From Wakanda To Windsor: The Woke Person’s Guide Talking About The Royal Wedding – And Other Stuff We Shouldn’t Care About

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19:  Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave Windsor Castle  in the Ascot Landau carriage during the procession after getting married at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland.  (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

From Wakanda To Windsor: The Woke Person’s Guide Talking About The Royal Wedding – And Other Stuff We Shouldn’t Care About

Let’s just admit it. We do.

Published May 21, 2018

The Royal Wedding has become the most hotly debated event on the internet since Yanni vs. Laurel, with many on Black Twitter, Feminist Twitter and Regular Ol’ Twitter divided about how we should all feel about watching Suits actress and philanthropist Meghan Markle walk down the aisle with a ginger dude who happens to be a prince (Racist Twitter was crystal clear about its point of view, though.)

The ratings don’t lie: we know an unprecedented number of you woke up at 4 a.m. to watch all the fanfare surrounding Harry and Meghan’s nuptials, even though you wrote posts on social media like: Why do y’all care about the Royal Family? Well, we can all walk and chew gum at the same time, and it’s OK to be entertained by the pageantry and moved by the symbolism while still pointing out the problematic stuff. So, before you start subtweeting and dropping eye roll emojis all over Twitter, here’s your guide to finding the balance between Wakanda and Windsor:

  1. Recognize that ceremony and tradition is in our DNA.

    The validation that comes from being chosen to do anything is part of all of us. Whether it’s Jay-Z knowing exactly how many Grammys he has, (“21 Grammys, I’m a Savage”) to marveling over the idea of a divorced Black girl from LA marrying British royalty, it’s totally fine to just think: Wow, seeing this moment on a national stage is memorable. After all, if we can celebrate Blac Chyna infiltrating the Kardashians, why can’t we appreciate this?

  2. Look at all of this as a history lesson.

    Meghan is now the Duchess of Sussex, a title given to her now that Harry is the Duke of Sussex. The original Duke of Sussex, Prince Augustus Frederick, was born in 1773. In addition to several controversies, (including marrying his side chick although it was against royal law), the first Duke of Sussex campaigned against slavery and was a staunch abolitionist long before many of the slave-holding royals got on board.

  3. Bishop Michael Curry brought the potato salad to St. George’s Chapel.

    If you hadn’t heard of him before his sermon at Harry and Meghan’s wedding, now you know him. In 2015, he was appointed bishop of the Episcopal Church. Now of course, your wokeness may side-eye organized religion but keep in mind, Bishop Curry makes a point of speaking out on social justice issues.

  4. A little junk food won’t kill you.

    Despite the pomp and circumstance of Saturday, the Royal Family is still primarily being famous for being royal. If your knee-jerk reaction is to scream at the top of your lungs “none of this matters!” — stop yourself, if you can. If you watch Love and Hip Hop (stop lying, yes you do!), Real Housewives of Atlanta or keep up with any of the Kardashians — you can watch all things Royal without guilt. After all, it’s hard out there in the streets, protesting, calling out Congress and watching children die day in and day out on national television. A little diversion and a little hope might help sustain us to fight another day.

  5. Use this time as an excuse to let your inner petty out.

    Leading up to the wedding, did you see which side of Megan’s family was talking to the tabloids and acting a fool? Hint: It was not her mom, Doria Ragland, rocking her locs and nose ring. Ahem.

  6. Look for positivity and woke-adjacent behavior.

    The designer of Meghan’s gown, Claire Waight Keller, is the first female artistic director at the house of Givenchy. Use this point to bring up a conversation about Virgil Abloh becoming artistic director of Louis Vuitton this year. What a time to be alive.

  7. However, Stay Woke: Understand that there is problematic stuff here in the Royal Family.

    It was reported, with baited breath, that Harry himself sourced the diamond in Meghan’s ring—from Botswana. The diamond mines in Botswana, as with most of Africa, are not owned by the people in the country and have a long-standing history of issues affecting the population.

  8. You can be woke without being made of stone:

    When the Kingdom Choir launched into singing "Stand By Me," you felt goosebumps. It’s OK. It’s normal. And you know you want to watch it again a few times. No shame. No judgment.

  9. And while you’re at it, recognize that the choice of song is supporting Black business.

    “Stand By Me” is one of the highest earning songs ever. And artist Ben E. King’s estate gets 50 percent of every license. #Ujamaa

  10. Meghan Markle been woke since she was a tween.

    OK, it was more gender woke. But it starts somewhere. There have been mumblings about her sticking to identify as biracial as opposed to being Black. She seems to steer clear of overtly controversial race matters. She’s not a candidate for the Woke Olympics. But once upon time, neither was Beyoncé. You never know.

  11. The Royal Couple is donating all gifts to this charity. You need to know about it.

    The Myna Mahila Foundation employs women in Mumbai to manufacture and sell affordable sanitary pads in under served areas. Almost half of the women in Mumbai report feeling uncomfortable buying sanitary pads, either because of cultural issues or expenses. If nothing else, the Royal Wedding has brought this to your attention. You learned something while admiring the clean lines of her wedding dress. Win-win.

  12. What would your great-great-grandparents say?

    In February 2016, Virginia McLaurin fulfilled a lifelong dream at the age of 106 — visiting the White House. She would have never imagined the president and first lady inside would be Black. Her joy was undeniable. This was something that went far beyond what most woke folks can ever even imagine. For some events, like the first Black Miss America crowned in 1983, there’s a level of validation that many of the younger generation can’t fully understand. A Black girl marrying into the Royal in St. George’s Chapel is one of those things that we can respect — just off the strength at what that visual represents to so many before us.

  13. Do you want to go to the woke Olympics and argue about all of this? Go for it.

    There are plenty of forums and comments sections where you can go back and forth on everything—she’s not Black, she’s not white, she’s too light to be Black, she’s not woke, the Royal Family is racist. This is your moment to argue! This marriage has everything!

  14. #NeverForget: Donald Trump is President.

    Get your warm and fuzzy feelings wherever you can.

Written by Aliya S. King

(Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)


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