Meghan Markle talks to Issa Rae about upending the angry Black woman trope

“Being clear does not make you demanding.”
October 25, 2022 1:42 p.m. EST
October 25, 2022 1:43 p.m. EST

Since launching her Archetypes podcast on Spotify, Meghan Markle has had some tough conversations. Last week, she discussed her time on Deal Or No Deal where she says she was subject to unrealistic beauty standards, and not valued for her brain.

Previously, she revealed that, while on official royal engagements in South Africa, her son with Prince Harry, Archie, was in a room when it caught fire. Now, in a new conversation with Insecure actress Issa Rae, she breaks down the “angry Black woman” stereotype thrust upon her and many other Black women, and how “being clear does not make you demanding.”

Issa shared with the Duchess of Sussex that she takes being called a “b***h” and “particular as a compliment, saying, "To me, that means I have a sense of what I want.”

That’s when Meghan agreed. "I'm particular. A) I think a high tide raises all ships — we're all going to succeed, so let's make sure it's really great because it's a shared success for everybody.”

She continued, “But I also know that I will find myself cowering and tiptoeing into a room — I don't know if you ever do that, the thing that I find the most embarrassing — when you're saying a sentence and the intonation goes up like it's a question. And you're like, 'Oh my God, stop!' Stop whispering and tiptoeing around and say what it is you need.”

“You're allowed to set a boundary, you're allowed to be clear. It does not make you demanding, it does not make you difficult. It makes you clear," she stated.




Then Meghan asked Issa, "Was there a point in your life, and maybe it still happens to you now, because of the archetypes, especially as a Black woman, do you feel that you're allowed to be angry in certain moments?"

That’s when the Awkward Black Girl star responded, "Absolutely not. Because I can't lose my cool, I can't do that, especially as a Black woman, but also just even as a public figure now.”

She continued, “Because people are looking for ways to justify their perception of you. That doesn't mean I don't get angry. That might mean that I will vent my frustrations to someone that I trust, get it out of my system and then go into ‘fix’ mode. And I think even personality-wise, I'm always like, I don't want to sit in my anger too long anyway because what does that do? I want to work on fixing something, but I want to be allowed to have that emotion because it's a natural…like, it's an emotion."



The Suits star then moved on to the topic of acting while Black, and lamented all the character breakdowns for Black women that included harmful stereotypes.

"I mean, I remember when I was auditioning, the idea of even Black roles, I remember those casting sheets where the description of the character, she always had to have an edge or an attitude," the Duchess of Sussex said after complimenting Issa on creating "nuanced, layered, multifaceted women" in her shows.

Meghan also chatted with comedian Ziwe Fumudoh in the episode and revealed she’d “just had my genealogy done a couple of years ago,” to discover she was 43 percent Nigerian.



“I’m going to start to dig deeper into all this because anybody that I’ve told, especially Nigerian women, are like ‘What!'” Meghan exclaimed.

“This is huge for our community,” Ziwe replied. “No, honestly, you do look like a Nigerian, you look like my Aunt Uzo.”


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