Powerful Post by Meghan Markle on Being Biracial
It is hard enough being biracial. Now try being a biracial woman dating Prince Harry. Well, that's Meghan Markle's life for you. Critics have been on her case since the rumors about her relationship with the Prince began. Prince Harry had to issue a statement in her defense.
Like most biracials, she has to face the 'What are you' question. She is a writer, an actress and most of all a very good cook. But for many people, that just aint enough. They always ask: "Right, but what are you? Where are your parents from?".
However the Suits legal drama actress doesn't let it get to her. She owns her identity and tells it as it is: "My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white."
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As it happens to most black parents to biracial kids, Meghan's mum was always mistaken for the nanny. People kept asking where the mother was.
Meghan talks about her doll experience at seven. The set of Barbie dolls included a mom doll, a dad doll, and two children. And they had to be either black or white. Until...
“On Christmas morning, swathed in glitter-flecked wrapping paper, there I found my Heart Family: a black mom doll, a white dad doll, and a child in each colour. My dad had taken the sets apart and customised my family,” she recalls.
Much as her parents wanted to protect they couldn't anymore... especially when it came to filling forms where one has to pick a race.
"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 Meghan went home that day and told her dad what had happened, the father told her never to let it happen again advising her to draw her own bx if it ever happened again.
Meghan concluded her post with a very inspirational message which will definitely resonate with most biracial individuals:
"While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that.
To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.
So you make a choice: continue living your life feeling muddled in this abyss of self-misunderstanding, or you find your identity independent of it.
You create the identity you want for yourself, just as my ancestors did when they were given their freedom."
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