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Will Aretha’s Most Iconic Hat Become a Part of Obama’s Legacy?


Will Aretha’s Most Iconic Hat Become a Part of Obama’s Legacy?

By Maiysha Kai via

If there’s one thing we know about the Queen of Soul, it’s that she loved a “lewk.” Aside from her often extravagant stage attire, Aretha Franklin was fond of a dramatic gesture—the tossing of a train, the shedding of a fur—because, as our loyal reader TheRealMarthaJones3.0 accurately noted, “Auntie understood DRAMA! EMOTION! and EFFECT!”

Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration was no different; when Franklin took the dais to sing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” she did so wearing a gray felt pillbox hat with an oversized, bedazzled bow that nearly stole the show from Franklin herself.

The hat, which has lived on in countless memes in the near decade since, was a custom creation by Luke Song of Mr. Song Millinery in Detroit, a hometown favorite of Franklin’s (their site’s homepage currently features …


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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

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