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Queen Mothers, You and Me

Since coming back from attending the Commission on the Status of Women this year, I have been reflecting on the many incredible women we met from across the globe. One in particular was a wise and peaceful community leader by the name of Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, a goodwill ambassador to Africa, and honorary Mayor of Harlem in NYC. 

As a few from our delegation gathered around her in the lobby of our hotel just hours before leaving for home, we couldn’t help but feel time slow down. We felt as though we were truly in the presence of a noble queen. Her colorful African attire was remarkable, but it was the look in her twinkling eyes that captivated us as she imparted her pearls of wisdom. When we were getting ready to say our goodbyes, she looked deep into my eyes while squeezing my hands and told me of the peace and healing qualities of the big ocean, and that if we remained on God’s path, we would bring much goodness to the world.

On the plane ride home I kept thinking of the the words “Queen Mother.” A queen is a royal title conferred upon a woman with a specific role, influence, and stewardship. A mother is a giver of life, a nurturer and healer. I couldn’t help but ponder on the the many powerful African presenters from whom I had been fortunate enough to learn.  Women like Obianuju Ekeocha from Nigeria, Sheila K. Muchemi from Kenya, Akech Aimba from Kenya, and Joy Brenda Mdivo from Kenya, who stood and boldly declared that their power as women rested in the dynamic differences between the sexes. These bold African women unabashedly spoke of their devotion to faith, family, and motherhood as their source of cultural identity and power. They celebrated their womanhood and motherhood.  

The faces of these many women, each Queen Mothers in their own right, filled my mind. I thought of the many women whom I respect and honor, women who have raised me up to see higher paths. I was reminded of the many young women now looking to our generation to pave the way for a culture inclusive of our maternal gifts. During this month of May when we have the opportunity to celebrate mothers, may we carry in our hearts the many queen mothers that dot the globe. Although many women might not feel their dignity or worth, may we each make an effort to remind them. May we each recognize the worth and infinite value within ourselves too. Truly, we are all Queen Mothers!

~Carolina Allen