Hello Blogosphere! This week has been incredibly beautiful and eye opening. The title of today’s post came from this weekend. I was walking down the block in Brooklyn and a young black man simply said “Peace, Queen” and I responded “Peace, King”. The beauty in a simple acknowledgement. But just acknowledging isn’t enough. What does it mean to live up to those titles?
Let’s start at the beginning. “Woke” black people all over America have dubbed themselves Kings and Queens. You’ve probably heard it in Neo-Soul, on the radio, and in films. This came about in the 60’s and 70’s when black became beautiful, natural hair was a must and James Brown’s “Say it Loud” played freely on the radio. Black American people reclaimed their sense of self with these titles. To acknowledge each other as African Kings and Queens meant that we were more than just stolen people, we were the highest of the high…royalty. Post slavery, reconstruction and the turn of the century, we had been beaten down as a people, both mentally and physically. The 60’s was a time of taking it back. Studying ourselves and our history became paramount to our survival.
This is beautiful, however, what does this mean now, in the world as we know it today? King and Queen come from the European ideal. We all know what feudal Europe was like because that’s all the history we learned in school. We learn about European history first because of white privilege and I personally have NO desire to express myself with such terms. I was told recently that “King” and “Queen” come from Asiatic titles, namely “Qing” which has a specific vibrational meaning. That, to me, feels right. Elevation, feels purposeful and very much like home. To acknowledge someone as King or Queen is to adhere to the European standard. The Queen is always less than with no real power to rule, despite the presence of female rulers for millenia. Those titles have been gendered and in many ways bastardized. I prefer Qing in all it’s vibrational, androgynous glory.
So what does it mean then to have “Qing” status? Is it like being a Queen? Well, what did the young man mean when he called me Queen? I choose to think of it as a sign of respect, but also a sign of “sight”, of acknowledging strength, beauty, wisdom and most of all knowledge of self. When I look in the mirror and say the same to myself, what am I saying? Acknowledge my own greatness first. My own femininity, masculinity, heart, womb, mind, body, soul, essence, ether. This is a Queen. This is a “Qing”. This is wholeness and purity. Being purely who I am, unashamed, unapologetically.
Many black people are looking for the next step. Where do we go from here? We continue to live in a world that suggests that we look outside. We look to clothes, shoes, material wealth, monetary value and romantic relationships. But what if the next step is to look within, cultivate our divinity and heal ourselves? With our own healing, we can in turn, heal the world.
Damali Speaks Xx