Meghan Markle, who is engaged to Prince Harry of England, has fulfilled the dreams of many black mothers who subtlety or not so subtlety encourage their daughters to marry a “good white man.”
Markle, an actress who grew up in Los Angeles, and Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British Throne, announced their engagement on Monday and that they would marry in May 2018. A Northwestern University graduate, Markle’s mother is black and her father is white.
Black women encouraging their daughters to marry white men is an open secret in the black community that can often be explosive, although the focus is often on black men dating and marrying white women. Black women see white men as stable, able to secure a good job to provide for their family.
Black men are often seen as the opposite. I have witnessed this.
I was attending a party in Philadelphia when the mother of hostess became drunk and started yelling that black men were ‘no damn good’ and that black women should get ‘a good white man.’
The party quickly ended after her loud, drunken outburst. I never spoke to the hostess again, but I have never forgotten what happened although it was more than 20 years ago. Several of the other black women in attendance said their mothers had done the same thing at family gatherings.
This story is not a comment on Prince Harry’s and Markle’s relationship. Black marriages face many struggles. Many of them are external and many of them are internal, which are rarely talked about.
In the online newsletter “Beyond Black & White” a letter was headlined, “Is It Okay to Discourage Your Daughters from Dating Black Men?”
The black mother reduced black men to people who wear cornrows, saggy jeans, a white T-Shirt and listen to loud music.
“I know some are good but a lot of them have deep rooted issues with black women. It’s very hard to find one good one in a barrel of bad ones,” she wrote, ending the letter.
Lately, there are more television commercials featuring interracial couples, most of the couples are black women with white men. An early television commercial featuring a black father with a white wife drew widespread anger.
Markle’s and Prince Harry’s engagement is being well received by the news media and Markle’s mother who wished the couple a “lifetime of happiness.”