Meghan Markle is a former actress, the American wife of a British prince, and the Duchess of Sussex. She is also a Rorschach test.
She’s an icon. She’s a golddigger. She’s an asset to the monarchy. She’s trying to destroy the royal family. She’s a truth-teller. She’s a liar. She’s victimized by misogynoir, a targeted hatred of Black women. She leveraged her light-skinned privilege to gain entry to the world’s oldest institution of colonialism and white supremacy.
And that’s just a sampling of the many email responses I received after writing a column about Meghan and Prince Harry’s blistering interview with Oprah Winfrey about why they left England and stepped back from their royal duties last year. Celebrity, royalty, colorism, racism, family dynamics, mental health issues, and sexism — it’s all here. So, too, are our various hopes, fears, and unease with women, especially women of color.
Inevitably, Harry and Meghan’s two-hour sit-down with Winfrey has drawn comparisons to the 1995 interview given by Princess Diana, the prince’s mother. Perhaps a better parallel for Meghan is Hillary Clinton.
From the start of her husband’s first presidential campaign in 1992, Clinton was harshly scrutinized. Not only was she a successful lawyer who continued to practice when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, she was unapologetic about it.
“I suppose I could have stayed home, baked cookies, and had teas,” Clinton said at the time. Her work as a lawyer…