Meghan Markle penned an essay on her family's experience with racism for her lifestyle site, The Tig, and it should be required reading. In a post, "Champions of Change," originally dated Jan. 19, 2015 and republished on her site Monday, Markle heartbreakingly recounts how far we have (and haven't) come since her grandparents had to eat in a KFC parking lot.
"My grandfather told me this story when I was eleven years old. At the time, road trips were a collection of 'Are we there yet?'s, the license plate game, the drive-throughs for filler food (where McDonalds was less of a treat and more of the norm), photo ops by signs welcoming you from one state to the next, and stops at local restaurants to stretch your legs. 'Things were different then,' my grandfather said," she wrote.
"Meggie, on our road trip, when we went to Kentucky Fried Chicken, we had to go to the back for 'coloreds.' The kitchen staff handed me the chicken from the back door and we ate in the parking lot. That's just what it was."
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Her grandparents aren't the only ones who have experienced discrimination in their family. "It makes me think of the countless black jokes people have shared in front of me, not realizing I am mixed, unaware that I am the ethnically ambiguous fly on the wall. It makes me wonder what my parents experienced as a mixed race couple.
"It echoes the time my mom and I were leaving a concert at The Hollywood Bowl, and a woman called her the 'N' word because she was taking too long to pull out of the parking spot. I remember how hot my skin felt. How it scorched the air around me," Markle wrote.
"To Martin Luther King Jr., to Harvey Milk, to Gloria Steinem and Cesar Chavez, to my mom and my dad for choosing each other not for the 'color of their skin but the content of their character,' to all of you champions of change: Thank you," she concluded in the post, republished appropriately on MLK day.
Prince Harry certainly has one brilliant and brave woman on his arm.