By Derrick Darby
Meagan Markle exposed a skeleton in the British royal family’s closet in her Oprah Winfrey interview. The revelation of family conversations about how dark Archie’s skin might be are surprising only if we forget the United Kingdom’s racist and exploitative imperial legacy. Darker-skinned people in Caribbean nations such as Trinidad were colonialized by Britain. Their land, natural resources, and labor were exploited to enrich the British crown.
Journalist Claudia Jones, born in Trinidad and buried to the left of Karl Marx in Britain’s Highgate Cemetery, observed that these Black colonial subjects were portrayed as “lesser breeds,” “inferior coloured peoples” and “savages.” For British colonial subjects in the Caribbean, Africa, India and parts of Asia, darker skin was a visible badge of inferiority.
Winston Churchill, the former British prime minister, believed there was a social hierarchy and that whites occupied a much higher position than Blacks. He and others believed British colonialism took up the white man’s burden to help civilize and guide the “inferior” darker races. Jones said this was nothing more than a rationalization for exploitation and imperialism.
The Caribbean immigrants, known as the Windrush generation, who migrated to England from 1948 to 1971, came to help rebuild after World War II and to address labor shortages. Instead of receiving gratitude, many experienced racial mistreatment — police brutality,…