Harry and Meghan’s wedding and reparations

Arley Gill

by Arley Gill

Sigh! Finally, black blood in the royal family, I heard some people say. Over the last couple weeks, persons from all walks of life and all over the globe – including here in Grenada and the Caribbean – were intrigued with the planned marriage and last Saturday’s eventual wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, an American actress once divorced.

Now I rather like that guy Harry. I have seen some footages of him in Barbados, Jamaica, New Zealand and elsewhere on YouTube and he definitely has some dance moves. Harry looks down-to-earth; a ‘rootsy’ kind of lad who could play a “wicked Jab’’ in any band at Grenada’s Spicemas.

Meghan, for her part, is truly beautiful and of course, it is only fitting that she married a prince.

However, I must confess that I am not a royal family admirer. As a citizen of Grenada and a member of the British Commonwealth, where the Queen of England is head of state, it’s my business to make certain observations.

Meghan’s wedding gown, costing £200,000 is probably well in order for a royal wedding. However, when I think of the amount of poor people that can be fed with that money I cannot help but take offence to such extravagance.

Many have commented on the visible black presence at the wedding including attendance by the bride’s mother, Doria Ragland; by tennis superstar Serena Williams and millionaire media personality Oprah Winfrey.

Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, a University of the West Indies lecturer, points out that now that the wedding ceremony is over, racial profiling still will continue in the UK, US and Canada.

Teelucksingh said he was very impressed with the sermon by American Bishop Reverend Michael Curry. “I think the sermon touched on some salient points and I believe that in this era of reparation for the descendants of enslaved Africans, that sermon is very relevant.”

Slavery, Teelucksingh said, existed in Britain for many years, “so that to see one of the descendants coming here to preach to the royalty and the elite in the British society, I saw it as groundbreaking and historic.”

In addition, much has been made about a Grenada flower, along with other flowers, being used on the veil of the wedding outfit and how wonderful it is. I had a chuckle! It is not funny how some of us still cozy up to the symbols of our enslavement and exploitation.

These events that we adore, and spend so much time following and discussing, take up much more of our time than the things that matter more to us. For instance, reparations for us as an African people – for our displacement and exploitation by the English and their royal family – need to occupy our time more.

Indeed, these lavish ceremonies are a reminder of how our forefathers made it possible for these generations of royals to live well. It is no consolation that Harry’s wife Meghan – now referred to as the Duchess of Sussex – is a descendant of Africans.

To my mind, this lavish ceremony must be a motivation for us to get what is rightfully ours – reparations! Reparations for our people so we can marry our children with a little more pomp and splendour.

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