Meghan & Harry’s Long Walk To Freedom, BTS Performing at the Grammys & Love Island Is Boring This Year

Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex visit to Canada House, London, UK - 07 Jan 2020

In case you have been living under a rock, I’m sure that you know by now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to leave the Royal Family. At this point aliens on Jupiter have heard the news given the amount of noise the British media have made about it. The Duke & Duchess of Sussex have decided to give up being senior members of the Royal Family and will be splitting their time between North America and the UK. What made me chuckle was the fact that the other members of the Royal household found out about it the same way that the rest of us did, via their website. How very Beyoncé of them.

This begs the questions, why would they do such a thing? Well those of us who are Black British would say that the answer is incredibly obvious. There has been a smear campaign against Meghan Markle since she was rumoured to be dating Prince Harry and things because considerably worse when she became pregnant. All of this has been steeped in the language of ‘dog-whistle politics’ with articles criticising Meghan for guest editing Vogue, eating avocados and holding her pregnant belly.  Now I am not going to argue whether Meghan Markle has been experiencing racism from the British media because it the answer is clear. Buzzfeed news put together a wonderful article where they compared news articles of situations whether Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle would be the exact same thing but where Kate would receive praise, Meghan would receive scathing remarks.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/meghan-markle-kate-middleton-double-standards-royal

Not to mention her son was compared to a  “chimp in a suit” by BBC 5 Live presenter. Prince Harry has also written two letters calling out the press’s racism, so the debate of whether their decision to leave was based upon racism is null & void.

What Meghan and Harry have done by publicly deciding to step away from the Royal Family is declare to the world that there façade of England being a racially safe haven is a lie and now several media publications have been falling on their swords to declare that they are not racist. There is just “something about Meghan they don’t like.” Would anyone like to take a wild guess as to what that ‘something’ is?

What is frustrating is how black scholars, broadcasters and lecturers, such as Afua Hirsch and Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu are being carted out onto programs such as This Morning and Channel 4 news to explain the racism that was so glaringly obvious. It is an insult to our intelligence. It is bad enough that in the UK Black and Brown people are subjected to racism and are to navigate our way through it in silence. Then when incidents like this happen, we have to explain what racism is and defend ourselves when people on the other side refuse to believe that anything outside of saying the N-word isn’t racism. It’s draining and if it is taking a toll on the average Black Briton then one can only imagine the mental turmoil that Meghan Markle has been under. Yet she is expected to take the abuse and bullying in silence.

Maybe we should not be surprised that a country where an overwhelming majority was given to Boris Johnson, a man who openly and unapologetically used racist and Islamophobic language, would harass the first biracial woman who married into the Royal Family. I should add that the excuse that Meghan is ‘arrogant, manipulative and an American’ is hardly a defense against the slander she is receiving. Aside from the fact that many of the people, like Eamonn Holmes, are making comments about the Duchess’s character have not had a conversation with her or even been invited to be in the same room as her. Why are people acting as though the fact that Meghan Markle is a United States citizen is a reason to berate her? So, racism is bad but casual xenophobia is fine? This country baffles me. The latest news is that Meghan and Harry will be stripped of their title of Duke & Duchess but if losing their Royal titles ensures the stability and mental health of their family then I am with them until the end.

BTS Are Performing At The Grammy

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It has been confirmed that BTS will be gracing the Grammys with their presence for the second year in a row. Only this time, they will not be attending as presenters but as performers. RM did warn you that they would be back.

In a feature article written about Lil Nas X,  Variety confirmed that BTS would be joining him on stage alongside Diplo, Young Thug, Mason Ramsey, Billy Ray Cyrus, and the OG Nas. Do I for one think that BTS deserves their own stage, absolutely. However, I am grateful to Lil Nas X to opening his platform to share with the sensational seven. Old Town Road beat Mariah Carey’s record for the longest standing single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart so he is under no obligation to share his stage with anyone.

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Fans are certainly excited to see what the outcome of this performance will be.  Ariane Grande posted a picture of herself and BTS at the Grammy rehearsals.

None of this negates the scandal that has broken out about the Grammys with their voting irregularities stemming from the board, who don’t promote a transparent nomination process, and the Recording Academy president Deborah Dugan being put on administrative leave. It’s no secret that the Grammys have a history of racism and homophobia which likely plays a huge part in why BTS was not nominated this year. That being said, fans know it has been a dream of BTS to perform at the Grammys so if they like it, we love it.

Love Island

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I don’t know what everyone else is thinking about this season of Winter Love Island but I am getting a little bored and I need them to inject some drama. All I have seen so major insecurity red flags on the part of Small Connor and Shaughna (although she is hilarious), pathological lies from Sophie and delusions of grandeur from Siannise. There is not a single couple that makes sense. I don’t know what Sophie & Small Connor are doing and Shaughna has practically strongarmed Callum into a relationship. At this point in the game, I am backing Nas to win. He has taken so many Ls but he sweet and is the least dramatic person on the show.

Please comment on your thoughts on the Meghan and Harry situation

Are you looking forward to seeing BTS perform at the Grammys?

Is this season of Love Island boring or do you think it will get better?

Please also listen to asoulfulstorm podcast which is available on Spotify

The Weather Report: Monkey Tweets, The MET Gala & Fenty Beauty

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Danny Baker fired from BBC over royal baby monkey tweet

Do you remember the time when Kate Middleton gave birth to three children and people started posting memes about monkeys in suits? Oh, wait, that never happened. Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor, son of the Duke & Duchess of Sussex has not even been out the womb a week and the racists could not hold back. Danny Baker who worked for BBC 5Live (I say worked in past tense because he was sacked this morning by the BBC), tweeted a picture of the royal baby leaving the hospital as a chimp in a suit.

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Referring to a black person as a monkey is one of the laziest and unimaginative forms of racism. A blind man with half a brain can see that kind of racism from a mile away. For Danny Baker to state that the tweet was nothing more than “stupid unthinking gag pic” is an insult to everyone’s intelligence. This really speaks to the way a lot of people in British media feel about Meghan Markle and her child, who are of mixed heritage. Despite Archie Harrison being three-quarters white, due to the one drop rule, the media will treat him as the “black royal baby.” There will undoubtedly be more of this level of ignorance throughout Archie Harrison’s life and it is sad. However, I am very happy that Danny Baker got sacked. Since he has plenty of time on his hands now, he can visit the London zoo and learn the difference between monkeys and humans.

The MET Gala

Since my very first post was about the MET Gala, it is only fitting that I write about it again. This year’s theme was Camp (which Lena Waithe rightly reminded us was started by Black Drag Queens) and did the celebrities show up and show out. We were denied the presence of the reigning MET Gala Queen, Rihanna but everyone else brought their A-Game.

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Zendaya

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Gemma ChanThe 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion - ArrivalsLupita Nyong’o

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Prikanya Chopra & Nick Jonas asoulfulstormjanellemonaeJanelle Monae

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Can we also shout out the male celebrities who seemed more committed to the Camp theme than in previous years theme’s, where they bore us half to death by only wearing black Armani suits. I really believe that I should at least be security for the MET Gala because if you do not keep to the theme and want to show up in a regular dress, you should be sent home. I am a firm believer in following colour schemes & themes at parties.

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Darren Criss, Harry Styles, Billy Porter, Jared Leto & Ezra Miller

Fenty Beauty is coming to Boots

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Speaking of Rihanna, she continues to give traditional make-up brands a run for their money. Boots UK announced that it will be launching Rihanna’s global beauty brand, Fenty Beauty in selected stores and online as part of its plans to transform the face of high street beauty. This takes place from the 10th May and I could not be any more thrilled because Harvey Nichol is far from where I live.

* Fenty Beauty will be available from the following Boots stores:

 

Bath Southgate, Blanchardstown, Bluewater, Brent Cross, Bromley, Cambridge, Canary Wharf, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Derby, Dudley Merry Hill, Exeter, Glasgow Braehead, Glasgow Fort, Kingston, Hull-end May, Leeds, Leicester (Fosse Park), Lincoln, Liverpool Clayton Street, London Sedley Place, London St Pancras, London White City, Manchester Trafford Centre, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Piccadilly Circus, Plymouth, Reading and West Thurrock.

Baby Sussex Is Here

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I will always appreciate the stance that the Duke & Duchess of Sussex have taken in ensuring that they control their own narrative and do things their own way as much as possible. This was further cemented today when Prince Harry personally gave the announcement that Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, had given birth to a baby boy.

As I also predicated on my previous post, we also found out about Baby Sussex via an Instagram post. This is a huge poke in the eye to the British media, who are used to receiving the news of royal births first hand from outside of Buckingham Palace. What a way to keep up with the millennials.

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The name of the baby is unknown, and we are yet to see pictures of the child who is seventh in line to the throne. Like I said, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle have thrown tradition to the side when it comes to how their child will be introduced to the world. We will see pictures of the baby in two days’ time when they are ready to come forward as a family. In the meantime, we hope that both mother and baby are healthy and happy.

The Weather Report: BTS on SNL & the Return of Game of Thrones

Since this blog is a called A Soulful Storm, I’m going to be naming my posts where I do mini updates of the week The Weather Report. I may change my mind. We’ll see how it goes.

The Return of Game of Thronesgame-of-thrones-character-poster

In case you have been living under a rock you will know that after a two-year wait, Game of Thrones has returned to our screens.  Season 8 is the last season and the masses are excited. I will not give any spoilers but boy oh boy, did episode one kick off with a bang. This episode was filled with nostalgia and jaw-dropping moments that had me yelling at my laptop no less than 5 times. I truly believe the Night King is going to sit on the Iron Throne.  Winter is definitely here, and we are in for an emotionally turbulent time.

 

 

No Pictures Please

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Our Melanated Mona and her husband The Duke of Sussex have decided to break a 4-decade long tradition. The Duchess of Sussex has chosen not to have the 7th in line to the throne at Lindo Wing. The Lindo Wing appears to be the favourite maternity ward for the Royal Family since Princess Diana gave birth to both Prince William & Prince Harry there. Kate Middleton gave birth to all three of her children there too. Some of these media outlets are really acting like Meghan has broken royal protocol with her refusal as if the Queen herself didn’t give birth at home.

Buckingham Palace announced on 11th April 2019, that Harry and Meghan are keeping plans around the baby private. Which I am more than happy about for several reasons. One, it has always made me uncomfortable how mere hours after giving birth, women in the Royal Family must dress up and present their hours old baby to a sea of paparazzi. What is if they had to have an emergency C-section? What if their labour was over 24 hours and they can barely stand? It has always seemed so unnatural to me.

Two, the media in the country has been so foul and antagonistic to Meghan all the way through her pregnancy. They don’t deserve to see her baby. So they can do what? Pick apart her child from the name to all the way the ancestors have shown up in the hair texture and skin tone of the baby. No thank you. We will see that child when Harry & Meghan are ready for us to see him/her. In fact, they should reveal the baby on their Instagram just to spite the press.

BTS performed on SNL

The new era is upon us!!! BTS released their new album, Map of the Soul Persona on 12th April 2019. The new album contains collaborations with Halsey and Ed Sheeran and I have streamed it no less than 11 times and counting.

Their first comeback stage was none other than Saturday Night Live (SNL). For some of you who may not know, SNL is considered one of the best sketch comedy show in the USA. It is the most successful, long-lasting show of its kind in 2019. It is an honour for musical guests to perform on that stage. The stage has been graced by artists such as Beyoncé, Justine Timberlake, Solange and Childish Gambino and that’s just to name a few. BTS continues to be trailer blazers as they are first Koreans to be asked to perform in the show’s history. They performed their new song with Halsey, Boy With Luv and Mic Drop Remix which you can watch below.

As you can tell I am loving the way this new era is taking off. I can’t wait BTS will do between now and their concert at Wembley Stadium in June.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the Weather Report

Beyonce’s Melanated Meghan, The Politics from Hell and Black Outrage Pays the Bills

Let’s discuss what happened in the world of pop culture this week.

The Brit Awards

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Due to work, I was forced to watch the Brit Awards this year. It wasn’t as horrendous as I thought it was going to be. Hugh Jackman proved that he is the definition of a triple thread, Jorja Smith won Best British Solo Artist and H.E.R. did a duet with Jess Glynne while she removed her make-up with a legion of women on stage. It was all very nice. However, the highlight of the show (for me) was when The Carters won The Brit for Best International Group. Now Beyonce and Jay-Z did not show up in person to the Brit Awards. Instead that they sent a clip of them accepting the award in front a portrait of Meghan Markle as the Mona Lisa.

I stood up at work and YELLED!

At this point, it is international knowledge of the abuse that Meghan Markle received from the British Media. George Clooney as even spoken out against it stating that she is being “pursued and vilified,”. Therefore, no one will convince me that Jay-Z & Beyoncé were not acutely aware of the statement they were making by a video of them standing in front of a portrait of Meghan Markle dressed and crowned as a Queen. Beyoncé over recent years has been opening showing support of Blackness from her performing Formation at the Superbowl with her dancers dressed like the women of Black Panther Party, donating 1.5 million dollars to BlackLivesMatter & $100,000 to four HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities). Also well as the APES*** video which celebrating all the black art that is in The Louvre

I know some of you truly wish that Beyoncé would go back to shucking & jiving to Single Ladies for your entertainment and stop reminding you that she is a Black Woman. However, our melanated Queen B is celebrating our melanated Duchess of Sussex. Get Over It.

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Does Black Outrage Pay the Bills Burberry?

 

So, Burberry decided that as part of their Autumn/Winter Fall line. they were going to include a nose hoody on the catwalk. Many took to be racist imagery and glamorizing suicide. I’d like to remind the readers that lynching was a real thing and the United States only made it illegal Federally in December 2018. A lot of people are starting to suspect that ever since the H&M incident, brands are using black outrage as a way of drumming up publicity for their companies. In response to public outcry, some of the brands have either reinforced their professed commitment to diversity or promised to increase it — suggesting, then, that a lack of corporate diversity is to blame. Well isn’t that obvious Sherlock

I personally believe that these brands are trolling us. I do not think that it is a coincidence that Prada, Gucci and now Burberry have had to apologise and take down clothing with insensitive imagery within less than 4 months of each other. A lack of diversity or not, as soon Prada made their blunder, the marketing departments of the rest of the fashion houses should have been on high alert. Unless they wanted it to happen.

It all goes back to the age-old saying “All publicity is good publicity.” We all know that something hasn’t been a hit on the internet unless Black Twitter has something to say about it. If Black people are outraged about something online, it will make the blogs, news outlets and day time television shows.  This is why, as of this moment, I will no longer be talking about brands want to use racism as a marketing tool. The hurt of my people should not be used to drum publicity for fashion houses that are older than my grandmother. Recruit some people of colour and do better.

 

More Members of Parliament Leave Labour

On a political note; Ian Austin MP quit the Labour Party just this morning. He is blaming leader Jeremy Corbyn for “creating a culture of extremism and intolerance” He is now the ninth Labour MP to resign this week and three MP left the Conservative Party. If MPs are dissatisfied with their party’s ethics and feel as though they can no longer follow the direction of their leader, that is their prerogative. However, we have the impending doom that is Brexit happening in less than four weeks. I wonder if now is really the time for them to decide that they want to jump ship and form new political parties?

Presently there is nothing United about the Kingdom and we are going to hell in a handbasket. Pray for us.

 

Please share your thoughts on Beyoncé giving props to Meghan Markle.

Do you think these high-end brands are turning into attention seekers or are they just negligent?

Do you think it’s fair for MPs to be forming new parties four weeks before Brexit?

Murder, Baby Bumps & BTS at the Grammy Awards

I’m trying something new here guys. You will let me know if you like it.

Let’s discuss what happened in the world of pop culture this week.

British Media Hates Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex

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All hell broke through the streets of England when there were mere rumors that Prince Harry was dating Meghan Markle. Why? Because Meghan is a divorced, older, biracial woman. It didn’t matter that Meghan Markle is so light skinned that most people would not be able to tell that there is an ounce of black blood flowing through her veins. However, the media storm that ascended upon the now Duchess of Sussex was so ferocious that Kensington Palace had to send out an official statement. They basically told the British media in not many words, “we see your racism, Prince Harry is disgusted, shut the hell up.” Which is what happened, but as soon as that wedding was over… they came back with the fire of a thousand suns.

Has Meghan been able to do anything right in the eyes of the media since? Apparently, Kate and Meghan have a feud. Now she’s been berated for holding her own baby bump, as if the woman isn’t 7 months pregnant. She is also being blamed for Prince Harry balding. As if everyone male in Prince Charles’s bloodline hasn’t suffered from hair recession once they hit the tender age of 30. In fact, Black British Twitter was begging Meghan to introduce Harry to coconut & caster oil to combat his unfortunate genetic disposition.

This is the complete opposite of how Kate Middleton was treated all of the times she was pregnant.Three guesses as to why. I just want you to know that we see your micro aggressions towards Meghan in these headlines. They are racist and unfair. Let that woman grow her baby in peace.

Is Liam Neeson a Racist?

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I don’t even know where to begin with this story. Liam Neeson decided to inform Al Gore’s internet that after someone close to him was allegedly raped by a black man. These were his words

“But my immediate reaction was… I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.

“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [uses air quotes with fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”

Let me get this straight. He didn’t go looking for the criminal who did this to his loved one. He wanted to harm ANY black man that so much as gave him a bit of lip in an act of revenge. Do you have any idea how dangerous this kind of thinking is? This is how we get deaths of unharmed black men and boys like Trayvon Martin. If all Black people exact revenge on white people who have wronged us, white people would be extinct. Furthermore, I don’t understand the logic of telling us this? Where is his PR team? This story was far from necessary.

Remember, Liam Neeson did not tell this story at Hollywood Race Panel sitting between Ava Duvernay & Oprah talking about dangers of racism and how he once had these thoughts. He told this story in mere promotion of a film. Ask yourself, if his friend had been raped by a white person, what was the likelihood of him wanting to assault any random white that he had met on the street? Unlikely. It is one thing to acknowledge that these thoughts were horrible but real growth is acknowledging that they were racially based. Making them racist.

I’m annoyed because I still haven’t watched Widows and I now I have watch him in the same film with Aunty Viola Davis. Thanks a lot Liam, how am I meant to watch Love Actually and Taken now?

BTS Will Be Presenting At the Grammys

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It was confirmed this morning that BTS will be presenting at the Grammys this coming Sunday. As some of you may know, they are the first Korean Artists to be nominated for a Grammy in the Academy’s history. Now I am not impressed by the category they have been nominated in (Best Recording Package). I think they should have been nominated for Best New Artist or Best Album. This is a group that had 2 number 1 albums on Billboards last year alone. However, it is no secret that the Grammys have a prejudice towards people of colour and boy groups.

Anyway, I acknowledge that they are breaking down barriers for other Korean Artists who are trying to achieve success in the Western Music Market. I understand that the magnitude of this nomination, and even being asked to present an award is a huge honour for the BTS. Plus Suga (one of the rappers in BTS) had expressed in 2018 his desire to go to the Grammys. It seemed like a dream to both the group and the fandom (ARMY), now look at where we are. The power of speaking things into existence.

Let me know if you think the British Media has it out for Meghan Markle?

Should Liam Neeson have kept that story to himself?

Will you be staying up to watch BTS at the Grammys?

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Harry & Meghan Are Having a Baby

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I, for one, am excited!!! My favourite member of the Royal Family (I only ever liked Diana, William and Harry) got married and wasted no time getting in pregnant. There are many blessings and prayers that I am sending up to the Lord for this new royal baby. Here are some of them.

  1. The Black Throwback

Come on, we are all secretly hoping for it. I am not ashamed to admit that I praying to the Almighty that Doria Ragland’s (Meghan’s mum) genes will kick in hard and that baby will come out as brown as possible. If it can happen for Tamera Mowry’s daughter, why can’t it happen for Harry and Meghan? Can you imagine a brown skinned, legitimate heir to the throne of England? The racists of this country would be sick and I live for the idea.

  1. The Curse of the Hair

None of you people should act like you do not know what I am talking about. We need to pray against the curse of Prince Charles’s genes. We all saw what happened to Prince William. That man had a beautiful golden mane in his teens and early twenties. Now he looks like Mr Potato Head but with less melanin. Prince Harry’s hair is not as bad however, we can see that it is fighting for dear life. We can only hope that Meghan is rubbing his head with coconut and almond oil daily. These men are not even in their late thirties. Needless to say, that child’s hair needs to be covered with the blood of Jesus.

While we are praying over the hair, I hope it comes out with 3c/4a hair texture. Anything is possible

3. Dusty Old Names
I beg, when the baby gets here, I need them to give the child an updated name. I am tired of Georges, Henrys and Elizabeths. Consult a baby naming book and get some new ideas. This does mean I am not asking for names like Brooklyn, LaMarcus or North West. Just give us a name that is not reminiscence of our Year 9 History lessons.

All jokes aside, I hope Meghan and Harry have a happy and healthy baby. That is all any parent can ask for.

What are your hopes for the Royal Baby? Let me know in the comments below.