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Accessorizing the BodyHabits of Being I$
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Cristina Giorcelli and Paula Rabinowitz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675784

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675784.001.0001

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Black Hattitude

Black Hattitude

(p.172) 11 Black Hattitude
Accessorizing the Body

Jeffrey C Stewart

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter considers the social implications of the black hat, when worn tilted or set in a “reckless angle”, on top of a Black head. It argues that the Black stylized hat can serve as a defensive armor or provocative affirmation. It allows a Black man or woman to assert him or herself as an individual despite the pressures to be reduced to a race, class, or gendered collectivity, and to resist the tendency of everyone in America to be turned into a commodity. Despite the protections of group identity, the rakish hat worn on a Black head suggests the ability, the freedom, and the confidence to dispense with all that for a second and impose her or his will on the world as a subject without peer.

Keywords:   black hats, blacks, African Americans, group identity, freedom, affirmation, defense

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