The Makings of a Queen
It’s all in the elevation of the chin: your shoulders are down, and the curve of your neck is as smooth as if it had been carved from marble, or like your posture was inherited from Queen Nefertiti herself. To call it “strength”, “dignity” or even “grace” is much too simplistic. It’s something innate, like the mark of a spirit that won’t be bowed.
You can see it in the way Bey holds her head when she tells us to get in formation, or in that split second before she swings a bat and knocks a camera on its side, the train of her yellow dress trailing out of sight. And speaking of yellow – and lilac and green and burnt orange – it’s Lupita Nyong’o walking award ceremony red carpets like it was black women that invented the rainbow, hand-picking the colors to compliment our melanin and ordering the spectrum purely for our pleasure.
“Because ‘goddess-like’ is inherited, it’s laced through your DNA; passed down spiritually from ancestors like Nandi, Queen Mother of the Zulu Nation, and Queen Nzinga, a military leader and diplomatic genius.”
It’s in your walk because you’ve watched how Naomi glides up and down runways, and you’ve seen the way Serena flies on the court and know you can levitate too. It’s in the posture you assume to drop into a squat and throw it back like you’ve got Meg’s vibranium knees, or when you angle your head towards the window, carefully positioned to let the rise of your cheekbone catch the sun for that goddess-like selfie. Because “goddess-like” is inherited, it’s laced through your DNA; passed down spiritually from ancestors like Nandi, Queen Mother of the Zulu Nation, and Queen Nzinga, a military leader and diplomatic genius.
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Now fast forward from Ancient Africa fo 1929 and you’ll find it in the defiant tilt of the heads of the women of Aba in south-western Nigeria, as they marched on British colonial buildings. A few decades later the anti-colonial movement will sweep across Africa, but it started with the women: thousand of them in their wrappers and head ties, heads high while they sand songs of protest and rebellion. The spirit carried from their melodies and wove itself into Nina Simone. You can hear it as her voice soars and falls, an instrument in its own right, charting highs and lows of our collective and personal histories.
“There are many different ways queens are made. Some are forged in fire and others are born of laughter and love – and you, dear Queen, embody them all.”
We carry ourselves like we’ve been carved in bronze by the finest hands in all of life like our faces should be put on money, but that doesn’t mean we’re made of stone. We cry, we bleed and even Naomi fell in her Vivienne Westwood heels once. But that’s fine, take a breath, as long as you need. But when you’re ready to raise your head, your gaze is steady and sure. Because even in those moments of uncertainty, it’s there, it always is, and it’s proof that you may not always see it, you walk like you’re wearing a crown.
WRITTEN BY: Jendella Benson
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Vibe out Queen, pour yourself a glass, wait for those locs to arrive! Dance like nobodies watching and live your best life sis.
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