This morning I turned on the tube for my daily dose of WTF has that Trump Chump gotten into while I slept, only to be treated to the pageantry of the latest British royal wedding.
And the vision of Meghan Markle walking up the steps to the cathedral and down the aisle on Price Charles’ arm reminded me of how history’s endless loops ensnare us all.
This royal family that has welcomed its newest dusky addition with such grace and aplomb, single-handedly enslaved generations of Africans bound for the New World, starting with Elizabeth I.
As reggae singer Sam Clayton, Sr. sang many years ago,
“Like in 1565 when John Hawkins was given a royal charter from Her Majesty Elizabeth the 1st of England and her personal ship the Jesus of Lubek to transport slaves from Ethiopia to the Caribbean
As history states his methods were crude though effective.”
Many believe that the British created modern day racism to rationalize their unquenchable thirst for massive amounts of free labor to build their expansive empire. Sure, other Europeans like the Portuguese raided Africa and stole human cargo by the hundreds of thousands before Britain got into the game.
But it wasn’t until the Brits came along that being African was de facto proof of unfitness for anything other than servitude. From mother to child, and on and on, forever and ever amen.
In fact, before the Brits got into the slave trade in a big way, there were mixed race royals in several of the ruling houses of Europe – it was inevitable given the Moorish domination of that continent for over six centuries.
Queen Charlotte Sophia, long acknowledged as having African ancestry on both sides of her family, was George III’s queen (yes, the infamous King George the American colonists rebelled against) and had 15 children – among them one of the forebears of the current monarch of England.
The biting irony that the symbol of that same institution and heirs to that same infamous throne would welcome the progeny of those they enslaved into their bejeweled bosom speaks to the hope that the rancid tide of racism is finally turning. And I am so ready for that tide to turn.
It is a testament to the power of love that one of the wedding’s officiators spoke so passionately about. When the world is pulling further apart while at the same time coming together in what used to be illegal unions of Black, brown, red, yellow and white, we need that power more than ever.
May the power of love heal us all.