The Crusader Newspaper Group

The legacy of Warrior Black Women

Illustration by the Chicago Crusader

In her book “She Came to Slay,” Erica Armstrong Dunbar recounts the life and times of Harriet Tubman.

Dunbar references how young Harriet got between a plantation owner and a runaway enslaved Black man. The plantation owner threw a two-pound iron weight at the runaway but ended up striking Harriet on the head. The blow fractured her skull. Instead of giving her medical treatment from the pain and bleeding, she was sent back into the field to work while the blood and sweat ran down her face.

That blow caused her painful headaches and to have sleeping spells where she could not be awakened until the spell was over. There were times she would fall into a deep sleep mid-sentence and could not be brought out of it until it was over.

These episodes lasted for the rest of her life.

The most astounding thing is that those sleeping spells would usher her into what seemed like a portal to the Holy where God’s spirit would give her direction and instruction. It was during those spells that she would have visions from the Holy about people to avoid, and what direction or roads to take when she led Black people from the plantation to freedom those 19 times. She went back to deliver over 300 enslaved persons.

Her experience illustrates the scripture that says “what others meant for evil God is able to turn around into good.”

Harriet is one of the warrior Black women I honor during this women’s month. 

Then there are the warrior Black women in the bible known as the Queen Candaces (Kandake). The term Candace or Kandake is a royal term for a line of warrior Queens that have no equal anywhere else on the planet.

These warrior Queens ruled ancient Mero for at least one hundred years. One of these warrior Queens led the men of her army to halt the incursion of Alexander, the so-called “Great,” from pushing deeper into the African continent.

These warrior Queens are referenced in the book of Acts, the eighth chapter, where the evangelist Philip preaches the gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch who was on his way back home after having participated in the African Jewish annual festivals (we will come back to this). 

After preaching the gospel to this Ethiopian eunuch who was the head treasurer in the administration of one of the Queen Candaces, that African eunuch went back to Mero and converted many people to “The Way.” 

We now see how Africa and Africans are not only the birth place of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but Africa and Africans have the oldest Christian churches in existence today.

I celebrate these Warrior Queen Candaces during this Women’s History Month.

Finally, I cite another in a long line of warrior Queens of Africa and Africans. She is Queen Makeda also known as the Queen of Sheba. She is so awesome that even Jesus mentions her in the New Testament!

This warrior Queen is the one who was able and capable to test the African Jewish King Solomon who God made the wisest person on earth at the time.

When Queen Sheba set out to check out this brother who she heard was the wisest of all persons, please note that she did not seek his wealth because she already had her own, that rivaled or even surpassed Solomon’s. She did not seek his notoriety because she already had her own. 

She went to test him. 

The only way she could test him was that she herself was brilliant enough to not only know what questions to interrogate him with, but also to know if he was truthful. She did not go to sit at his feet, she went to look him in the eye. This was one awesome Black African woman.

After she found out that he was legitimate they fell into a love experience and ended up having a child by the name of Menelik. 

It is because of that encounter and child that the people of Mero and the region came to become followers of Moses and the Torah. 

Remember the Ethiopian eunuch who was a worshiper of Yahweh and attended the Jewish festival? I told you we would come back to it.

 He was there because his ancestors came from the line of Menelik who was the offspring of Queen Sheba and King Solomon. What a glorious history that still has not been publicized and taught to our children.

Warrior African Queens number many, from Sheba to the Candaces to Harriet Tubman to Queen Yaa Asantewaa, to Queen Nzinga, to Sojourner Truth, to Ida B. Wells-Barnett, to Nannie Helen Burroughs, to Anna Julia Cooper, to Septima Clark, to Claudette Colvin, to Rosa Parks, to Coretta Scott-King, to Betty Shabazz, to Ella Baker to Fannie Lou Hamer to so many more.

Somebody reading this can remember a warrior Queen Muhdear, grandmother, auntie or Big Mama in your family who held the line so that you could be here today!

As the saying goes, “if it wasn’t for the women…”

And there are Warrior Black girls in homes, churches, and our communities who are waiting for a community that is not scared or ashamed to nurture their warrior spirit by teaching our story so they can stand shoulder to shoulder with warrior Black brothers to help lead Black people and all oppressed people to liberation.

Uhuru Sassa!

Knowing The Truth - Part I
Rev. John E. Jackson
Senior Pastor at | + posts

Rev. Dr. John E. Jackson, Sr. is the Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ-Gary, 1276 W. 20th Ave. in Gary. “We are not just another church but we are a culturally conscious, Christ-centered church, committed to the community; we are unashamedly Black and unapologetically Christian.”

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