Not a Black Queen or a Diva, you say?
No . . . because you are far more than that.
Oh . . . but I have done it now, you might say! I suppose every Black person is now looking at that picture on the dresser or entertainment stand with the picture of themselves or their female relative with their hand on their hip and their head sassily tilted skyward. Above or beneath the photo, written or engraved, is the title . . . ‘Black Queen’ or ‘Diva’.
I would apologize for being so bold, for I know there are many black women that may feel offended by me saying such a thing. But I refuse. Some truths just need to be told. Black women are becoming infected with HIV at alarming rates. The nationwide graduation rates for Blacks is not just frightening, but pathetic. The Black vote is about to be ‘legally’ suppressed with new Voter ID laws. Far too many Black men are left to rot in jail due to discriminatory drug laws, leaving Black women to raise our next generation alone. Black women are willingly conned out of billions of dollars per year to make their hair ‘bone straight’, their skin a bit fairer and their outfits glitter with more and more bling.
So again I ask . . . Black Queen? Diva???
Firstly, monarchies have no place in modern society. Titles such as King, Queen, Duke, Duchess, Lord, Lady and such, are but archaic titles bestowed upon people we once thought were far superior than the rest of us and were able to lead us as a nation. A Diva is an entertainer, commonly thought of as one who is pushy, snobby and demanding for no other reason than they just can be such. So do you really want to be associated with a monarchy or a singer/entertainer that no one really has respect for?
England’s Queen Mary . . . or dare I say, ‘Bloody Mary’ . . . burned thousands of Protestants at the stake.
British and other European monarchies have maintained their reigns through incest and by the sword drenched in blood.
Egyptian Monarchies were known for brothers and sisters marrying, too.
Arab Monarchies have long condoned the right for men to have many wives and concubines.
And no—I won’t apologize to all of you who swoon over the British Royals during their government financed trips abroad. The Royals do make for fantastic historical movies, but that’s about it. In the day-to-day life of the billions of people everywhere, their titles mean nothing. The title, ‘Black Queen’ and ‘Diva’ means nothing, but does reveal a great deal about those of us who use it, as though it actually defines us a person of worth.
If I have to shout this a million times for at least one black woman or girl to get the message, I will. “Your potential is not tied to some made-up title of royalty, no matter how fancy or sassy you think it sounds. Your worth is not in how straight your hair is or how light your skin is. Your ‘true’ legacy will never be associated with the ability to tell someone off quickly, swing your hips wildly, or as in the reality show, Basketball Wives, demonstrate your capacity for violence toward your own sister.”
I know all of these things to be true, because I’ve seen what a real black woman is truly capable of, and I know it is not what is fed to me by the society we live in. Virginia Slims’ motto may be, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” But I say, “You’ve come too far, sister.”
Was it not the black woman who survived the Middle Passage with her male brethren? Was it not the black woman who survived the nightmarish indignities of rape, beatings and humiliation that was slavery? Did you not risk your life; raise your voice and march to end Jim Crow? You have birth us . . . fed us . . . raised us . . . educated us . . . put us on the right path, even when we wanted to stray. You have prayed for us . . . mourned for us . . . stood by our side, even when we didn’t stand by yours.
You hold your head up, even when others—even other Blacks—say that the Black woman is not beautiful. They have said your nose is too wide . . . lips too full . . . skin too black . . . voices too loud and your intelligence lacking. Yet . . . you persevere and prove them wrong each and every time.
Though you may sometimes falter, I know you feel the strength of that African blood coursing through your veins. You know you have come to this point in your life for a reason. You know that your Black sisters and brothers who have sacrificed on your behalf have not, and never will give up hope on you. I know that YOU know these things to be true.
So . . . are you really a Black Queen and a Diva?
I love titles, but not ‘Black Queen’ or ‘Diva’, for they show nothing about the person you truly are. Titles such as Physicist, Mother, Physician, Lawyer, Teacher, Mentor, Inventor, Wife, Leader, Motivator, Lover, Comforter, Senator, Community Organizer, Peacemaker, Defender of Weak and Powerless, Champion of Justice are awe inspiring. These titles may not sound as fancy and envy inducing as ‘Black Queen’ or ‘Diva’, but they cannot be born into like a royal or just given because a person has a reputation for being bossy, sassy and difficult to work with. These more fitting titles speak to the strength and qualities you have developed and nurtured. These titles say to the world that:
“As a black woman, I stand-up for truth and what is right no matter the consequences.”
“I am a black woman, not a ‘bitch’, ‘hoe’ or ‘niggah’.
“If you insult my brother or sister, I will call you out. They may be different in so many respects from me, and I may not agree, condone, approve or understand their differences, but they are human beings worthy of respect, as am I.”
“My body is not to be hit, slapped or sexually violated, for if you do, those mentioned above that I defend will call you out and work to see justice finds you.”
“No man is worth fighting with my sister over . . . period!”
“Society can continue to try and label me as lazy, unintelligent, a ghetto queen, welfare recipient, mother of 20 kids, loud and uncouth all they want. I and my adopted brothers and sisters of different races, backgrounds, creeds, beliefs . . . we all know the truth. The days of society defining me as the person they want me to be are OVER!”
“I am the giver of life . . . the nurturer of the spirit . . . the balm to humanities wounds.”
“I am more than a queen or a diva could ever hope to be.”