The Black Princess
Oration of love
The new princess Meghan Markle revealed her strength in the arrangement made for the wedding ceremony which took place on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Windsor Castle. The statement was quite striking and it was an experience to watch the faces of the gathering including the Queen as the ceremony proceeded. Black was everywhere. The most dramatic affirmation of American Black was the presence of Bishop Michael Curry from the U.S.A. and his oration. His style of oration could not have been more typical of the Black preacher.
Informal, gesticulating, speaking of about love uninhibitedly, full of life and informality, reminding one so much of the Black preachers of South Africa, especially Archbishop Desmond Tutu. There he was in this Cathedral with an almost 99.9% traditional White audience and he broke out with his gestures, and his arms, and his love, and his style as if they were his normal audience. I think it was an act of bravery considering how cold the faces were to whom he was addressing.
There was actually a kind of mild distaste on many faces, apart from complete rejection but the Bishop was not one bit thwarted. He went on as if he was in his home and gave an oration of love. If he had his normal congregation, there would have been wonderful responses, as it happens in Black churches. The audience would have been saying ‘Yay’ or some such response, that show they are participating in his appeal- but cold Brits they did not even have a whisper.
Of course, in the Cathedral the norm is of dead silence and perhaps the deadpan face. Unfortunately, the camera panned on to the Queen’s face. It was difficult to read her face. One thing is for sure she didn’t smile but there was a certain distaste, as there was in the face of many others. But not to be defeated, another Black event was brought in. Here was this wonderful, big Black woman, typical of those who sing and she was conducting an orchestra of Black women mainly, who song as a chorus. Another completely black culturally tethered event.
Watching it I could not but smirk, at the thought of this effrontery of putting on, not one but two and later on three Black people to be a significant part of the wedding. I would have loved to read the minds of that stiff gathering and I am sure there must have been some fear and anxiety. I thought I could hear them say ‘Dear God, what are we letting in to this white sanctuary? Negro spirituals and Negro culture.
The flip side of this report is that the crowd that had gathered basically to watch the married couple drive through the town in a coach and four were mostly White and totally enthusiastic. Would they have been more responsive to the strong presence of Negro culture in the Cathedral or would they also have been as snooty as that crowd?
Charles, Harry’s father seemed the most decent reasonable of the royalty that was lined up there. I was looking to see if Kate, the wife of Prince William would be smiling or jumping at the joy of the new experience but she also seemed dull looking. The faces of most of those who were sitting there were impassive.
I looked for a smile on Elton John’s face, not a twitch. While Charles, the grooms father, was all there, Charles’ wife also looked completely, not hostile -but there is a word which is neither hostile nor indifferent not shocked, but certainly not excited.
Good for Meghan Markle if she has given a shock to Whiteness but how far this will change views down the line is a question. Apart from colour, it is a clear economic divide between the Whites and the non-Whites. Hotels, restaurants, shows are all mainly populated by white people and cities like Oxford, Cambridge and maybe parts of London. Of course, this will vary when one goes into the hardcore industrial areas, apart from parts of London – such as Birmingham, Manchester and so forth.
At one level it looks as if it is not something to complain about, because the Whites are the majority of the population. But considering that there has been great immigration into England from both Africa and the west Indies, and that there is deep entrenched racism in the minds of the Whites, this was a worthwhile shock to the Whites. More than anything else it was great tribute to the royalty that they accepted this idea of a different kind of combination of performers.
In the midst of all the glamour, sentiment and beauty and perhaps even the celebration of the Harry-Meghan wedding some sour images emerged.
While the brilliant Michael Curry Archbishop was speaking in the style of an African priest, full of gesticulation and passion it was so unbecoming to see the face of Kate or the wife of Prince Charles Lady Camilla. Kate did not even look up or at the bishop ,- in fact most of the time Kate Middleton did not watch the ceremony nor even Meghan walking in. There seemed a kind of unnatural indifference.
I found it painful to watch the Bishop speak and to find the dull faces around except for Mrs. Markle, who appeared more like those who have been his audience, if he was speaking to a coloured congregation America. She was nodding at some of his statements and even had the beginning of tears in her eyes at his high point of emotion.
He was irresistible but dear royalty resisted it.
Anyway at the end of it all – one must underline the completely out of the box events in this wedding in that very strange aseptic traditional place, St George’s Chapel.
So three cheers for Meghan Markle! I hope they stay together as man and wife and don’t add to the fractures in our society, by leaving each other and then making a new statement that inter-racial marriages do not work.