Why Harry and Meghan’s ‘Megxit’ is a crossroads for the UK on race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2020-01-22 00:58Z by Steven

Why Harry and Meghan’s ‘Megxit’ is a crossroads for the UK on race

PBS NewsHour

Courtney Vinopal, Digital Reporter

When Prince Harry and Meghan, the duke and duchess of Sussex, first announced that they intended to “step back” from their duties as “senior UK royals,” palace officials were reportedly taken aback by the decision.

But it came as no surprise to close watchers of the young royals — particularly among the United Kingdom’s communities of color — that the couple made the historic decision to renounce their “Royal Highness” titles and spend most of their time in North America.

“Minority communities expected this to some degree,” said Nels Abbey, a London-based media executive and author of the novel “Think Like a White Man.” With “the level of hostility and racism that Meghan has been on the receiving end of, it’s no surprise that she’s chosen to leave,” he added…

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Harry and Meghan were meant to embody post-racial Britain. So much for that

Posted in New Media on 2020-01-12 02:40Z by Steven

Harry and Meghan were meant to embody post-racial Britain. So much for that

The Guardian

Amna Saleem

Prince Harry and Meghan Meghan after their wedding ceremony, May 2018. Photograph: Damir Šagolj/Reuters

Remember the choir, the preacher? The marriage symbolised a new era – then the tabloid onslaught began

It’s the stuff romcoms are made of: beautiful young woman meets charming prince and, after a series of mild miscommunications, they live happily ever after. Well, that’s how it’s supposed to go at least. Meghan Markle, the much put upon protagonist of this Nora Ephron-meets-Get Out fairytale, has gone off-script and attempted to create a different happy ending, and with good reason.

Everything that could have predicted the pair’s joint decision to step back as senior royals can be directly traced back through all the sensationalist and derogatory headlines written about Markle. She couldn’t even enjoy avocados without being framed as a drought- and murder-fuelling traitor, set on bringing down the monarchy. Harry, to his credit, has been by her side every step of the way, challenging traditions by demanding an end to the tabloids’ abuse of her, which sadly had little impact. If anything, it gave the news cycle more to talk about – but his actions were nonetheless commendable…

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Black Britons Wonder What Took Harry and Meghan so Long

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2020-01-12 01:44Z by Steven

Black Britons Wonder What Took Harry and Meghan so Long

The New York Times

Ceylan Yeginsu

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, leaving St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding last year.
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, leaving St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding last year.
Pool photo by Ben Birchall

“Thank God they are free,” one Londoner said. “All of this is about her race, I know it because as a Caribbean woman who did not grow up here, I have experienced it myself.”

LONDON — When Prince Harry and Meghan announced this week that they would be stepping back from their royal duties and spending extensive time in North America, many of Britain’s minority residents said they felt a burst of relief.

At long last, many said in interviews, the couple might finally escape the abuse, much of it racially tinged, that has been heaped upon them by the British press, particularly the country’s raucous tabloids.

“Thank God they are free,” said Sanaa Edness, lifting her arms to the sky as she walked through Fordham Park in southeast London. “Nobody should tolerate bullying and abusive behavior because of the color of their skin. All of this is about her race, I know it because as a Caribbean woman who did not grow up here, I have experienced it myself.”…

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Black Britons Know Why Meghan Markle Wants Out

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2020-01-10 00:36Z by Steven

Black Britons Know Why Meghan Markle Wants Out

The New York Times

Afua Hirsch

Samir Hussein/WireImage, via Getty Images

It’s the racism.

The British press has succeeded in its apparent project of hounding Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, out of Britain. The part it perhaps didn’t bargain for, however, is the loss of Prince Harry — a much loved Royal and a key part of the family’s global brand — along with her.

In a statement released this week, the couple said they want to “carve out a progressive new role” within the royal family and will “step back as ‘senior’ members, and work to become financially independent.”

The British press reacted with surprise at the “shock move abroad,” described variously as “seismic,” “selfish,” “rogue” and “an atrocious lapse of judgment.”

If the media paid more attention to Britain’s communities of color, perhaps it would find the announcement far less surprising. With a new prime minister whose track record includes overtly racist statements, some of which would make even Donald Trump blush, a Brexit project linked to native nationalism and a desire to rid Britain of large numbers of immigrants, and an ever thickening loom of imperial nostalgia, many of us are also thinking about moving…

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Examining Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: An African Journey

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2019-11-19 00:43Z by Steven

Examining Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: An African Journey

Psychology Today

Sarah Gaither, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Dr. Jennifer Sims, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Alabama, Huntsville

Source: ComposedPix_Shutterstock

“Mixed” reactions highlight mixed-race issues in the US and the UK.

Even before the full documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey” aired on ABC, social media was abuzz from a teaser clip of Duchess Meghan Markle being interviewed. In the video, an off-screen Tom Bradby is heard asking Markle how she is doing. She thanks him for asking, saying that not many people do, and answers that the media attention has been difficult on top of being a newlywed and a new mom. Here, Meghan noted her struggles not just as a mom, but as a newlywed and a new royal. Her multiple identities—both those that were newly obtained and those she has always had such as being multiracial—were highlighted in this documentary. Thus, this documentary reminded viewers around the world how easy it is to be judged and excluded particularly when you represent multiple groups.

Many were moved by her words. On Twitter, messages of support, crying GIFs, and jokes of being ready to fight for her were tweeted under the hashtag #HarryAndMeghan. Others, however, were less sympathetic. Talk show host Wendy Williams said that “nobody feels sorry for” Markle and that the Duchess “knew exactly” what she was doing marrying into the British royal family. Jane Ridley of the New York Post noted that “Something’s off when you’re bemoaning your lot as a VIP;” and author Dominic Green called it entitlement to say one is “existing, not living” when that existence is “on millions of pounds of taxpayers money.”

From a psychology angle, these “mixed” views of Markle (pun intended) correlate with the confusion and varied reactions that mixed-race individuals often face. Past work highlights the constant identity questioning and denial that mixed-race individuals face since they often don’t fit into either of their racial in-groups. In Markle’s case, she not only is mixed-race but also is now bicultural as she balances both U.S. and UK expectations…

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A royal baby with black heritage will have absolutely no effect on the issues facing black Britons like me

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2019-05-12 17:57Z by Steven

A royal baby with black heritage will have absolutely no effect on the issues facing black Britons like me

The Independent

Kuba Shand-Baptiste

This is the same United Kingdom that was so taken aback by Jon Snow’s remark on ‘Channel 4 News’ that he had ‘never seen so many white people in one place’ at a predominantly white Brexiteer rally, that thousands of people, unfamiliar with being classified as anything but the default, complained

So, the new royal baby is here. Since Meghan Markle’s explosive arrival on the scene, the media has speculated wildly about the significance of her heritage, as well as that of her child.

What did her race say about this country? Was this as monumental a moment as Obama’s presidential election, then thought of as a marker of post-racialism in America? And now that the baby, with his mixed-race American mother and white British princely father, is here – does he represent the so-called progressiveness the United Kingdom increasingly ascribes for itself?…

…The United Kingdom this baby has been born into still struggles to muster the introspection to really grapple with its existing history with race. We’ve seen it in dog whistle attacks on Markle over the last few years, even in the last few months, from outrage over her star-studded baby shower in the States, to accusations of the Duchess of Sussex’s bad or “difficult” attitude. Yet, it seems, vast swathes of the nation are still taken by the notion that the arrival of this child has the power to eclipse that. No chance…

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What The Reaction To The Royal Baby Says About Racial Identity And Racism

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2019-05-11 15:10Z by Steven

What The Reaction To The Royal Baby Says About Racial Identity And Racism

New York, New York

Rebecca Carroll, Editor of Special Projects

Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor during a photocall in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle in Berkshire (Shutterstock)

In the five days since Meghan Markle, the black and biracial American who married into the British monarchy, gave birth to her son Archie Harrison Mountbattan-Windsor, at least two media outlets have posted blatantly racist commentary targeting the royal baby’s racial identity. On Tuesday, CNN published an article by John Blake with the headline, “How Black Will the Baby Be?

The story unleashed a torrent of backlash on social media…

…Don’t get me wrong. The myth of mixed-race and racially ambiguous children as representative of hope and harmony is real. Mixed-race people are notoriously fetishized, and colorism is rampant in mainstream media and Hollywood and, well, across many industries. Dark-skinned black folks are without question discriminated against in far greater numbers than lighter-skinned and mixed-race black folks…

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Episode 1

Posted in Arts, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, United Kingdom, United States on 2019-02-06 02:22Z by Steven

Episode 1

Shade Podcast: UK culture and news podcast focused on the mixed race experience

Laura Hesketh, Co-Host
Liverpool, England

Lou Mensah, Co-Host
London, England

Debut episode from Laura Hesketh & Lou Mensah where we discuss identification, Meghan Markle (00:01:36), the Khloé Kardashian bi racial doll tweet (00:07:25), Colin Kaepernick (00:10:40), Steven Riley (00:12:22), and more.

Listen to the episode (00:14:19) here. Download the episode here.

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Why Barack is black and Megan is biracial

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2018-07-01 20:07Z by Steven

Why Barack is black and Megan is biracial

Media Diversified

Olivia Woldemikael, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science
Harvard University

Olivia Woldemikael discusses the differences in how Megan Markle and Barack Obama present themselves racially and asks what it means for blackness as an identity

The exclusivity and purity of the racial categories, black and white, is a myth, and a destructive one. Yet, it is continuously perpetuated in national discourse and family conversations. As the personalities of celebrities and politicians continue to be venerated in America, the racial identity of public figures such as Barack Obama and Meghan Markle are important sites for changing our ideas about race.

It’s no surprise to me that Barack Obama was considered America’s first black president and Meghan Markle is considered the biracial princess of England. The two are similarly “light-skinned” in racial parlance. Yet, the manner in which each of them has constructed signifiers of their race explains the difference in public perception. While perception alone does not diminish either’s proximity to whiteness and privilege, which may help explain their success. It does, however, draw attention to the way individuals are able to exercise agency in determining their racial identity, undermining the monolithic American racial ideology. The divergent public personas that Obama and Markle have cultivated demonstrate the fragility of racial categories and hierarchies, as well as highlight the need for a paradigmatic shift in the way we discuss and represent race in the media…

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Steve William’s Column: Invisible blackness, can you see it?

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2018-05-28 02:33Z by Steven

Steve William’s Column: Invisible blackness, can you see it?

South Strand News
Georgetown, South Carolina

Steve Williams

Steve Williams (copy)
Steve Williams

Last weekend’s royal wedding in England was a beautiful thing to behold. Many have likened it to Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

Social media is abuzz with millions who witnessed it; perhaps because Meghan Markle, who is of mixed racial heritage, didn’t diminish her African heritage rather, she celebrated it. When talking about her mixed heritage, race isn’t something she leads with, but she’s clearly comfortable talking about it. She tells a story of growing up and having her mother pick her up from school; how her friends would often ask — “who’s that black lady? Is she your maid?”

A self-described feminist and egalitarian Meghan has proudly supported many causes for those who are marginalized. Her wedding ceremony spoke volumes for her character. Likewise, kudos must be given to Prince Harry and the royal family for allowing her to express it. Maybe they’re more progressive than I thought…

While more and more celebrities like Halle Berry, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Sade, Drake, Vin Diesel, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are celebrating their multicultural heritage today, this was not always the case — particularly those black celebrities who could “pass” for white

…Yet, the question of race for many blacks in America was determined by the so-called “One Drop Rule.” The law adopted by most Southern states originated during slavery and reinforced under Jim Crow, said if an individual has one single drop of “black blood” in their ancestry, then that individual is black regardless of his or her appearance.

In the early 1900s, being “black” or “colored” had drastic practical consequences even for whites.

The story is told of John Kirby who was the son of Big John Godbolt. Godbolt was one-eighth African and seven-eighths European. That meant Big John was legally classified as “colored” under South Carolina law. But John Kirby’s mother was white which meant John Kirby and his siblings had less than one-eighth African blood and were legally not “colored.” Instead, having only one-thirty-second African blood they were legally coded as “white.”…

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