Meghan Markle delved into the first time she was “treated like a Black woman” on the second episode of her hit Spotify and Archewell Audio series, “Archetypes.”
The Duchess of Sussex spoke about being biracial with her guest, singer Mariah Carey, who is also biracial.
“I had read this article about Halle Berry, and they were asking her how she felt being treated as a mixed-race woman in the world,” Meghan said in the newest episode, which was released on Tuesday.
“Her response was her saying, ‘Well, your experience through the world is how people view you.’ So she said because she was darker in color, she was being treated as a Black woman ― not as a mixed woman.”
She went on to describe herself as feeling as though she didn’t definitively fit in enough as neither Black nor white when it came to the world’s view of her.
“I think for us, it’s very different because we’re light-skinned,” the duchess added. “You’re not treated as a Black woman ― you’re not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between.”
But there was a defining moment in Meghan’s life when “things really shifted” for her, and how she was viewed.
“I mean, 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. Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a Black woman,” the former “Suits” actor said. “Because up until then, I had been treated like a mixed woman. And things really shifted.”
Carey told Meghan that she found her use of the term “mixed woman” interesting.
“Because I always thought it should be OK to say I’m mixed,” the singer said. “Like, it should be OK to say that. But people want you to choose.”
Meghan has spoken about being personally affected by racism from a young age, and what it was like growing up with a white father and Black mother.
“I’m biracial. Most people can’t tell what I’m mixed with and so much of my life has felt like being a fly on the wall,” the duchess said in a 2012 video for the Erase the Hate campaign, when she was still starring on the show, “Suits.”
“Quite honestly, your race is part of what defines you. I think what shifts things is that the world really treats you based on how you look,” she added, echoing comments she referenced by Halle Berry on her podcast episode this week.
“Certain people don’t look at me and see me as a Black woman or a biracial woman,” Meghan added in the campaign video. “They treat me different, differently I think than they would if they knew what I was mixed with.”
The two also revealed during a wide-ranging interview with Oprah Winfrey last year that the royal family had racist “concerns and conversations” about how dark Archie’s skin would be before he was born.