Queen Makeda of Sheba. Queen Nefertiti. Queen Candace of Ethiopia, whom even King Alexander the Great couldn’t conquer. Queen Tiye.
I never knew that there were so many great Black queens who once reigned fiercely and with magnificent splendour. Hair like mine, skin like mine; devising Call of Duty-like tactics and shimmering in gold before a nation of bowed heads.
When I used to think of ancient Egypt or Africa, I pictured a tan-skinned, curly haired Cleopatra and nothing but mummies and pyramids. As for Africa, I assumed it was all an uncivilized jungle with more panthers and crocodiles and hippopotamuses. How ignorant I am! My people were engineers, doctors and mathematicians. They built vast palaces of epic portions. There was Thebes. There was Kemet. There was Memphis. And there were Black Queens. No helpless Cinderella, no sugary sweet Snow White. Black empresses and pharaohs, full lips and eyes as black as night.
Whenever I am out, now, and I feel self-conscious about my hair (why won’t my edges cooperate? Why, Lord, is it so windy?) I think of Ghanian Queen Asantewa. When my dark skin stands out in a room, I think of Queen Hatsheput. And when I walk, I walk with my head held high like Aminatu, Queen of Zazzau must have. I am not ashamed of my Blackness. To be Black is to be great. I am proud, just as the Bible states the Queen of Sheba is the epitome of beauty, who can deny that? We all have a bit of Queen Sheba or Queen Tiye in us. Let’s show the world the epitome of beauty has not died. It’s alive in our eyes, our hair, our smiles.