Meghan Markle's feminist wedding quietly displayed a ton of black girl magic.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's glorious wedding was one for the history books.

Photo by Brian Lawless-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

In a display of fairy tale magic, the duke and duchess of Sussex said their vows in front of millions of viewers around the world. It. Was. Beautiful.  


Photo by Yui Mok-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Photo by Danny Lawson-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Photo by Dominic Lipinski-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Roughly 18 million people in the U.K. tuned into the event, and it's safe to say Americans were pretty enamored with the stunning affair as well.  

The road up to the wedding was no easy feat. Fighting unethical press, sexism, and racism, Harry and Markle held strong together. Thankfully, they made it to their happy ending.

Aside from the dashing uniforms, stunning gowns, and oh-so-adorable kiddos, the wedding was an incredible display of revolutionary love. Here are five ways the new couple made their love as radical as can be:    

1. They are one of the first publicly recognized interracial couples in the British monarchy.

Harry and Markle are not the first interracial couple in British monarchy history. Due to the monarchy's fickleness with showing blackness in paintings (such as black features, hair textures, etc.), it's unclear who actually holds that title. But, it's likely to go back to Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz of the 18th century, a mixed-race woman who married King George III. With about seven generations between Charlotte and Markle, the visibility is long overdue.

Photo by Jonathan Brady-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

2. Markle was "accompanied" down the aisle not "given away."

A self-proclaimed feminist, Markle made it clear from her earliest days with Harry that she would not be one to follow tradition if it didn't align with her values. This became evident through details like the style of the wedding to the choice of the cake maker and in other traditions, like Markle's walk down the aisle.  

In most Western weddings, a bride's father walks her down the aisle to "give her away" to her husband, steeped in a tradition of treating women like property that can be transferred. Markle, whose father was unable to attend the wedding, chose to walk the first part of the aisle alone and then was joined by Prince Charles for the remainder. Most important was the language used around this aspect of the ceremony: Markle was "accompanied" down the aisle.

Photo by Jonathan Brady-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Given the U.K.'s staunch traditionalism, Markle's prominent decision was an important display of autonomy and a woman's ability to make her own choices even in a committed marriage. It also serves as a beautiful reminder that traditions can be honored and altered to reflect a progressive marriage that allows both individuals to own their choices.

3. The sermon was a legendary display of black ministry and love.  

Bishop Michael Curry, the first black presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, brought down the house with a powerful sermon called "The Power of Love," citing love's redemptive and powerful capabilities. Speaking of Gilead, slavery, and the importance of mutual respect in loving relationships, Curry's sermon was one of the most moving portions of the ceremony. Discussing the complexity of humanity and love's role in moving it forward, Curry proclaimed, "Love is the only way. There's power in love. Don't underestimate it. Don't even over-sentimentalize it. There's power, power in love."

Photo by Owen Humphreys-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Markle, who was key in the decision to break from tradition and involve an  American bishop in the ceremony, was visibly moved by the speech. Given Britain's horrific role in slavery and colonization, Curry's sermon was a reminder that redemption is possible only when we allow love to lead and guide us in our lives.

4. The couple's actions and mannerisms spoke volumes about their affection for one another.  

Of course, no one knows the ins and outs of Markle and Harry's relationship except them, but if the wedding was any indication, these two remind us that love can be so, so real. Endless research points to how body language often offers insights into a couple's relationship. From simple gestures such as Harry rubbing Markle's thumb during the ceremony to his loving words once she reached the alter, the two shared interactions that looked like they were pulled straight out of a fairy tale.  

In times when love is often mocked or deemed impossible, their public display of affection were subtle reminders that there is magic and love and vulnerability, and it still totally exists.

5. Markle's black roots radiated through the church.  

In spite of a media that seemed to both question and criticize Markle's blackness, she incorporated her culture in some of the most beautiful ways. In addition to Curry's sermon, the Kingdom Choir, led by Karen Gibson, sang a stunning rendition of "Stand By Me" for the ceremony. Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a cellist handpicked by the royal couple moved the crowd with his renditions of Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria," Gabriel Fauré's "Après un rêve," and Maria Theresia von Paradis' "Sicilienne."  

Markle's effortless incorporation of her culture showed the world how proud she is of her roots, and it's a sign that her blackness will be centered in her public role in the U.K.

From endless fairy tale photographs to smiling faces around the room, Harry and Markle's wedding ceremony provided some much needed joy in a complicated world. Hopefully, it's just the beginning.

More

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture