In Defense of Meghan Markle and ‘Angry Black Women’

Allegations of bullying levied at Markle remind us that our character will be attacked by folks uncomfortable with our existence

L'Oreal Thompson Payton
ZORA
Published in
4 min readMar 5, 2021

--

Meghan Markle attends the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020 in London, England. Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

I’ll never forget the time a former manager, an older White woman, remarked how I wasn’t my usual “peppy self” and hadn’t been smiling as much. Now mind you, this was shortly after the 2016 presidential election, so there wasn’t exactly much to smile about.

It didn’t take long (16 months from my hire date, to be exact) for me to go from “office pet” to “office threat.” My work exceeded expectations, but my temperament apparently didn’t satisfy my manager’s “perky” criteria. Given the mostly White work environment and the cultural climate of the times, I was maintaining the best that I could yet not looked at favorably by my boss. The recent hubbub surrounding Meghan Markle made me think back to my past work experience this week. To be clear, I’m not equating my life experience to that of the duchess of Sussex. After all, people aren’t picking apart my every move on a global scale. But the pressure to perform and play nice in an effort to avoid being labeled the “angry Black woman” is resonant.

This past Wednesday, just mere days before Prince Harry and Meghan’s highly anticipated CBS interview…

--

--

L'Oreal Thompson Payton
ZORA
Writer for

L’Oreal is a freelance writer and editor who’s dedicated to uplifting and inspiring Black women and girls through storytelling. Learn more at LTintheCity.com.