Meghan Markle is the biracial hero I’ve always wanted

Meghan Markle is the biracial hero I’ve always wanted


David Kaufman, Global Lifestyle Editor

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 15: Meghan Markle at the USA Network 2013 Upfront event at Pier 36 on May 16, 2013 in New York.

Barack Obama may have been a hero to “black America,” but for biracial Americans like myself, the former president never quite felt like the champion we’d waited so long for.

Early on, he seemed like he might be: As the son of a white mother and Kenyan father, Obama vocally touted his unique—and uniquely multi-cultural—background throughout his education, writing and early career. Finally, it seemed, folks like me had found a role model.

Yet when it came time for Obama to shift into “candidate” mode, he clearly calculated that positioning himself as black, rather than biracial, was the wisest way to secure the presidency. Little changed once he entered to Oval Office.

Indeed, despite having as much white heritage as black, Obama formally marked himself African-American on his 2010 Census form. The timing was important: That year, for one of the first times ever, the Census Bureau included a multi-racial category. I was thrilled to check the box—and had naively hoped the President would too.

Nearly a decade later, we now have Meghan Markle, the biracial future bride of Britain’s Prince Harry. Born in California to a Caucasian father and African-American mother, Markle is vocal about her biracial parentage. “I’m half black/half white,” she wrote in a piece for British Elle last year—six simple words that honor her background in a way the former president avoided…

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