OPINION: Tyler Perry and Black people have come through for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a major way despite us having our own problems
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s highly anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey didn’t disappoint. America once again dunked on the British Empire with the pouring of tea. It also confirmed, yet again, that it’s good to have a friend in Jesus and Black folks.
Meghan and Harry’s interview was must-see TV with a reported 17.1 million viewers. Being voyeurs to the problems of the privileged is one way to spend a Sunday night in the middle of a pandemic, but money and status have never shielded one from problems. As it turns out, Meghan and Harry had more than a few.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared “concerns and conversations” were had about their son Archie’s skin color and how dark it may be before he was even born. The British Royal Family prides itself on the Commonwealth, which is heavily comprised of Black and Brown people. Yet, according to Meghan and Harry, the Firm couldn’t abide by Archie being a shade darker than his biracial mother who is of a fair complexion. He wouldn’t get a title or security.
Harry and Meghan won’t say which family member didn’t want to claim a mixed race, Black baby.
Meghan also confessed to being suicidal while pregnant at the height of the malicious stories about her. One of the most potent ones, which she cited as a “turning point,” was the weaponization of Kate Middleton’s white tears. The Duchess of Cambridge actually made Meghan cry, but no one thought to correct the record.
Meghan was monsterized, left to fend for herself because the Institution didn’t want her to seek treatment. To hear Harry and Meghan tell it, they were completely cut off from the royals. After they decided it was time to leave their “toxic” situation, the British Royal Family didn’t even wish them an ounce of luck.
No one moved beyond their roles as a monarch, prince and duke to be a grandmother, father and brother who wanted to make sure their loved one would be alright. They wanted to beat Harry and Meghan into submission by holding money and security over their heads. But the ghost of Princess Diana said not on my watch.
Harry explained that it was the inheritance late Princess Di left for him that allowed him to move with his family. He also had an assist from producer and philanthropist Tyler Perry.
Harry and Meghan confirmed that Perry covered them in all the ways. He provided his California home and security for the runaway royals, who were looking for a place to rest like Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem. A blood-born prince who grew up in the lap of luxury and castles needed the help of a self-made Black man, who once slept out of his car.
Perry took in Meghan and Harry as wards of the Madea Protection Program. This really sounds like a crazy plot out of Perry’s movies but the truth is stranger than fiction. Perry stood in the gap for a crowned prince when all those aristocrats and even his own father sent him to voicemail.
Tyler Perry has always been more than gracious and generous with his billion-dollar fortune. He’s been charitable for those in need, especially so during the pandemic having paid over $430,000 in layaways for Atlanta residents, and paying actors, such as the late and beloved Cicely Tyson, their worth. He stood by Janet Jackson as the media set their sights on the “Control” singer and her legacy after the 2004 Super Bowl.
Perry often speaks with the anointing of a Baptist pastor. I can just hear him saying, “tell me all about your problems.” He’s a healer but Perry would’ve been forgiven if he decided to mind his own business and not get involved.
Perry usually has a smile on his face but we’ve all got our troubles. Last year, he spoke that no one asked how he was doing. Still, he offered his help to Meghan and Harry because he cares. It’s more than Harry’s own family could even do, but that’s what Tyler Perry does.
It’s what we do.
There were a lot of takeaways from the interview but a big one for me is that you can always bet on Black because we come through in a clutch.
The power and influence of Black Twitter, which shifts the culture, introduced its wrath and jokes to the Firm. If there’s one thing we’re gonna do, it’s get these jokes off while dragging.
STOPPPPP what y’all put in the Queen’s hand??😭 pic.twitter.com/XlyG3hMTrT
— nathan (@868nathan) March 8, 2021
Black women understood to the core of their DNA what it means to be diminished, overlooked, and exist in a space that fosters microaggressions. While Meghan is not the most visible Black woman, the one-drop rule has tainted most of her critics, who have similarly gone after Vice President Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama, Amanda Gorman, Serena Williams, and Beyoncé —all of whom who have publicly supported Meghan.
You know why Black women believe Meghan? Because we know exactly what micro aggressions look like. And how they slowly drive you insane. #OprahMeghanHarry
— Nina Parker (@MzGossipGirl) March 8, 2021
Winfrey currently reminding folks just who she is, offered a platform for Meghan and Harry to speak their truth. Oprah dropped her “Were you silent or were you silenced?” bar, allowing Meghan to relax, relate and release in a way that left no other choice for others to pay attention in a world that deems us too loud for simply speaking above a whisper.
Black people, especially our Queens, are already carrying so many burdens. We are the mules of the world and very much disrespected. We’ve got to protest just for the right to live in peace.
As a collective, we feel the pain of someone going through it to the bone. We carry so much hurt every single day. Still, we find it in ourselves to offer gestures that make it clear: I hear you. I see you. I got you.
It’s an empathy that’s easy to take for granted and not always returned.
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