I’m thinking that I can as I look forward to my 4 year old acting in his first Easter play and reciting his very first Easter part. I think I might wear a “brightly colored hat with a wide-brim, festively twisted to the side”. My grandmother would be extremely proud J.