Everything You Need to Know About Meghan Markle’s ‘Level of Blackness,’ Explained

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Who is Meghan Markle?

She’s my second-favorite alum of USA Network’s Suits, the possessor of an alliterative name that kinda, sorta sounds like the name of a women’s hosiery brand sold only at Macy’s and the new fiancee of Prince Harry.


Your second-favorite alum of Suits? Who would be first?

Gina Torres, of course. I sincerely believe they actually called the show Suits because of a pitch meeting years ago where USA asked the pitch guy for the premise of the show, and the pitch guy was like, “Five words. Gina Torres in power suits.” And the USA people were like, “Sold! Let’s do it.” And then they built that whole lawyer-drama mess around that premise.


So you’re a fan of Gina Torres?

Remember that documentary about Kobe Bryant that aired on ESPN a few years ago?

Yes. It was called Kobe Doin’ Work, I think.

Well, I’d watch a documentary of Gina Torres doing work. And by “doing work” I mean, “waiting in line for AppleCare and knitting argyle scarves for orphaned shih tzus.”

You have interesting tastes. So Meghan Markle is a biracial black woman, correct?

Yes. Her mom, Doria Ragland, is a black woman who works as a psychotherapist and yoga instructor. She also has a master’s from the University of Southern California. Her dad is Thomas M. Markle, an Emmy-winning lighting director. And, you know, white.


Damn. He must be on some Luke Skywalker shit with those lights if he’s nice enough with them to win an Emmy.

That was corny.

I’m sorry. Anyway, since Meghan Markle is black, her engagement to the Prince and the upcoming wedding has been a popular topic of discussion today among the type of black people who care about these things. Naturally, there’s been commentary about the historical and cultural significance of this happening. And also jokes about the invitation lists to the pre- and post-wedding barbecues, the quality of potato salad to be served at said barbecues, whether Prince Harry can “Wobble” and if said barbecues are even going to happen. (They better!) 

Yeah, we’re having a lot of fun with this. Although it kinda, sorta sounds like a porn title, the Blackening of Buckingham Palace is actually happening.


There’s also been a conversation about whether Meghan Markle even deserves this type of specifically black-ass attention because she might not identify as black. Basically, she’s not black enough to get any love from black people.

Yeah, I know. And that’s fucking dumb. Meghan Markle was born black and is gonna die black. Her mom is from freakin’ Crenshaw, Calif., for Chrissake. If your mom is from the exact-same place where “I hate the back of Forest Whitaker’s neck” was said, any offspring she has will be blacker than a bottle of S-curl activator. It’s science.


But what if Meghan Markle rejects her blackness?

She hasn’t done that. But even if she had, well, that ain’t her choice to make. Her saying, “Yeah, I’m not black” would be like me saying, “Yeah, I’m going to be 6 feet 7 inches from now on.” People who know me would say, “Um, Damon. I’m sorry, but you’re 6 feet 2 inches now and you haven’t grown since you were 19. Stilts might help, maybe?” And people who hate me would still say, “I hate your 6-foot-2 ass. Fuck you and your 74 inches, b.” That I called myself 6 feet 7 inches wouldn’t mean shit to anyone. Except maybe a psychologist. Or an optometrist.


The world sees her as a black woman. The hate mail and racist tweets directed toward her are because of said blackness, not her character arc with Mike Ross. The people attempting to be the arbiters of Meghan Markle’s lack of blackness need a new hill to die on.

Any suggestions?

Well, I did hear that NBC was up for sale again.


Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



I feel some type of way about this. She says she’s mixed and that’s how she identifies. Before she shuttered her little lifestyle blog, she reiterated that she’s mixed. She’s both, that’s she feels. Now while I might feel some way about that. If she feels that’s she’s some special mixed butterfly, let her feel and be that. I dunno, just... she’s not really clamoring to be on our team so. idk. ijs.