For Some African-Americans, Meghan Markle is Reason to Celebrate

Gina Cherelus

 

This is an excerpt of an article originally published by REUTERS. Read the rest here.

 

(Reuters) - Ishea Brown and more than a dozen of her black friends will gather around the TV set in her Seattle home on Saturday to watch the biracial actress Meghan Markle marry Britain’s Prince Harry and to toast a union the hostess never imagined possible.

 

Brown is not a longtime devotee of all things royal, and she was not particularly interested in the House of Windsor before November. All that changed with the announcement of the wedding of the queen’s grandson to Markle, whose mother is black.

 

“These are things that growing up I never would have thought that we would see,” Brown, 33, said, referring to a woman with African-American heritage becoming a royal in the United Kingdom.

 

“I hope that women, but particularly black women, are able to see themselves in her and her mother, and know that there are no spaces that are not meant for us,” she said.

 

Brown has dubbed her party “Black A.F. Royal Wedding Brunch” and is using the hashtag of #WakandaWeddingWeekend, a reference to the fictional African country Wakanda featured in the blockbuster movie “Black Panther.”

 

 

Hundreds of thousands of royal watchers around the world will tune into the royal nuptials on May 19, and interest is particularly intense in the United States, with its historical, cultural and linguistic ties to Great Britain.

 

There has been a surge of interest and excitement among some black Americans, especially black women, who are inspired by Meghan Markle’s new-found status, said Sarah Gaither, a Duke University psychology professor who has focused on diversity issues and race relations.

 

“Most communities of color really aspire to have representation or role models, said Gaither, who is also a biracial woman. “That’s what I think is really unique of Meghan Markle - because she’s biracial.”

 

That said, Gaither pointed out some people within the black community do not fully identify with Markle because she is a biracial woman.

 

Kim Love, a black American with a large Twitter and YouTube following who frequently comments on social mobility issues, raised that point in an online post on Tuesday.

 

“Meghan Markle’s marriage does not represent a win for black women,” Love said in a tweet. “Besides, she doesn’t even self-identify as a ‘black woman,’ so please stop forcing it.”

 

Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty and Lisa Shumaker.

 

This is an excerpt of an article originally published by REUTERS. Read the rest here.

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