If you are reading this post, please know that great deliberation has preceded the publication of this piece. My hesitation is one of ambivalence. On one hand, I do not wish to give any more attention to the unworthy. I do however, find it imperative to speak out on the very disturbing response and coverage of this this violent referenced as the “royal” wedding.
First, please allow me to state that there was nothing royal about this wedding. There was royalty on the day selected however. May 19th is the birthday of the late Malcolm X, whose dedication and love for black people consummates his royal status. It is no accident that this “wedding” took place on the same date of what would have been Malcolm X’s 93rd birthday. 93 is 39 backwards, the age the Malcolm, the black prince of Pan Africanism, took his final breaths in front of pregnant wife Betty Shabazz and three of his four children. He would be visibly murdered by another physically black body, much to the satisfaction of his white oppressors.
Fifty-three years later, this British wedding fulfills a similar purpose–in employing “one of our own” (via partial genetics) to twist the knife of white hegemony. This union functioned to overshadow the legacy of he who the white world does not wish to remember, let alone resurrect, while resurrecting the very means of his demise.
The African Woman: An Absented Presence
In a previous post written just a few months ago, I delineated these nuptials as playing a role in detaching Britain from its slavery origins. I still believe this to be true, but I do not, however, see this detachment as core. What is most evident in Meghan’s nuptials encapsulated in its feature, is what Katherine McKitterick called an absented-presence in her book Demonic Grounds. While McKitterick speaks to the black female body displaced in Canada as both there presently but absent “his” stoically, her theory is evident for contemporary global treatment of the female body colored black.
This absented presence is a global violence extended to the black female body. Perhaps, most notably in Brazilian treatment of the black female body, namely the black mother. In supporting of multi-racial offspring, the black female body, as sexually sullied by the white man, was held up in pseudo celebration by the Brazilian media. Similar exhibitions have played out in the states, as seen in NYC mayor Bill Deblasio and black wife, poet Chirlane McCray. This union deflects from the anti blackness that anchors his political and the personal platform, an identical function to the global function of interracial unions, not excluded from the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Now you see her, now you don’t
Meghan Markle is both there and not there as a self-proclaimed “mixed” person. Similarly, her mother, Doria Ragland, is both there and not there as a black woman who despite her melanin-dominant complexion and “natural” hair, received central treatment for actions reflective of a “processed” mind.
She, like Meghan—a descendant of the very bodies that made the British empire possible— illustrates contemporary enslavement in mirroring past actions in choice. Ragland is celebrated not for being a beautiful black Woman, but for taking ownership of actions reflecting a choice made for her, and birthing the poisonous apple gifted to the fractured identity to the black female conscious.
This poisonous apple—Meghan Markle—makes his story because she is “his” story. Her body is a map of white male conquest, from conception to reception. She identifies as “mixed” a category that does not exist, illustrating her as acquiescing to a certain type of invisibility that makes her everything yet nothing all. The media embraced her and made her a national icon with hopes of fomented her supporters to adopt said identity fluidity as a means to suffer as beautifully as possible.
Meghan is centralized with hopes of ensuring the mulatto, or what the contemporary world calls “mixed,” remains the most revered type of black woman—despite neglecting to articulate an affiliation to blackness. Markel’s popularity functions to induce the black female body into a collective state of absented presence. Her aggressive media placement is in hopes that the presence of melanin, but absence of blackness, will prove contagious. So that the growing number of colored bodies in population and feature, will only strengthen white supremacy.
Interestingly, this idea is perhaps most pronounced in the presence of Idris Elba and his new fiancee Sabrina Dhowre. Elba, a pronounced heartthrob to countless black women, was invited solely to appease the anticipated black female gaze. Elba’s presence does not necessarily serve the same demographic that lives vicariously through Serena Williams and Meghan Markle, as descendants from those enslaved by the very forces that enable the privilege and power of the men they marry. No, his presence reaches for a different crowd—which makes his presence confusingly strategic.
Elba’s invite stands out, because it was supposed to. His inclusion, was to save face. It was to suggest that black love is welcome in the British empire. Though, Elba and his fiancee were most likely the only black couple in attendance, exposing their presence as filling a quota. Though referenced as “guests” they are tokenized, existing solely to answer the anticipated question of skeptics: Where are the black couples?
Elba’s presence illustrates what this union omits—that Elba’s pending nuptials to a beautiful, young black Woman would never be televised in two countries let alone one. So while Idris Elba is the dark and shining knight to many black women, his nuptials do not matter because they are an exchange of vows between two black bodies. White dominance, needs black bodies, or bodies descended from black bodies, to become one with whites to ensure the mental and physically annihilation of black consciousness. Espousal to white ideology and white dominance, be it through marrying a “prince”, celebrating entry into white spaces, or servicing white hegemony whether through blue or white collar jobs, is necessary in maintaining global white dominance.
In examining the Idris invite, it would be remiss to ignore a male body omitted from the ceremonies. Though potentially incendiary, I do not believe that illness prevented Mr. Markle from attending the ceremonies. It is simply that his presence was not necessary. Markle’s presence was not desired because while mother Doria Rangle is praised for having sex with a white man, Mr. Markle is not thought of as highly for reproducing with a black Women. This image is solely consummated by actor Idris Elba.
Past, Present, Future: A Triple Identity
In closing, this public spectacle encompasses the past, present, and the future of white supremacy. A past of empty gestures like Brown v. Board of Education where “integration” was a fancy name for another scar on our collective back as our oppressors continue to diversity the ways in which we were and are whipped by white supremacy. The present, where plantation dynamics are reincarnated and celebrated globally, the phallus of white supremacy contractually screwing us, and a future that looks exactly like the past and present. This spectacle illustrates that the past, present, and future hold a bleeding hand, in stagnancy. Time has not moved, and things have not changed, precisely because a key component of enslavement is believing that they have. Collaboratively, this union— a compilation of black past, and present, foreshadows a future where the reactionary functions as revolutionary, where integration functions as inclusion, and where melanin functions as “black.” If this sounds like the present, that is because it is. The future is not “on its way,” it’s already here.
The wedding is yet another portrait of white supremacy, namely, white male supremacy. Yet so many of the oppressed faction wished to be in Markle’s shoes. So many wished to trade places with her, a wish identical to wishing to trade places with their foremothers who also laid in the bed of white men on their wedding night, hearing similar superficial comments, and even praise for the violation of their wombs. Battered wombs that would produce those who smiled and cried tears of joy during these nuptials, reflecting the persistent bamboozled state of blackness where one wants to be desired, more than they want to be free.
Black Power ❤