8 March celebrates the International Women’s Day. I thought of sharing with you, this poem by the great panafricanist Marcus Garvey published on February 28, 1927. To Garvey, the African Woman is the Mother of all Women, the Mother of Beauty, the Mother of Health, the Mother of Wisdom. All can refer to her as “Mother.” And she is the African Man’s Wife. Enjoy!!!
The Black Woman
By Marcus Garvey
Black queen of beauty, thou hast given color to the world!
Among other women thou art royal and the fairest!
Like the brightest of jewels in the regal diadem,
Shin’st thou, Goddess of Africa, Nature’s purest emblem!
Black men worship at thy virginal shrine of truest love,
Because in thine eyes are virtue’s steady and holy mark,
As we see in no other, clothed in silk or fine linen,
From ancient Venus, the Goddess, to mythical Helen.
When Africa stood at the head of the elder nations,
The Gods used to travel from foreign lands to look at thee
On couch of costly Eastern materials, all perfumed,
Reclined thee, as in thy path flow’rs were strewn-sweetest that bloomed.
Thy transcendent marvelous beauty made the whole world mad,
Bringing Solomon to tears as he viewed thy comeliness;
Anthony and the elder Ceasars wept at thy royal feet,
Preferring death than to leave thy presence, their foes to meet.
You, in all ages, have attracted the adoring world,
And caused many a bloody banner to be unfurled
You have sat upon exalted and lofty eminence,
To see a world fight in your ancient African defense.
Today you have been dethroned, through the weakness of your men,
While, in frenzy, those who of yore craved your smiles and your hand-
Those who were all monsters and could not with love approach you-
Have insulted your pride and now attack your good virtue.
Because of disunion you became mother of the world,
Giving tinge of robust color to five continents,
Making a greater world of millions of colored races,
Whose claim to beauty is reflected through our black faces.
From the handsome Indian to European brunette,
There is a claim for that credit of their sunny beauty
That no one can e’er to take from thee, 0 Queen of all women
Who have borne trials and troubles and racial burden.
Once more we shall, in Africa, fight and conquer for you,
Restoring the pearly crown that proud Queen Sheba did wear
Yea, it may mean blood, it may mean death; but still we shall fight,
Bearing our banners to Vict’ry, men of Africa’s might.
Superior Angels look like you in Heaven above,
For thou art fairest, queen of the seasons, queen of our love
No condition shall make us ever in life desert thee,
Sweet Goddess of the ever green land and placid blue sea.