5 Reasons Meghan Markle's Blackness Means Nothing To Black Women
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5 Reasons Meghan Markle's Blackness Means Nothing To Black Women

She's still our #BlackPrincess, though.

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5 Reasons Meghan Markle's Blackness Means Nothing To Black Women
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Last week Prince Harry announced his engagement to girlfriend, Meghan Markle. Of course the news of the youngest British royal's engagement sent shock waves around the world, as it should (for what reason, I don't know.) But none the less, I wouldn't expect it to get any less coverage than the nuptials of his older brother and future King of England, Prince William.

For most of us, the news of a British royal wedding, really doesn't mean much and wont affect our lives even in the least bit. At most it's a nice change of pace from our daily political and depressing news cycle. We can forget for a second that Donald Trump is a racist, misogynist bigot, that Cyntoia Brown has been unjustly incarcerated for over a decade and almost every man we have ever met has been sexually inappropriate towards a women. And we can spend at least a few minutes a day wondering what the bride-to-be's dress will look like or how cute Prince George and Princess Charlotte will look as the flower girl and ring bearer.

Now, the one thing that does make this story this story tad more interesting (for a moment, at least) is that Prince Harry's future bride, Meghan Markle is biracial. Though she won't be the first Black royal or the first Black British royal, she will be the first Black British royal that we will actively acknowledge. She has Black a mother and a white father. And though they have been on the dating scene for a while, her race has thrown a little seasoning into an otherwise bland love story. Racial pun intended.

While there's a good portion of people who still don't know that we aren't in the 60's anymore and that calling someone a "n*gger" will get their ass whopped, many people really do think that her race will help ease racial tensions. There's a lot of talk online about how a Black royal will make the U.K more inclusive and soften the harsh negative stereotypes of Black people. Americans have even likened her to Disney's Princess Tiana and dubbed her #BlackPrincess on social media. One writer thinks people feel Markle's presence will fill the void left by our auntie-momma-sista-friend Michelle Obama.

Sorry, not sorry to be a Debbie-downer, but both these groups of people need to STFU. The former for obvious reasons, but the latter, I'm about to get into. Yes, Meghan Markle will be a Black princess (or duchess,) but it really wont mean much and this is why...

1. She's racially ambiguous.


Well, lets start with the painfully obvious. Meghan Markle seems like great girl and I have absolutely nothing against her. She's smart, successful in her career and not to mention, gorgeous. I mean, who wouldn't love a woman who took on Proctor and Gamble at age 11 for a sexist commercial? But she is also the most light-bright-basically-white, lighter than the paper bag, passing, Black Becky we have seen in a long time. Not to start any rumors, but she could very easily be Jay-Z's "Becky with the good hair."

Now, if Prince Harry were marrying Lupita, Serena or Gabourey, I think we would all collectively shit our pants. But he isn't. After dating a long string of white women, he chose to marry a Black woman that basically looks everything like a white woman. And I'm really not going to bust out a bottle of champagne for this non leap into racial nirvana.

2. She identifies as "biracial."

Markle doesn't identify herself as a Black woman. She identifies herself as a biracial woman. Both are 100% fine, but it does make a difference. In 2008, the U.S elected its first Black president, Barack Obama. (Please bow your heads for this moment of remembrance . . . 3...2...1) Okay. Technically, Obama was also biracial. His mother was a white American and his father a Kenyan. Obama has always acknowledged his white side, but refers to himself and presents himself as a Black man.

Throughout his young adult years, he was a community organizer for Black youth. He acknowledges the inequalities between the races and actively works to uplift the Black family. He even created one of his own. And during his presidency, he spoke out in favor of Black Lives Matter and likened himself to Trayvon Martin. Markle has, at least publicly, ignored the explosion of racial tensions within the last decade. So, if Markle doesn't identify herself as a Black women or has lived life as a Black women, how does one expect her to help bridge the gap between Black people and white people in the U.K?

3. She's mum on racial issues.

As I stated, Markle has never been outspoken on racial issues. She has talked about being confused when a white teacher told her to identify herself as white and she has recounted a time when she witnessed someone refer to her mother as a "n*gger," but we have never heard her use her platform or her privilege as a racially ambiguous woman to speak on Black issues. While she has publicly referred to Donald Trump as a misogynist, backed Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential run and has a history of working with WorldVision to aid vulnerable children and is a UN ambassador, that is really the extent to which she has been political.

It's true that it's not her duty to carry the burdens of the Black community on her shoulders, but why do we assume she'll start now when it's never been of importance to her in the past? I think the safer assumption is that whether or not she decides to take up this racial crusade society has now tasked her with, her role within the royal family would actually place mad constrictions on what she can say and do seeing as members of the royal family are expected to be apolitical. Even her website, where her mantra was Gandhi's, "Be the change you wish to see in the world," was shut down after the announcement of her engagement.

Not to mention, she has an admiration for Ivanka Trump, daughter of your (cuz he ain't mine) Cheeto-n-Chief. In a 2014 op-ed she wrote for her site, The Tig, Markle interviewed Ivanka Trump calling her both savvy and intelligent. Maybe this was before we knew their family was racist and that Ivanka was a play-play feminist?

4. Queen Charlotte Mecklenburg-Strelitz.


Contrary to popular belief, Markle will also not be the first Black British royal. She'll just be the first one that we acknowledge. Queen Charlotte, wife of the King George III, was directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal House. She is Queen Elizabeth II's great-great-great grandmother. According to PBS, "the Negroid characteristics of the Queen's portraits certainly had political significance since artists of that period were expected to play down, soften or even obliterate undesirable features in a subjects's face." Though possibly lightened in many portraits, her Black features can't be denied. Ignored, maybe, as they clearly were at the time, but not denied. So, if the royal family in the U.K has a known African bloodline that is well documented, why do we assume Markle's presence will ease race relations, when a literal Black queen did not?

5. Prince Harry will never be king.

While Markle will become a member of the royal family, she will probably not birth a caramel heir to the throne. There is a clear line of succession and Prince Harry is currently 5th in line for the throne. His father, Prince Charles is next in line, then older brother Prince William, Prince William's oldest child, Prince George, then Princess Charlotte. Now unless everyone in front of Prince Harry drops dead (God forbid) from bad caviar, Markle's African heritage will have no actually impact on the royal blood line.


It's a nice thought that a Black girl from the valley is about to marry into the most visible monarchy ever, but lets stop pretending that it will change anything. It won't. Markle will go around kissing babies and hanging with old folks in nursing homes whilst sitting on the sidelines of social justice...like she the rest of the royal family have done for decades.

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