Trending Topics

Sociology Professor Speculates Meghan Markle Can Only be a Princess by ‘Downplaying Blackness’

Meghan 'can't embody her blackness'

Meghan Markle 'can't embody her blackness once she's part of the Royal Family'. In a series exploring what impact Meghan Markle can have as a royal, Professor Kehinde Andrews warns about 'post-race' promises.

Posted by Sky News on Wednesday, May 16, 2018


A series looking at the impact Meghan Markle can have as a royal is looking into how she’ll be able to express her blackness when she marries into the royal family this weekend.

Sky News’ “Meghan Markle: Skin Deep?” speaks to several students in associate professor of sociology Kehinde Andrews’ Black studies class. Andrews, who teaches at Birmingham City University, explained the former actress symbolizes exceptionalism and tokenism.

“The idea that just because you have a Black face in the royal family changes the nature of the royal family, I think is problematic,” Andrews says. “To be accepted, she has to be what the royal family is, what the royal family does. The actual monarchy as an institution will make sure that she … passes for white in terms of what she can say and who she can address. So the only way she can be a princess is to downplay her blackness.”

“She can’t embody her blackness once she’s part of the Royal Family,” one student says. “You ain’t gonna see Meghan at Carnival. It won’t happen. It won’t happen.”

Another noted that Markle underwent “extensive” background checks and that if she were any darker, Prince Harry would have been disallowed from marrying her.

“If you was empowering your blackness then would you want to be associated with the Royal Family? No,” a separate student said. “Because that’s built on racism, slavery, stealing jewels from Africa. You don’t want to be associated with that.”

Andrews added that symbols like Markle make it seem like more progress has been made, it causes more harm than good because “real problems” get ignored.

“It’s just convenient that she just happens to be quarter-caste or part Black and that’s what we’re more talking about now,” the student said. “No, we’ve got other things that we could be talking about and there are other statistics that show us actually what the problem is and we could be having a conversation about that instead. But no, let’s talk about Meghan Markle.”

But while Andrews and the students are passionate about Markle’s fading Black identity, several commenters accused them of playing the race card.

“😴😪🤑😴 this race card is so boring now. People just use it as an excuse and they really need to get a grip,” someone said. “Who really cares what color she is or isn’t? It’s what’s inside a person’s heart that matters and their mental aptitude.”

“Oh shut the f— up,” said another. “The media is the only ones making an issue about her color. Go find a real news story.”

“Funny how all the people who seem to have an issue with it are Black?!?” Why does race have to be an issue! Two people are married and are in love. Just leave them get on with it.”

What people are saying

Back to top