"Hats became an instant symbol that you have arrived, that you are on your feet. The hats became more and more flamboyant because the more trinkets and adornments that you could add to your hat, you were really saying, 'Look how God has blessed me.'"
The book's been adapted into a musical of the same name and is currently running at the Goodman Theatre through August 12.
On Friday's Barber Shop Show, we had two vibrant African American women from the cast of Crowns, Laura Walls and Jasondra Johnson, in studio talking about the hats they wear.
Listen to Johnson talk about her character, Velma, and her favorite hat from the show:
If you missed last week's show, look for a podcast up on Vocalo.org tomorrow. As always, tune into the Barber Shop Show on Vocalo 89.5 FM every Friday from noon to 1 p.m..
For more photos from Crowns, including many more fabulous hats, take a look at our photo gallery preview post. For more from the shop floor, check out our facebook album of pics from this week's show.