Happy Friday! Today’s Famous Friday features the former actress and author Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Meghan.
Celebrity Meghan Markle, whose full name is Rachel Meghan Markle, is a well-known figure in modern pop culture, generating popularity as an actress, and later as the Duchess of Sussex. Markle’s Multiracial identity is a critical part of who she is and portrays some of the crises Multiracial individuals undergo, leading her to become a prominent advocate for the Multiracial community, regardless of skin tone.
Born on August 4th, 1981, in Los Angeles, Markle was immersed in a blended culture. Her dad was a white man, while her mom was African-American, paving the way for pivotal moments throughout her journey. Unfortunately, by the age of six, her parents got divorced despite a loving relationship. As her mom began living in predominantly Black areas and her father in white neighborhoods, Markle was obligated to split her time evenly and embrace both sides of her family. A common sentiment among Multiracial youth is a lack of belonging in communities, and separation from the other parent left her with feelings of isolation, forcing her to grapple with her identity and how race plays such a consequential factor.
For her education, Markle attended Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girls Catholic school in Los Angeles. The school had a powerful impact on her, exposing her to social justice movements in need of support. After high school, she attended Northwestern University in Illinois, double-majoring in theater and international relations. After graduating from Northwestern, Meghan began to pursue a career in acting. She found tremendous success when cast for the role of Rachel Zane, in the legal show “Suits”, a budding paralegal turned lawyer.
Everything changed when she met Prince Harry from the British royal family. Romantic relationships with members of the royal family imply intense publicity, as their romance became the subject of international fascination. Soon, Markle’s multiracial identity became scrutinized and criticized, displaying racial biases within the media. In May 2018, the couple married, symbolizing a break from tradition as a Multiracial American actress had become part of the British royal family. They later departed from the roles within the royal family, opting instead to establish the Archewell Foundation in California, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing social change and supporting various charitable initiatives. A public-perception-altering interview with Oprah Winfrey revealed Markle’s personal experiences of racism within the royal family, a large determinant in their decision to leave their familial positions.
Markle’s success and vulnerability conveyed to the world the ongoing challenges faced regarding racism, and shes a role model for the Multiracial community!
Julien Joseph, Project RACE Teen Vice-President