(ThyBlackMan.com) When people meet royalty they generally post it everywhere and tell everybody. Can you blame them? It’s something special being in the presence of someone that has the blood of Kings and Queens flowing through their vain. All the history and experiences of their people are personified in the individual standing in front of you. They are a representation of everything beautiful and right in their homeland. That moment is breathtaking. I had the opportunity to spend some time with a Queen of a village in Ghana. This was my first time in the presence of an actual Queen and the experience, though brief, created memories I will have for a lifetime. It was everything it was supposed to be and more.
This particularly Queen happens to be an entrepreneur in the city I live in. She owns a boutique that features authentic African attire and accessories. I believe in supporting entrepreneurs when I can. When they are members of my community I try to make it a priority. I reached out to purchase a few bracelets from her establishment. I thought the experience would be uneventful like most of my shopping outings. I just don’t get overly excited about spending money regardless of what I am purchasing. But this was something unique and special.
I must admit the bracelets were not like anything I have in my current collection. Some of the men’s bracelets I felt at first glance better suited a female so at first, I was a little unsure about what I wanted. I wear my emotions on my face and the Queen must have sensed I needed some help. She began to tell me about the “name” bracelets. These are based on the day of the week you were born. She asked me to tell her my birthday, so she could look up what day I was born on. The Queen likes to rename people, so I got a new name on that day. YAW which means a man born on a Thursday. It’s amazing what a good story will do to a sales process. At that point I didn’t care what it looked like. I just wanted a piece with YAW on it, so I could share the meaning when people asked me about my bracelet. That bracelet is now one of my favorites in my bracelet collection.
I once tweeted African American history didn’t begin with the slave ships. My visit was a reminder of that. The Queen gave me a history lesson right there on the sales floor. She shared with me who her father was and some of his many contributions. This led to discussion on how she became a Queen of a village in Ghana but lives here in America. She knew where her name originated from. She knew and could articulate a lot about her lineage and the traditions of her people.
I consider myself to be a conscious person. I am down for the advancement of Colored people. I am woke- so I thought. I could speak about the diaspora of Black people living in America. I could name champions of the Civil Rights Era. I could clearly articulate where we needed to go in America, but I know little about what happened before the slave ships. I know very little about our people that didn’t get sold into sold into slavery. Some of them went on to do amazing things.
In that moment I realized that some of us really don’t understand where we should be going because we really don’t understand where came from. There are Kings & Queens in our history, in our blood line. Our Ancestors built great empires and kingdoms. We are the descendants of great warriors and philosophers. We didn’t begin in the slave ships and that is why we didn’t end there.
This Queen of a village in Ghana looks like me. She could be my daughter, sister, or my mother. How life changing would it be for my daughters to see and touch a Queen that looks like them. What would that experience do to how they see their own reflections? That moment, though brief, made me stand a little taller and appreciate that my ancestors were African. I was reminded that day that I must do more to find their stories and elevate their contributions.
There was a lady there earlier that told the Queen they didn’t like African clothing. How sad. This person was of African descent but could not find beauty in art of her people. I didn’t like every piece I saw but there were easily a few pieces that fit my style. Not liking African clothing is a loaded statement. I equate that to a traveler coming to the United States, visiting one store and then concluding I don’t like American clothing. Deculturation worked to some degree. We need reprogramming. We must stop hating ourselves.
Staff Writer; David Spencer
This talented brother also recently self published a book which is entitled; DarkSkin… One may purchase a copy of it over at; http://www.SoundOfDavid.com.
Also feel free to connect via Twitter; TheSoundOfDavid.