Meghan Markle had Mariah Carey as a guest on her Archetypes podcast where they discussed being mixed-race women. In “The duality of a diva with Mariah Carey,” the second episode of Markle’s series, Markle and Carey detail their lives as biracial and the privilege of being white-passing.
“I didn’t fit in. I didn’t fit in. You know, it would be more of the Black area of town, or then you could be where my mom chose to live, were the white neighborhoods,” Carey shared on the 46-minute segment. “And I didn’t fit in anywhere at all.”
The chart-topping singer revealed she had a constant “struggle to find her place and to fit in” and revealed she moved 14 times after her parent’s divorce and failed to be accepted by Black and white people.
“People want you to choose,” Carey said. “They want to put you in a box and categorize you.”
The Duchess revealed to the “Queen of Christmas” that she found solace in Carey as a youth because of her biracial identity.
“I had to talk to you. You were so formative for me. Representation matters so much,” Markle affectionately expressed. “But when you are a woman, and you don’t see a woman who looks like you somewhere, in a position of power or influence, or even just on the screen, you came onto the scene and [I said], ‘Oh my gosh, someone kind of looks like me!'”
Markle then doubled down on her identity experience with a racial revelation. The Duchess explained she wasn’t treated like a Black woman until she dated then married Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
“For us, it’s so different because we’re light-skinned, you’re not treated as a Black woman, you’re not treated as a white woman, you sort of fit in-between.
“If there’s any time in my life that it’s been more focused on my race, it’s only once I started dating my husband,” Markle said. “Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a Black woman because up until then, I had been treated like a mixed woman and things really shifted.”
Markle’s revelation prompted reactions from many, including CNN’s Don Lemon shared his commentary on Wednesday (Aug. 31) and commended her for going there. However, Lemon found it “a bit shocking that at 30-something years of age she is just understanding what it’s like to be a Black woman in America.”
“Look, there are a couple of things at work here. There’s colorism, which I’ve talked about. There’s colorism in the Black community, but there’s also… in some ways, she’s saying that she had privilege and so therefore it didn’t apply to her because it never happened to her. Right?
“She was a mixed woman. People didn’t really know how to react to her. They didn’t know if she was Black or white, but she didn’t get the full Black treatment because people weren’t sure that she was, you know, Black.
“I think most African-Americans probably looked at her and said, ‘Oh, I know that’s a Black woman,’ but I think the larger culture may not have realized that.”
Listen to the full Archetypes podcast episode below.