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

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.

The Blackest Royal Wedding… Kind of.

 

Meghan-Markle-Second-Wedding-Dress[1] It’s the Monday after and the country  seems to be in recovery after the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I am obsessed with weddings. I am also not afraid to admit that I really like the younger members of the Royal Household (Prince William, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge). Therefore, staying at home to watch the  wedding of my favourite Royal  was a no brainer.
It was the most unconventional Royal wedding that most of us have ever seen to date. There were no politicians (with the exception of former Prime Minster John Major), many celebrities and plenty of representatives from respected charities such as  Sentebale, Wellchild and the Diana Award.
There was no denying that the wedding was beautiful and a lot of my favourite people were in attendance such as Oprah, Serena Williams, Idris Elba, Amal and George Clooney and the entire cast of Suits.

 

 

 

 


Now, I will not go as far to say that this was a “black wedding.” If it was then  Bishop Michael Curry would have got several loud amens and hallelujahs during his riveting sermon about love and how Christ is the source of love. There also would have been an eventful praise & worship section and the bride & groom would have two stepped out of the church. There were just several black folks from across the African Diaspora in attendance and that is something the whole world is not used to seeing at a royal wedding. After all, the British Royal Family represents the epitome of whiteness.

 

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However, after watching the event, no one can tell me that Meghan was not intentional about having her stamp on the wedding and displaying black excellence. From Bishop Michael Curry who quoted Dr Martin Luther King Jr & Negro spirituals (who I was low-key afraid would knock over the candles and start a real fire). The Kingdom Choir who gave us a beautiful rendition of Stand By Me (shout out to Paul Lee, the music director of the South England Conference of Seventh Day Adventist Church, who sang lead). Let us not forget Sheku Kanneh-Mason who did a phenomenal job on the cello. The black community from across the Diaspora represented and stood tall in a space where society does not expect us to be and I for one, took pride in that.

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t want to be over political. At the end of the day, just like the good Bishop said:

“Two people fell in love and we all showed up.”

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