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Queen Nanny of The Maroons

Somewhere within the now-difficult-to-explore, vaulted corridors of the mass history of the Colonial Slave Trade of Africans in the New World, Caribbean Military Myth, Anglo-Saxon intrigue and the legends of Jamaican Folklore resides one of the single most explosive tales in the entire lexicon of African heroism in bondage: this tapestry of myth and reality is known popularly in Jamaican culture as Queen Nanny of the Maroons.

Reputed to have been a mighty military strategist and sorceress in her native Ghana, the fierce warrior woman depicted here had been brought to the new world while in the shackles of dehumanizing woe, after having been thrust from her rightful place as a regent and commander of great armies of African might by the white capitalist zeal of slave-masters and military generals with no compulsion, compassion or common decency toward any man or woman of color.

However, as she found herself walking in forcible servitude in an 18th Century Jamaica now fully wracked with consistent rumblings of slave rebellion, this Nubian-black warrior princess would find herself called upon again to enact her majestic powers of divination and fearsome military prowess (emulative and, no doubt, directly influenced by the long legacy of black military geniuses such as Hannibal and the Zulu nations of Western Africa) in the service of a new impetus: freedom and unfettered emancipation from British Colonial rule, on shores and island principalities all but foreign and alien to her own people.

Nevertheless, according to the hallowed legends of her life, this 18th century, fist-to-cuff freedom fighter would go on to prove not just merely a shrewd combatant against the British, but also a feared and revered mystic siren reputed to wield control over life and death itself as she melded the ancient ways of the far-flung African homeland with the new fighting implements of her racist, British Colonial captors.

In fact, Nanny has gone on to enjoy a sort of spectral beatification to this day in the Caribbean as a result of her reputation as a visionary, hand-to-hand combat saint: Nanny would be made sole, matriarchal head of the now-indigenous Maroon Tribe of Jamaica as she would prove successful in leading the African slaves of Jamaica in warding off the advances of the befuddled, technologically superior forces of the English Crown of the time, laughing to scorn the alleged primacy of White racist dictate while mauling Britain’s best trained soldiers in battle, all while valiantly holding aloft her majestic African staff of power with one clenched fist of feminine fury.

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