Outside the Box

In an essay written for ELLE UK in 2015, Meghan Markle, new fiancé to Prince Harry, said, “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white.”

Meghan Markle event appearance

Photo Courtesy of Business insider

With the word pictures so crucial for good writing and public speaking, she notes a traumatic moment in her childhood when, “My teacher told me to check the box for Caucasian. ‘Because that’s how you look, Meghan.’ I put down my pen. Not as an act of defiance, but rather a symptom of my confusion.” Seems she didn’t want to choose one parent over the other.

“If that happens again,” her father encouraged her. “You draw your own box.”

Meghan  Markle has spent her life outside of the box, challenging racial stereotypes. The Markle family was the only biracial family in the neighborhood, a situation that would have caused feelings of isolation for many children. However, Ms. Markle was different.

She didn’t think anything of having parents of different colors. Her parents created a world in which she wasn’t “different, but special,” even gifting her with a biracial Barbie family one Christmas.

As an adult, Ms. Markle has been a symbol of beauty as Rachel Zane, a legal eagle on the TV drama, Suits. She points to her role as being crucial: “Some households may never have had a black person in the house as a guest, or someone biracial. Well, now there are a lot of us on your TV and in your home with you.” How’s that for integration?

Ms. Markle inherits her spunk and drive from her great-great-great grandfather.

“You create the identity you want for yourself, just as my ancestors did when they were given their freedom. Because in 1865 (which is so shatteringly recent), when slavery was abolished in the United States, former slaves had to choose a name. A surname, to be exact. The family name that my great-great-great grandfather made to start anew was … Wisdom.