Black Royalty

Every Tuesday and Thursday I clock in for work and as a routine, walk past the iconic images of a king, queen, ace and jack in a medieval coat of arms . In addition to the immaculate 23.5 carat leaf gold layering, the prominent and untraditional black skin on these kings and queens speak volumes to self-worth and praise of the African-American identity. In today’s social media, I have witnessed constant reminders to the Black mind that we are royalty and our existence should never be looked at as anything less. Without say, this ideology applies for all races and ethnicities but in the art piece, “Game Changing” by Derrick Adams, I believe the artist explores what it means to be black royalty.


In this piece, Adams uses blue and reds hues, which in my opinion resonate with ruby red and sapphire gemstones. Ruby and sapphire are known as two of the four most precious stones in the world. Coincidentally, these highly beloved gemstones are found in abundance in the continent of Africa. Rubies are considered to be a symbol of power, royalty and vitality while sapphires represent destiny and clarity. These elements makes one wonder about all the triumphs and obstacles endured in the Black experience in order to reach this level of hierarchy. We are all familiar with triumphs such as Barack Obama becoming the first African-American president in the United States; and obstacles such as the ongoing police brutality experienced by African-Americans. But to say the least, with all our triumphs, we are still making progress on ladder of royalty.

Through my lens, “Game Changing” by Derrick Adams opens the portal to engaging conversation and various opinions about the Black experience in the past, present and the future.

Written by Fatoumatta Tunkara


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