On Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Interracial Couples and Their Multiracial Children Will Not Save Us

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2018-05-18 18:54Z by Steven

On Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Interracial Couples and Their Multiracial Children Will Not Save Us

Chinyere Osuji
2018-05-18

Chinyere Osuji, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Camden)

This weekend, people all around the world will be tuning in to watch the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, an American actress. With a black mother and a white father, Markle identifies as biracial and will be one of the first Americans to marry into the British Royal family. To the chagrin of some, British royal weddings are a big deal in its former colonies, the United States included. But this is a major exception. Black women have been excluded from Western princess imagery until recently with the Disney Princess Tianna, who spent most of the movie as an animal. Yet, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, for the first time in living memory, an Afrodescendant woman will be the star who ends the movie as a princess in a real life royal wedding.

Last year was not only the year that Prince Harry proposed to Markle, it also marked the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision outlawing state anti-miscegenation laws. To celebrate interracial love, The New York Times ran an editorial titled “How Interracial Love Is Saving America” by Sheryll Cashin. The author cited research by the Pew Research Center on how 17% of newlyweds and 20% of cohabiting relationships are either interracial or interethnic, many times higher than in 1967. Cashin saw the enlightened whites who had married across color lines as being at the forefront of a New Reconstruction in the Trump Era. Many people think that as an important symbol of racial harmony, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle will change the world. Like these U.S. newlyweds, their love will be the acid melting the boundaries separating blacks and whites.

Unfortunately, it is not true…

Read the entire article here.

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The making of Meghan Markle

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2018-05-16 15:26Z by Steven

The making of Meghan Markle

The Washington Post
2018-05-16

Jessica Contrera, Features Writer


Portraits of Meghan Markle from eighth, ninth and 12th grades. From her childhood in Los Angeles to her acting career, Markle has said her “ethnically ambiguous” appearance shaped her identity. (John Dlugolecki/Contact Press Images)

What happens when a ‘confident mixed-race woman’ marries into the royal family

Meghan Markle was glaring at her love interest. She leaned forward, fury clear in her expression as she asked the question: Was it so hard to believe one of her parents was black?

“You think,” she spat, “this is just a year-round tan?”

He stammered. She grimaced. The opening credits began to roll.

It was just the scene of a television show, a few lines from the script of the law drama “Suits.” But Markle would later describe it as something more: the moment she was no longer playing the role of “ethnically ambiguous.” That was the description assigned to so many of the jobs for which she had auditioned. Others asked her to be white, like her father. Or black, like her mother…

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I study biracial identity in America. Here’s why Meghan Markle is a big deal.

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2018-05-14 20:24Z by Steven

I study biracial identity in America. Here’s why Meghan Markle is a big deal.

Vox
2018-05-14

Sarah E. Gaither, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Duke University


Photos: Getty Images. Photo illustration: Christina Animashaun/Vox

Biracial representation is sorely needed in a country with a fraught relationship with mixed-race people.

Growing up in the late ’80s as a biracial girl, I never had a mixed-race princess whose image I could sport on my backpack or my lunchbox. There was little to no representation of my identity — almost no characters in movies or television shows, no musicians or celebrities who identified as mixed-race.

For today’s biracial youth, Meghan Markle, the actress who is marrying into the British royal family — and who has defined herself publicly as “a strong, confident mixed-race woman” — represents the biracial role model I didn’t have growing up.

My mother is white and my father is black, and as a social psychologist, I research mixed-race identity and perceptions of biracial people for a living. The history of biracial couplings and children in our country is fraught: The “one drop” rule that categorized people with any African ancestry as “colored” was legally codified in a couple of states in the early 1900s. Interracial marriage was illegal in some states starting in 1664 until 1967 with the famous Loving v. Virginia case, and it wasn’t until the year 2000 when the option to “check all that may apply” for race appeared on the census…

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The Markle effect: black women see the royal wedding as workplace inspiration

Posted in Articles, Economics, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2018-05-12 17:31Z by Steven

The Markle effect: black women see the royal wedding as workplace inspiration

The Guardian
2018-05-12

Rory Carroll, Shenelle Wallace and Edward Helmore

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Westminster Abbey in London on 25 April.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Westminster Abbey in London on 25 April. Photograph: Eddie Mulholland/AFP/Getty Images

As the royal wedding approaches, some are hoping it will lead to a greater acceptance of African American women in business

As final arrangements are set for the wedding of the US actor Meghan Markle to Prince Harry Windsor, hopes are mounting among some that the Markle effect will have unexpected impacts, including improving opportunities for African American women in the workplace.

“It’s exciting for black women, and I think it’s going to be inspirational,” said Camille Newman, a 38-year-old Brooklyn entrepreneur. Newman expressed deep-felt enthusiasm in the union as a symbolic marker for the acceptance of black or biracial women in society and said other women of color she knew felt the same way.

“We’re claiming her for a black woman’s right to be in there like everybody else,” she said.

One anticipated spin-off, she told the Guardian, could be the greater acceptance of black women across all sectors of society, including business. “As an entrepreneur I face so many challenges to find funding for my business. We’re going to claim her and look to her for inspiration as an African American entrepreneur,” she said…

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What Meghan Markle means to black Brits

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2018-05-11 15:30Z by Steven

What Meghan Markle means to black Brits

The Washington Post
2018-05-11

Karla Adam, London correspondent covering the United Kingdom

William Booth, London bureau chief

Photos by Tori Ferenc


Photo by Tori Ferenc

After she marries Prince Harry, the royal family will look a bit more like modern Britain.

LONDON—Jean Carter had never bothered to come out for a royal appearance before. But when Prince Harry and his fiancee, Meghan Markle, made a visit to Brixton this year, Carter bought a bouquet and weathered a chilly afternoon waiting for a glimpse of the couple.

Carter was glad to see Harry, the happy-go-lucky, ginger-bearded son of the late Princess Diana. As an immigrant from Jamaica, though, Carter, 72, really wanted to lay eyes on Markle, a biracial American actress who is the subject of deep fascination here.

Multiethnic Brixton is South London’s hub for a founding generation of Afro-Caribbean immigrants. It’s a crossroad so central to the story of the African diaspora that local historians call the neighborhood — with its jerk chicken grills, reggae dance halls and vibrant mural scene — the black capital of Europe. When South African President Nelson Mandela came to Britain in 1996 he went to Buckingham Palace — and Brixton.

Carter characterized the royal couple’s visit to the neighborhood as “a big statement.”

But what exactly will it mean to have a biracial member of the monarchy after Prince Harry and Markle exchange vows on May 19?…

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What do Meghan Markle and Chicago woman who wrote ‘Passing’ have in common?

Posted in Articles, Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2018-02-25 23:47Z by Steven

What do Meghan Markle and Chicago woman who wrote ‘Passing’ have in common?

The Chicago Tribune
2018-02-23

Christopher Borrelli


Nella Larsen, author of “Passing.” (Carl Van Vechten)

Nella Larsen was a mystery in life, and a mystery after her death in 1964. According to biographers, when she died her half sister inherited the $35,000 that remained in Larsen’s savings, then said she didn’t know she had a half sister.

Which wasn’t true.

Yet, in many ways, it’s the response you expect.

Nella Larsen was born Nellie Walker in 1891, in Chicago.

Or Nella Larsen was born Nella Larsen, 1892, in Chicago.

Or Nella Larsen was born Nellye Larson, 1893, in Chicago.

Biographers have run across a few possibilities, and the agreed-upon details are this: Nella Larsen was born in 1891, in Chicago, as Nellie Walker. Larsen fudged her vitals on occasion, depending on who was asking and what form she was completing. She lived her life at times with a sort of concentrated vagueness — “in the shadows,” wrote George Hutchinson, one of her biographers. Just as her career was taking off, she broke ties with her closest friends, and she spent her last three decades working as a nurse, living in a relative, self-imposed anonymity. Which sounds melodramatic, yet Larsen — who had been a major star of the Harlem Renaissance after leaving Chicago (but never quite cast aside the rejection that she felt here) — lived a life that could fuel melodramas.

As it happens, she left great ones, slim novels that amount to 250 pages, combined. Indeed, “Quicksand” (1928) and “Passing” (1929) constitute most of her published work. Yet both are portraits of Chicago women who, like Larsen, navigated the blurriest of racial lines in the early 20th century, having been born to one black parent and one white parent. Both novels are about women who “passed” — that is, they presented themselves, day to day, as white. Her biographers say it’s unlikely Larsen herself did this, yet her protagonists are haunted by identity, frozen out by the black bourgeois, not at ease in white society, torn by the task of self-identifying in a binary-minded country…

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Black people have always accepted mixed-race people as part of their community.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2017-12-20 22:26Z by Steven

Black people have always accepted mixed-race people as part of their community. With [Barack] Obama, I think white people needed to be OK with voting for him. They needed to feel that he would look out for them. One way to do that was to emphasize the white part of his identity … With Meghan Markle, people want to correct the cognitive dissonance where [in their minds] black women aren’t princesses or duchesses. If she’s half-white, then that’s closer to the reality that makes sense. There’s a lot of people who are uncomfortable with the idea of a black person in such a position. It’s a way to set the world back right for them [by focusing on her white heritage]. —Camille Z. Charles

Valerie Russ, “In an increasingly mixed-race America, who decides what we call ourselves?,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 18, 2017. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/meghan-markle-race-camille-charles-biracial-post-20171218.html.

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In an increasingly mixed-race America, who decides what we call ourselves?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2017-12-20 17:59Z by Steven

In an increasingly mixed-race America, who decides what we call ourselves?

The Philadelphia Inquirer
2017-12-18

Valerie Russ, Staff Writer


(Andy Stenning/Pool Photo via AP)
Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle speak with teachers at the Nottingham Academy Dec. 1.

Last week, the Meghan Markle controversy was her anticipated visit with Prince Harry to Queen Elizabeth’s estate at Sandringham for Christmas, an unprecedented invitation for an unmarried couple.

Before that, the debate was about Markle’s mixed-race identity: Do her African American mother and white father make her white, black, or biracial? After her engagement to Harry, some women celebrated the notion of a “black princess” — although she’ll actually be a duchess — while others argued she should be described as biracial, not black.

How to define, describe, and label mixed-race identity has been a brewing controversy in recent decades as the country becomes more racially diverse. Since the 2000 census, when Americans were first able to choose more than one race, the Census Bureau reported that people of color will be the majority in the nation by the 2040s and that more than half of American children will be part of a minority race or ethnic group by 2020. In fact, as of last year, the census said minority or ethnic-group children under the age of 1 are already in the majority.

The sociologist Herbert Gans blamed Census Bureau data for the increase in white nationalism and alt-right fear “that they are being threatened and overwhelmed by a growing tide of darker-skinned people.” He predicted that mixed-race Latinos and Asians will eventually identify themselves as white.

Camille Z. Charles, the director of the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, is the daughter of an African American mother and a white father. Charles identifies as black. She is working on a book exploring the intra-racial diversity among black Americans who identify either as African American, mixed-race/biracial, or black immigrant, tentatively titled The New Black: Race-Conscious or Post-Racial?

Read the entire article here.

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Racial (Dis)Harmony: The Overestimated Post-racial Power of Meghan Markle

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2017-12-04 02:08Z by Steven

Racial (Dis)Harmony: The Overestimated Post-racial Power of Meghan Markle

Bitch Media
2017-12-01

Dr. Shantel Gabrieal Buggs, Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies
Florida State University


Photo credit: Twitter/newsjsBW

This week, the engagement of American actress Meghan Markle to British royal Prince Harry set social media ablaze.

Race is at the center of this internet firestorm: Markle is biracial, with a Black mother and white father. As a Black and white mixed-race woman who studies multiracial identity and interracial relationships, the online debates over Markle and her fiancé have been both perplexing and unsurprising. Over the last year, Markle’s racial background has drawn negative press in Britain. Last November, Prince Harry publicly called out the barely veiled racism and sexism in the media coverage of their relationship. Despite this treatment, their engagement is viewed as an opportunity to change what it means to be British and royal, with American fans celebrating a “real Black princess” who will bring #BlackGirlMagic to the royal family and the seemingly stale royal wedding traditions. Several essays have been written about what Markle’s presence means for the British monarchy and the broader racial politics of the West…

Read the entire article here.

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“She’s not exotic. She’s not from a tribe in the Amazon. She’s American”: Gina Yashere on Meghan Markle’s engagement

Posted in Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Videos on 2017-12-04 01:21Z by Steven

“She’s not exotic. She’s not from a tribe in the Amazon. She’s American”: Gina Yashere on Meghan Markle’s engagement

Channel 4 News
London, United Kingdom
2017-11-28

Cathy Newman, Presenter

Interview with author Afua Hirsch and Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff who is deputy editor of gal-dem – an online magazine written by women of colour. And from New York – the comedian Gina Yashere.

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