The idea that black people are descendants of kings and queens of Africa is not a new one. But, it is one that is more popular today than times past. So much so, that it has become the new thing to coolly call one another kings and queens.
The first time a black man called me queen was about three months ago. We were walking through a doorway and he stepped back and said, “after you queen.” He then picked up the conversation exactly where we had left off. Because it was the first time I’d been called queen in real life, I was a bit taken aback!

I’ve read many opinion pieces about this new fad and I’m still straddling the fence. I’m calling it a fad because I’ve been called queen half a dozen times in the past 3 months. That’s six times more than in the rest of my life.

Notwithstanding, I think that acknowledging the rich culture in which we come from can be liberating for us, especially in this age where much of our culture continues to be either ridiculed or appropriated.

I think of “King” and “Queen” as our long time “Brother” and “Sister” in the church and in the black community at large. And to that I see no ill intent.

My concerns stem from the fact that many of the intricacies of black culture have indeed become fads.
Once I was walking down the street, deep in thought. I suppose I looked like I’d been having a bad day or like something was wrong. A black man walked past and said, pick your head up, queen. And, I did. In that moment, I was proud. I am a queen, I thought. I am a black queen.  

To stay woke means so many things. The woke movement in and of itself is a powerful being. And, like everything else in the world, it has its flaws. One of my favorite slam poetry pieces is Kai Davis’ and Miriam Harris’ Stay Woke.
Kai and Miriam address some solid issues that black woke folks deal with, amongst and between each other. And, all of it feels all too real. Though I feel them on every single thing they discussed, I’m nervous for the day that our king and queen status forgoes black twitter and the like and lands in much appropriated mass media.

I’m nervous for the day that calling a black woman Queen becomes synonymous with a corny pick up line from the 90s.

The most recent occurance of me being called was about three weeks ago. I walked past two black men and said, good morning – as I usually do. One of them said, good morning sis and the other said, good morning queen. 

I’m nervous that we’ll lose king and queen like we’ve lost ownership of the natural shapes of our bodies and like we’ve lost cornrows.

by Shamira