Cover image (above): Portrait of England’s Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, by Sir Allan Ramsay (1765).
“…outside groups…accepted into the African communities…produced growing mulatto segments… an astoundingly one-sided situation…foreign male royalty readily accessed Black concubines, not vice-versa. Unlike in the US mulattos were classified…as white.”
“The Portuguese…brought Catholicism’s…conquering…by the mid 15th Century…Congo kings…foolishly allowed this…being baptized as Joao I, Affonso, Eleanor, etc…”
Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 2: A View From The Cradle Of Civilization, page 43; and Chapter 6: The Biblical Trail Sails Out From Ancient Palestine Into The New World, page 102.
Greetings charged-up readers!
Trouble in Black Paradise sees cultural boldness chip away at a “stronghold” Anglo heritage.
Over two months have passed since Megan Markle’s televised royal wedding. And yes, I did look forward to her marrying England’s Prince Harry, youngest son of Prince Charles and the late, internationally loved “people’s advocate” Princess Diana. Tears actually surprised me watching the May 19th event unfold—but not for the standard idolized glitz, or glorified upper crust glamour.
Britain’s notorious tabloids were mixed. Some welcomed Markle amid the “Firm’s” loosening of eternally unyielding acceptance rules. Others, guarding unreachable Eurocentric ego—and catching Harry’s wrath—were outright racist saying she was…”straight outta Compton” (Markle, born in Hollywood, went to private schools).
My fairytale scope anticipated significant doses of a broader magnificence—elements absolutely foreign in this level of restricted, well guarded protocols. Astonishing cultural precedence might be set here ringing well into posterity. It’s the true source of what ran off with my emotions—one I feared heartland Afro-America just might sleep through, or patently ignore.
Markle did scratch her way up into the “celebrity aristocracy” ranks, meeting Harry through a mutual show business friend. But Markle is not the standard initiate, gaining carefree ground while not ever caring to look back. Offspring of an African-American mom and a Caucasian dad she instead proudly declares being a “strong, confident, mixed-race woman”—staunchly affirming a Black heritage, environmentalist and feminist activist positions.
The newest Princess here promised to upset the cart—exceptionally inserting her own designs in this legendary imperial event—and for traditionalists and those distinctly relegated as outsiders she truly did not disappoint.
St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle was packed with England’s aristocrats, including extended royal family, elite business class—local and international celebrities alike—no “politicians” were invited. A wry sensation struck me watching anticipation beam behind stiff faces of European nobility, the air palpable with the same groundbreaking anticipation I felt—their stoicism though, swollen with unsure energy, baring both dread and excitement regarding an intrusion’s possibilities—the moment quite juicy unto itself.
Doria Ragland the bride’s mother sat directly next to Queen Elizabeth II’s privy unit. Dreadlocks flowed in beaming glory—Afro stateliness towering in the room—a stunning sight I’ve never seen here—accentuated by a poised Ragland’s prominent, seemingly solo spot in her own section. Illness caused Markle’s father Tom to eventually bow out.
Emerging (from a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI—only 16 exist) Markle made her first unique statement, walking halfway alone as an independent woman to meet future father-in-law Prince Charles, who escorted her to the groom. The ceremony yielded standouts: a local gospel choir directed by Black Britain Karen Gibson gave a thru-the-roof rendition of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”; and a mesmerizing solo was played by 19-year-old male cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
But the absolute gem: Markle introduced to both America and the world the Reverend Michael Curry. The first African-American ever to preside over the U.S. Episcopal Church he affirmed being soundly grounded in Civil Rights legacy.
Rev. Curry’s 14 minute sermon did an astounding thing, flooding the space with Afro spiritual richness, inherited from an unbroken line of Black freedom fighters; Dr. King’s dissertation on “love” being the base of Curry’s presentation: “We must discover the redemptive power of love”—basically lecturing detached governing elite on the broader powers of essential love—the critical need to move their subjective love beyond privileged inner circles to the disenfranchised they actually govern.
Then Curry offered a jaw-dropper—driving this home actually quoting American slaves, saying even from brutal captivity Africans maintained humanity—reminding: “There’s a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole…to heal the sensate soul.”
Evoking love’s might pounded the walls; its ability to “end poverty…create new humanity…a sanctuary earth…imagine governments and businesses when love is the way”; there’s room for “all God’s children”; and importantly for all—learn to “love yourself!”
And Curry’s stunning capper—actually quoting Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “a French Roman Catholic (England’s age-old territorial and religious enemies), 20th century Jesuit scholar, scientist and mystic”—in an Anglican Chapel. Chardin’s connection message (on humankind’s profound life changing discovery of “fire”): “If humanity ever captures the energy of love, it will be the 2nd time in history that we have discovered fire!”
I was astounded! Looks in the room priceless!
Posh garb framed numerous, totally rapt faces; clear captivation deeming the joint message to be remarkable—yet, some class rigid expressions still dared not to be moved. But Harry upstaged all: pure delight sought Megan’s eyes and simply mouthed “wow!”
Many think Markle’s the first Black British royal, but thanks to her arrival (compelling Anglophiles to revisit a well buried imperial secret)—and diligent research by historian Mario De Valdez y Cocom (a former Belize resident)—the cat’s solidly out of the bag. And it’s huge!
German Princess Sophia Charlotte (daughter of Prince Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg and Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen) was born in 1744. Back in the 13th century Portuguese King Alfonso III had conquered Moorish (Afro) town Faro, winning the governor’s daughter Ouruana as a concubine—they had three children. Their son Martin Alfonso married into the royal de Sousa’s—already flushed with Afro nuptial bonds—thus merging with another Afro saturated Portuguese line.
Charlotte comes directly down this royal Black Portuguese line.
In 1761 England’s King George III—the very monarch governing when New World aristocrats seceded—creating America’s United States—married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Queen Charlotte bore 15 children for the King.
And this: Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was the only child of George and Charlotte’s fourth son Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. Interestingly Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip—Harry’s grandparents—are both direct descendents of Victoria. It means the obvious: a vein of Afro blood courses directly down to Harry. It makes Elizabeth II’s bestowal of Duke and Duchess of Sussex understandable—and fascinating!
The very first (and only) Duke of Sussex before Harry was Charlotte’s sixth son Prince Augustus Frederick (1773-1843). Queen Victoria’s “rebel” favorite uncle broke much protocol—the Prerogative Court annulled his two unapproved marriages (so there never was a Duchess). Still Augustus—advocating for social underdogs, the disenfranchised and parliamentary reform—as a staunch “abolitionist”—must have soared as a pioneer model for 20th century humanitarian Princess Diana—who groomed Prince Harry.
It’s no surprise that mom Charlotte’s favorite portrait artist was Sir Allan Ramsay—a rigorous abolitionist—married to Chief Justice Lord Mansfield’s niece and uncle-in-law to Mansfield’s ward Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay, the slave child reared as a royal (whom Gugu Mbatha-Raw portrayed marvelously in the 2013 movie Belle).
But blazing irony never ceases: this is the same Queen Charlotte that numerous U.S. locales are reverently named after, including Charlottesville, Virginia—site of the 2017 white supremacist rally where a Nazi terrorist James Alex Fields killed peaceful, anti racist protester Heather Heyer.
The new (and very first) Duchess of Sussex Megan Markle Windsor truly has ushered in a revolutionizing, eye-opening era, riding the new tide of acceptable adjustment in royal British standards; also first in declaring herself a feminist—and to actually affirm her Afro heritage (in modern times).
Bishop Michael Curry now hits the ground running: a rare Black clergyman actually blisters white U.S. fundamentalists bolstering racist, dehumanizing politic (in their altering of Christ’s true intent); he also deplores Afro ministerial silence, docility—and “complicity”—Curry instantly became world renowned.
Yes, tears escaped me before Megan’s entourage even headed out, riding toward history making at St. George’s Chapel—where Queen Charlotte is actually buried—but not for the standard idolized nobility glitz—or glorified upper crust glamour.
I was graced by a diligent, unflappable Diaspora—her spirit crashing through shadowy disguise to unseat heavyweight denial—inspiring my intuitive eyes to not overlook this epic, Afro legacy prize.