Why Meghan Markle's Engagement To Prince Harry Is So Important For Brown Girls Everywhere
Prince Harry knows what’s up and officially put a ring on it. In an unprecedented move from Windsor Castle, the Royal family announced the engagement between Prince Harry and actress and humanitarian Meghan Markle. Aside from the fact that she’s American, Catholic, and divorced, what makes this announcement so historic is that Markel is a woman of color. Yes, she’s a brown girl!
Born to a father of Irish and Dutch descent and an African American mother who holds a Master's Degree in social work, Markel grew up in Los Angeles’ Crenshaw neighborhood. In fact, Markle's maternal great-great-great grandfather was a slave on the Georgia plantations before being emancipated in 1865. Along with her mother, Markle has confronted racism her entire life. Her mother often was often mistaken for the nanny and encountered the "N" word on many occasions.
When the news broke that Prince Harry and Markle were officially dating, one ignorant columnist from The Daily Mail wrote that if the new couple had children, “the Windsors will thicken their watery, thin blue blood and Spencer pale skin and ginger hair with some rich and exotic DNA,” and described Markle’s mother as “a dreadlocked African-American lady from the wrong side of the tracks.” Oh hell no!
As outrageous as these statements are, the columnist got one thing right: the DNA of their future children will definitely be rich! Rich with #browngirlmagic
In 2015, Markle wrote for Elle Magazine about the racism she faced growing up.
"There was a mandatory census I had to complete in my English class — you had to check one of the boxes to indicate your ethnicity: white, black, Hispanic or Asian. There I was (my curly hair, my freckled face, my pale skin, my mixed race) looking down at these boxes, not wanting to mess up, but not knowing what to do. You could only choose one, but that would be to choose one parent over the other — and one half of myself over the other. My teacher told me to check the box for Caucasian. ‘Because that’s how you look, Meghan,’ she said. I put down my pen. Not as an act of defiance, but rather a symptom of my confusion. I couldn’t bring myself to do that, to picture the pit-in-her-belly sadness my mother would feel if she were to find out. So, I didn’t tick a box. I left my identity blank — a question mark, an absolute incomplete — much like how I felt.
When I went home that night, I told my dad what had happened. He said the words that have always stayed with me: “If that happens again, you draw your own box.”
Meghan is definitely drawing her own box and making history. With Markle in the Royal Family, it puts a positive spotlight on acceptance and change, and we are here for it!
What do you think of Meghan Markle & Prince Harry's engagement? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.
Images Courtesy of: Chris Jackson for Getty Images