#PrinceHarry; #MeghanMarkle; #OprahWinfreyInterview; #Racism; #Mistreatment
Buckingham Palace/Canadian-Media: During a visit to an east London school today, Prince William directly addressed the explosive interview of Harry and Meghan's accusations of racism in the Palace to Oprah Winfrey broadcast on Sunday and denied Royal Family to be racist.
Prince Harry and Kate in East London school. Facebook Page of Prince Williams
William, second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles, says he hadn't yet spoken to Harry in the aftermath of the interview, "but I will do."
William became the first royal to directly address the issue and said,
"We're very much not a racist family," he said as his wife, Kate, walked by his side.
Being disturbed by Harry and Meghan's allegations of racism and mistreatment, the Royal Family, and Buckingham Palace and responded to them in a 61-word statement Tuesday which read,
"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
"The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.
"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members."
In her interview with Oprah, Meghan, who is biracial, said she suffered from isolation and misery as a working member of the Royal Family and had suicidal thoughts.
She also said Harry told her there were "concerns and conversations" by a Royal Family member about the color of her baby's skin when she was pregnant with their son, Archie.
In the interview, Markle said, "That’s the sad irony of the last four years is I have advocated for so long for women to use their voice, and then I was silent."
"I just didn’t want to be alive anymore," added Meghan.
Harry-Meghan Interview: Image credit: Meghan Markle Instagram
Harry and Meghan's accused a family member of making a racist remark about their son and courtiers of ignoring Meghan's pleas for help when she was suicidal, has dragged the royals into their biggest crisis since the death of Harry's mother Diana in 1997.
The palace, which was then led by Queen Elizabeth, was widely criticized for being too slow to respond.
Harry also said in the two-hour long interview, originally aired on CBS on Sunday, that his father, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, had let him down.
Conversations about racism, mental health had been triggered around the world by Harry and Maggie comments and had put the relationship between Britain and its former colonies at stake.
#TheBrowniesBook; #ChildrenOfTheSun; #ChildrenLiterature; #AfricanAmericans
New York/Canadian-Media: A short lived but influential publication “The Brownies’ Book: A Monthly Magazine for the Children of the Sun” edited by W.E.B., pioneer in children’s literature, celebrated African-Americans with positive images, stories and poetry at a time when caricature toys were the norm.
Jennifer Mack-Watkins Image credit: www.mackjennifer.com/bio.html
One among the many artists inspired by this magazine which ran from January 1920 to December 1921, Jennifer Mack-Watkins' upcoming solo exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in Vermont draws from the publication’s illustrative imagery.
One image in particular of a photograph of thousands of Black people marching down Fifth Avenue in New York resembling a celebratory parade, provided the catalyst for her show.
“This is beautiful, they’re all dressed in white — it must be a glorious, great occasion,” she recalled thinking. “Then after reading more, I realized, wow, it’s not what I thought it was.”
The image provided a wild contrast to reality of the actual protest taking place in the names of those who had recently been killed in a race riot in St. Louis, and other acts of violence toward Black people across America.
When Mack-Watkins, raised in the South and based in New York, was asked to take her art to Vermont, her search for a particular moment in history to raise awareness among the people led her to the magazine and to a Vermont poet named Daisy Turner, who as a schoolgirl in 1891 took a defiant stand against racism.
Going against the instructions to recite a poem written by a white person while holding a caricatured Black doll, she improvised with her own poem.
Inspired by both Turner and the magazine, Mack-Watkins created 11 silkscreens and two color lithographs and named it “Children of the Sun,” that will be on display from March 17 through June 13, both virtually and in person.
Using doll imagery as a narrative framework in the show to explore the exhibition’s themes as well as audio recordings by Turner, including her recitation of the 1891 poem, is intertwined with a modern-day response and poetry by Fayemi Shakur, a writer and interdisciplinary artist written specifically for the show.
“The dolls I chose to depict in the work is not a representation of who we are as a people,” she said, “but I’m more interested in just the act of play.”
Dolls are personal to Mack-Watkins as growing up, she played with many kinds of dolls.
In her show, Mack-Watkins framed the silkscreen dolls in an arch, a symbolic gesture to show the “vulnerability and perseverance of Black children in America,” she said. The dolls only have first names, like Harriet and Langston, and are named after Black leaders and pioneers and left it to viewers' discretion to discover the importance of these names.
“And if they don’t know the full names of the people, hopefully that’ll steer them to actually look and see why I named them that,” she said.
She also said she wants her show to reach children “so they can know that Black is beautiful.”
Her own 4-year-old daughter gravitated toward the images and hand-painted them, while her husband made copies.
“My daughter knew that they were important so she took the time to hand paint with watercolor, every drawing that I had made. And it was special to her,” she said. “So it definitely goes to the children, my own children, other people’s children and adults that continue to look for representation.”
Being first introduced to a printmaking technique in high school, Mack-Watkins then studied the field at Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College, and tells stories of the Black experience and hopes to inspire other printmakers of color to do the same.
“Our act of making art is our act of action,” Mack-Watkins said. “It’s a resistance.”