Everyday, there are women of color all over the world working diligently to ensure a future full of passion, purpose, and love for the next generation. Fervently building new communities and mending broken ones, trailblazing in political sectors, fiscally holding their own as innovative entrepreneurs—all while facing the obstacles of objectification, racism, and sexism—these women still manage to wake up absolutely flawless.
As women in the Western world, we hear stories about the nation’s forefathers, and while Susan B. Anthony gets recognition in our grade school textbooks—Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth are also briefly mentioned during the month of February—the stories of our foremothers are usually often and intentionally left out. As a result, many young girls of color grow up not knowing that they come from a lineage of queens. The type of royal figures who rarely enjoy their seat on the throne because they need to provide for their families in every way. The queens whose crowns consist of kinks, curls, coils, and waves in a rainbow of colors, textures, and lengths, with skin painted carefully by the sun.
Although we share similar experiences, we rarely get to hear the stories of the queens we do not know, which is why we decided to embark on the video series, ‘Til Queendom Come—portraits of amazing women of color sharing their thoughts on life and the journeys they have taken.
We gratefully begin our series with Miatta Ashley. A nurturing West African woman who brought a sense of home with her when she entered the United States, Mother Ashley spoke to us about the importance of sisterhood, community, and an unexpected assimilation into a new culture.