Monday, December 4, 2023

Her Shirt Said Queen…Right?

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( In the past few years, Black fashion has given way to some of the trendiest designs as far as clothing goes. It has evolved to include our homegrown American black culture and our ethnic African cultures. One thing that has caught my eye is the words or phrases that are being printed on some of our clothing now. Seems everywhere you turn there is a woman with the word “Queen” displayed proudly on some piece of clothing or accessory. Even I have a pair of earrings shaped with the words, “Black Queen”, inside them. Usually, it’s on novelty t-shirts available at strip mall chain clothing stores or dollar-store brand apparel. But have we ever really examined the need to physically label ourselves with the moniker to feel it or be it?

Black women have constantly had to defy or work toward labels that have been applied to us. Whether it be a degrading slur or appropriate praise there have always been words used to describe us. Strong, proud, rebellious, Jezebel and Mammie are just a few of the colorful and hurtful names given to us. Yet, “Queen” is one that has been taken back by women of color and embraced wholeheartedly. Even when we don’t fully understand the word or the varying definitions and attitudes that accompany it. What it takes to be a “Queen” is something that has been hotly debated in setting such as the barbershop and the beauty parlor. Black men and women both have different viewpoints or characteristics of a “Queen” that a woman must possess to be a “Queen”.

black woman queen tshirt

From collected conversations, men perceive a queen as a woman who can support her household with love, time, attention, and care while being the power behind the throne. She makes the schedule, prepares everything from meals to laundry, the ultimate communicator and executor of the house. A queen can also conduct the business of the home in a dignified manner and need her husband only in times when her action has been exhausted or it is impossible. Whereas I’ve heard women state that being a queen is a mind state of being confident in who and what you are, having the courage to fight for what is yours and what is right, and the wisdom and grace to learn from all experiences. She also carries herself with a quiet air that commands respect so there’s no need to be boastful.

No matter the definition, it is agreed that not every woman carries herself as a queen. It is not something you are born into; a woman must mature into a queen. This is a fact that is commonly forgotten and overlooked when attempting to define such a broad word. The maturation process is different for every woman, but it must be understood that it must take place and time. We have to learn when to react to certain situations and when to remain quiet because not everything requires your energy. Lessons in what we can and cannot tolerate must be learned and boundaries must be set for us to know our limits to avoid exhaustion. Being a “Queen” requires a growth mindset that is unshakeable. A “Queen” understands that her failures are actually springboards to better understanding of self and the world around her. She believes that she can consistently evolve for her life to grow to new heights.

After considering all that, it makes one think twice about the words we use to describe ourselves even if it is just a word on a shirt.

Staff Writer; Jessieca Carr

One may connect with this sister online over at Instagramsusiecarmichael1920 and Twitternoladarling1920.

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