It is a good time to be a black woman. It is a good time to be a mother of black girls. Your daughters have options: they can even be saved by a dashing prince, and live happily ever after in the castle, and sparkle, just like Meghan Markle.


Meghan Markle’s bloodline serves as the confluence of many currents, of great kings, great promises, and of great pain…but her people have always survived to thrive.

As the world celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018, I reflected on the worldwide progress of Black women. Being a son, a brother, and friend of (strong) black women, I have a stake in their progress. The world looks forward to May 19, 2018, as black women on either side of the Atlantic (on the Mercator projection), will be celebrating a royal wedding. This is the glorious moment of the African American woman: the black woman, who is the descendant of West African slaves. Two black women, who are descendants of African slaves each woke up one day in the world and saw a thing they never imagined in their wildest dreams. Their black daughters belonged to the most powerful institutions in the world.

One day, Marian Shields Robinson woke up in the White House, to see the daughter she raised (Michelle Obama), proudly sporting her Afro as a teenager, become the first lady of the United States, and wife of the most powerful man in the world, the president of the United States.

On November 27, 2017, Doria Radlan woke up to see from the premises of British power, Kensington Palace, that her daughter and Prince Harry, the fifth in line to the throne of England, the most powerful monarchy in the world – to which even America had once been a colony, subject to the Royal family, were engaged.

The House of Windsor, which Meghan Markle will soon belong to in a few months, is certainly the epitome of royalty. Members are descendants of Queen Victoria, who also had a North African ancestor. The British monarchy has ruled the vastest of empires and kingdoms in its past. Its is the most powerful family in modern history. The Romanovs, who ruled Russia before the Bolshevik Revolution wiped them out and forcefully introduced the reign of the proletariat that ended the Russian monarchy, are their cousins. They can trace their lineage and family of kings to a thousand years.

Two African American women, who lived to see segregation and inequality, and yet have lived to see their black daughters dwell within the pinnacle of world power and prestige.

These are two women, both descendants of African slaves, who were once mistreated. In their wildest dreams, they could not have imagined the journeys their daughters would take into history. Their own journeys started with the story of their ancestors’ slavery.

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What Christians call the ‘Good Book,’ is a repository of chapters of unfolding stories, offering resonance to the stories of African American women and their journey. The biblical story of Joseph illustrates this point. The story is also popular in the Holy Quran; of course, Islam, is a derivative religion of the Abrahamic traditions. The story of Yusuf in the Quran, is analogous to the story of Joseph, the eleventh son and favourite of the patriarch of the Jews, Jacob. Out of envy, Joseph’s older brothers sold him into slavery and he ended up being enslaved in Egypt. Joseph, though a slave, was favoured by the Captain of Pharaoh’s guards.

But he experienced tragedy, as his master’s wife, who had been rebuffed by Joseph, who she tried to seduce, falsely accused him of attempted rape. Thus, Joseph’s problems, only got exacerbated, as he was thrown into jail for a crime he was not guilty of. It was while in jail that two of Pharaoh’s officials were imprisoned. However, Joseph had a gift of interpreting dreams.

After interpreting their dreams, the cup-bearer was released and raised to serve in Pharaoh’s palace, just as Joseph had foretold. When Pharaoh was having nightmares and needed somebody to decipher his dreams, the cup-bearer referred to Joseph. Joseph was summoned, and after showing the gift of his wisdom, Pharaoh decided to elevate him from prison to the palace, as the prime minister (in today’s parlance) of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh, king of the most powerful country in the world in those days. It took thirteen agonising years for an innocent man to go from rock bottom—slavery—to the highest office a man could achieve in the most powerful nation in the ancient world, Egypt.

But the story is not over, as Joseph would be reunited with his brothers, who had sold him as a slave many years back.

Providence had conspired, such that while the fortunes of Joseph had risen, the land of Canaan, where his family lived, now suffered a devastating famine, which forced his brothers to seek succour in wealthy Egypt. Joseph resettled his whole family in Egypt and saved them from famine. That is how the Israelites came to live in Egypt. And Scripture says, “Then you shall declare before the Lord your God: ‘My father was a wandering Syrian, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous…”’

Interestingly, Jacob’s descendant became prime minister of Britain, when it was the most powerful nation in the world. His name was Benjamin Disraeli. Like Meghan Markle’s black ancestors in America, his ancestors in England, had once been ostracised.

Curiously, the subject of our story, Meghan Markle, is said to be a descendant (still unconfirmed) of the wandering Aramean, Jacob, whose descendant, Benjamin Disraeli, was the prime minister of the nation, which Meghan Markle is joining, as a member of its royal family. Meghan Markle carries so much history of pain, journeys, promises, overcoming and exaltation in her bloodline. She is a descendant of West African slaves and represents Blacks’ moment of glory; and she is a relative of the august royal family that she is joining by blood as well, being a descendant of King Edward III of England.

After Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers were afraid that he still harboured a grudge and would repay the injustice they had done to him, by selling him as a slave, to suffer the long agonising years in Egypt, away from his family and homeland. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.”

Those were the words of a wise man. He understood that Providence is constantly outwitting mankind’s worst decisions.

How could a descendant of Africans become part of the House of Windsor, the most powerful family in the world? How could a descendant of Africans become first lady of the most powerful nation in the world? It was not because of the slavery which their ancestors suffered that it happened. Their ascendancy was in spite of slavery, reminding us that perhaps, Providence is often working behind the scenes, to undo the worst decisions of mankind. Sometimes we go through hardship to prepare us for that greatness, unfolding in our destiny.

And perhaps, it is for a major purpose, that Providence determined that a descendant of African slaves – I am eager for them to sift through her DNA, to discover where in West Africa the soon-to-be-Duchess is from — should become part of the custodians of the largest empire since the Middle Ages. The odious institution that led her ancestors away from Africa in chains, is still alive and still threatens (in high probability), the very area where Meghan Markle’s African ancestors came from. Perhaps, Meghan Markle can help eradicate slavery, as she is sensitised by the videos of Nigerians being auctioned as slaves in Libya. Remember: Princess Diana, the late mother, of her soon to be husband, loved Africa too.

Both Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have shown keen interest in Africa as well. During their announcement, the red-haired prince (who appears to resemble his famous red haired distant uncle, of about sixteen or so generations, Henry VIII) kept mentioning Africa.

African American women are excelling in the lands of their ancestors’ captivity. Their ancestors, in their original homelands, were too peaceful, congenial and dutiful to family and nature, for the avaricious world that besieged them. Last year another black woman from the Caribbean, Rihanna, became the best-selling solo-artist of all time, even outselling Michael Jackson and Elvis. And of course, we remember, Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens, reigning on the tennis court. I think Serena will be excited picking up another Trophy at Wimbledon, this time from a ‘sister’ (sobriquet for black woman), who is true British royalty.

It is a good time to be a black woman. It is a good time to be a mother of black girls. Your daughters have options: they can even be saved by a dashing prince, and live happily ever after in the castle, and sparkle, just like Meghan Markle.

Olurotimi Osha, a doctor of law (JD) candidate at George Washington University Law School, in Washington, DC, has been an investment banker and financial services consultant.