Bryndis Roberts cried as she watched the Harry & Meghan documentary series.
She has been a fan of the royals since Princess Diana’s days and claimed she cried as she watched the family being harassed by the press and Prince Harry detailing how he and his brother, Prince William, had grown apart.
However, as a 65-year-old black woman who grew up in the segregated American South, Roberts said the frank talks about race and prejudice spoke to her the most.
Meghan’s admission that she felt she had to constantly prove herself and would never be good enough reminded her of some of her own experiences, she added.
“I’ve been called an angry black woman, and all of the tropes that are used to demean and dehumanize black women, and so I certainly empathized and sympathized with [the duchess],” she said.
The six-part series’ central topic was race, but not in the way that many expected.
In an Oprah Winfrey interview, there were no new details about Meghan Markle’s explosive claim that an unknown member of the royal family had commented on how “dark” their baby’s complexion would be.
Instead, the pair used the Netflix show to claim that Meghan’s mixed history was frequently an underlying component in what they characterized as a persistent media campaign against her, as well as the racist abuse she received online.
It’s a story that Roberts recognizes. When her newsfeed was bombarded with racist remarks about Meghan following the royal wedding in 2018, she popularized the hashtag #SussexSquad. The practice quickly gained traction among men and women all around the world, primarily people of color, who wanted to use social media to support the duchess and her family rather than tear them down.
“One of the things about dog whistles is that if you’ve not experienced the racism, or if you’ve not been the victim of it, then you don’t recognize it,” Roberts said. “What may seem innocent to someone else, you can see, no that’s not meant to be innocent at all.”
When trolling crosses the line
During the series, Prince Harry said that one of the first comments he saw about the birth of his son Archie was a tweet from Danny Baker, a former BBC presenter, who shared a photo of a couple holding hands with a chimp.
“At the top, it said, ‘Royal baby leaving the hospital’. That was one of the first things I saw,” Prince Harry said. Mr. Baker apologized and was later fired.
Not all black and white
While many black Americans applauded Harry and Meghan’s discussion of racism, as well as other tough issues like the legacy of slavery and colonialism, the duchess has also been criticized for claiming she was caught off guard by the
the reality of life as a black woman.
In the second episode of the series, Meghan reflects on her experiences growing up as a biracial woman in America. The duchess claims she was never discriminated against or “treated like a black woman” before moving to the UK.
Her mother never had “the talk” with her growing up, she continued, referring to the open discussion that many families are forced to have about the reality of racism, discrimination, and the struggles of being a person of color in America.
“I don’t understand that, how was she raised by a whole black woman in America, and then she says that her parents never talked to her about being black,” one user posted on Twitter. “We’re supposed to see her as this black woman but she never related to us.”