Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Positive References To Black Natural Hairstyles That Were Worn By Attendees At Prince Harry & Meghan Markles' Wedding (With Two Videos Of Meghan Markles As A Child)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post compiles examples of positive references to natural hairstyles (dreadlocks, cornrows, twists, twist outs, braids, or 'fros) that were worn by attendees at the wedding of the Duke & Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry & Meghan Markle) on May 19, 2018.

In particular, this compilation documents how different terms were used to refer to the same hairstyles- for instance, in various articles or comments Meghan Markles' mother Doria Ragland's hairstyle was referred to as "dreadlocks", "twists", or "twist outs"- which aren't the same hairstyles.

Also, tennis champion Serena Williams' hairstyle was referred to as "braids" or "cornrows" which again are two different hairstyles - although some people might (correctly?) say that she wore both hairstyles. However, Serena's hairstyle was also referred to as "braided cornrows and thigh-length Senegalese twists" and twists aren't the same as braids.

The Addendum to this post also showcases two videos of Meghan Markle as a child.

The content of this post is presented for historical and socio-cultural purposes.

All content remains with their owners.

Congratulations and best wishes to the Duke & Duchess of Sussex and thanks to all those who are mentioned in this post. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
Visit "Article Excerpt About Andre Walker's Hair Typing System And Selected Black Natural Hair Care & Hair Styling Terms" for definitions of the natural hair terms that are used in this post.


Pancocojams Editor's Note: These excerpts are given in no particular and are numbered for referencing purposes only. I'm interested in documenting the terms used as references for these hairstyles as well as some of the comments made about these hairstyles.

These selected comments purposely don't include any racists and/or otherwise negative examples. Among those racists comments were those that equated one or more of the attendees with monkeys or gorillas; those that indicated that cornrows should be named "cotton rows"; and those that indicated hairstyles styles being dirty, smelly, and/or ghetto.

References to these hair styles are given in italics to highlight these sentences.

Excerpt #1:
From Meghan Markle and the Bicultural Blackness of the Royal Wedding
...Despite [Meghan Markle's mother] Ms. [Doria] Ragland’s being the sole member of Ms. Markle’s family at the wedding, we still know so little about her. In contrast to the media obsession with Ms. Markle’s father and his children from his first marriage, Ms. Ragland is a bit of a mystery who rarely gives interviews. As a result of her silence, we are left to deduce meaning from her physical image. As she sat across from the British monarchy in her pale green Oscar de la Renta dress and coat, it was the symbolism of her long dreadlocks, quietly tucked underneath her hat, that spoke volumes as it reminded us that black women’s natural hair is regal too.


But, for me, it was the awesome power of the Kingdom Choir — the Christian gospel group from southeast London — and its leader, the renowned gospel singer Karen Gibson, that captivated me. They did not simply give us a rollicking rendition of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me,” but rather showcased the sheer breadth of a trans-Atlantic black identity. Against the muted tones of their beige and mauve clothing, the various hues of their brown complexions, the complexity of their hairstyles (ranging from twists to cornrows to straightened hair) and their expert use of the African-American songbook stood out even more.

Excerpt #2:
From Meghan Markle's Mother Stunned With Her Nose Ring And Locs In A Twist Out At The Royal Wedding
Siraad Dirshe, May, 19, 2018
One of the many reasons we were excited to watch Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding was to see how Doria Ragland (Meghan's mom) stunned. As the mother of the bride, there was no doubt she'd show up looking absolutely gorgeous.

And that she did!


Fresh glowing skin, a slight smokey eye, and a nude lip comprised the look de jour. As for hair, Mama Ragland's shoulder length locs, she wore a twist out and pulled them away from her face. But the beauty accessory we couldn't get enough of was her nose ring."...

Excerpt #3:
From Doria's new look: Mother of the bride debuts new hair and heels as she joins Meghan at Cliveden House Hotel just hours before the Royal wedding
By Unity Blott For Mailonline, PUBLISHED: 13:48 EDT, 18 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:08 EDT, 18 May 2018
“It was her first official appearance as the mother of the bride.

And Doria Ragland debuted a dramatic new look tonight as she arrived at Cliveden House Hotel with her daughter Meghan Markle tonight.

The yoga instructor and social worker, who wore her hair tied back as she jetted out of Los Angeles earlier this week, appeared to have styled her hair into soft twists, tied back with a silk scarf.


[photo caption]
New look: The yoga instructor and social worker, who wore her cornrows tied back as she jetted out of Los Angeles on Friday, wore her hair down in soft twists, tied back with a scarf.

Excerpt #4:
From Serena Williams Slayed In Cornrows And Senegalese Twists For The Royal Wedding
"Serena Williams was the epitome of #HairGoals at the royal wedding.

The new mom arrived at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s ceremony at Windsor Castle on Saturday, along with her husband Alexis Ohanian, looking like American royalty in a blush pink, draped Versace dress that hugged her curves. But it was her fresh braided ‘do we couldn’t stop staring at.

Just before the wedding, Williams took to Instagram to show off her braided cornrows and thigh-length Senegalese twists, which were pulled up into a high ponytail and topped with a matching, sculptural fascinator. Needless to say, it was a standout cultural moment that was met with praise from both Williams and fans alike on social media.

“Look at my braids, I’m wearing braids! Yasss!” Williams said on her Instagram story, as she documented her wedding-day prep with Ohanian and her daughter.


5:38 AM - May 19, 2018

Loving all the locs, twists and braids at the #royalwedding come thru @serenawilliams πŸ™ŒπŸΎπŸ†

7:59 AM - May 19, 2018

Markle’s mom Doria Ragland also rocked her locs at the star-studded affair, and 36-year-old Williams gushed about her friendship with Markle as she was getting ready on Instagram.


And honestly, we’re happy we just found a new protective style for summer. Slay, queen Serena!"
"Fascinator" = a term for a hair accessories/ hair sculpture that is worn in women’s hair for formal events such as the Kentucky Derby or traditional English weddings

Excerpt #5
From Diversity Of Looks
Serena Williams worn cornrows to the royal wedding

This meme perfectly illustrates why it was so amazing that Serena Williams wore cornrows to the royal wedding
by Maggie Parker Mon, May 21 9:37 PM EDT
"In case you somehow avoided the royal wedding, we should tell you that one of the aspects people cannot stop talking about is how diverse the beauty looks were compared to past royal events.

Of course, with Meghan Markle’s biracial background, some racial diversity was guaranteed. What caught everyone by sweet surprise, however, was that the diversity went far beyond the Duchess of Sussex. From the black gospel choir to the bishop who quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his sermon, black heritage was proudly referenced. And while Meghan’s hair was in a popular low messy bun for her big day, some of her guests wore more creative ’dos. Serena Williams rocked long cornrows with a perfect pink fascinator, and Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, wore her hair in shoulder-length dreadlocks. Some of the gospel singers of the Kingdom Choir, which performed at the ceremony, wore their hair in fancy cornrowed updos, and others wore theirs in loose natural ’fros.

All of these women looked absolutely stunning and sophisticated...

Some see this as a major moment for black hair. A meme was created featuring Williams at the wedding with the caption, “If an employer/school ever makes a comment about your twits [sic], braids, or cornrows please reply with, ‘if it’s good enough for a royal wedding, it’s good enough for you.’” The meme has been shared on Instagram and has over 8,000 likes. It also features photos of Ragland, other African-American wedding guests like Oprah Winfrey, and a video of the choir showcasing members’ hairstyles, including conductor Karen Gibson’s gorgeous gray, braided updo.

Mae πŸŒ»πŸ’›
19 May
My daughter excitedly said to my mother, on seeing Doria Ragland: she has hair like yours πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ’—❤️πŸ–€ #RoyalWeddding

Our beautiful black hair(all styles, lengths and textures) was on display as elegant and acceptable for the occasion at a Royal Wedding.

Yooooo I was BEYOND that Serena wore rows!! With the long pony!! Yaaassss #blackgirlmagic,” one user commented on the post. “I noticed all of the black women’s hair! Twist, Braids, Locks, Nature Hair*, Relaxed Hair!! Let’s not forget the nose ring we have been always told by society that if our hair wasn’t a certain way it was socially unacceptable by the European standards! But this historical moment says otherwise! ” said another follower. “Our beautiful black hair (all styles, lengths and textures) was on display as elegant and acceptable for the occasion at a Royal Wedding,” someone tweeted. “My daughter excitedly said to my mother, on seeing Doria Ragland: she has hair like yours #RoyalWeddding.”

Shonda Rhimes shared a similar sentiment. “My 4 year old upon seeing Meghan Markle’s mother: ‘Mommy, the Queen is so beautiful!’ Me: ‘Yes. Yes, she is.’ She never once noticed any other Queen in the room. My work here is done.”

Gray’s point was proven last year when the Perception Institute found that white women demonstrate the strongest bias — both explicit and implicit — against textured hair, rating it as less beautiful, less sexy or attractive, and less professional than smooth hair.

But it’s not just natural black hair that is unaccepted; cornrows, braids and dreadlocks are far too often characterized as low-class and dirty. Remember the white mother who called her biracial daughter’s cornrows ugly and insinuated that the look was “too black?” Then there was the Banana Republic employee who faced discrimination over her braided hairstyle and was told by her manager that her look was inappropriate for working on the store floor. Two years ago, 9-year-old soccer player Aubrey Zvovushe-Ramos was unexpectedly pulled from the lineup by the referee because of the beads in her braids. And no one will ever forget when E! host Giuliana Rancic said on air that Zendaya’s dreadlocks made her smell “like patchouli oil. Or weed.”

So, as the meme points out, it’s important for the world to see that black hairstyles can be formal, sophisticated, and chic. “The meme does bring up a valid point: my locs/fro/curls are good enough for royalty but not good enough to clock in at my cubicle or be the CEO?” Gray argued. “But I also hope this brings awareness that whiteness (or proximity to it) is not the tool to measure beauty.” In other words, she said, it should not be up to white people to decide which black hairstyles are “acceptable.”
“nature hair” probably a typo for “natural hair” meaning usual Black African hair texture [type 4] worn in its natural state without any heat or chemical treatments

"relaxed hair" = hair that is straightened by chemicals or by heat

Here's the link for the Instagram link mentioned in that article is
Here are some selected comments from that article's discussion thread (with numbers assigned for referencing purposes only)
1. 124Wiseone, May 22, 2018
"I think African Americans have often yielded to the comfort of whites. Perfect example is how some feel about the African American hair versatility. as reflected in the comments. A lot of the braids are amazing art. They are geometrically balanced. They are really a work of art. When Bo Derek wore them whites especially were in awe. But, for some reason Black hairstyles seem to be a threat to some whites. If you can't appreciate the versatility in Black hair, that's fine, but don't insult people. There is a certain comfort and freedom when African Americans do not conform to the comfort of whites."

2. TERRY, May 22, 2018
"Everything in black culture is a threat to white people. They are insulted that we even exist."

3. 124Wiseone, May 22, 2018
"@TERRY you can tell by the thumbs down replies."

4. Neverchange, May 22, 2018
"Black women wore their natural hair at the Royal Wedding of Prince Hary and Meghan Markle and they knocked those styles right out of the ball park. Black women ROCK!! I am ecstatic!"

5. Tara, May 22, 2018
"awww the jealousy here is hilarious...white women try to put their hair in braids and cornrows all day every day and claim credit for the trend, those are your wives, daughters and mothers.... lol bless your little hearts, hate what can't understand or typical, especially the yahooligans...its ok, your daughter will be wearing the soon enough lol and the dreads you guys try to copy...but then you guys always steal from other cultures and then try to claim at as your own...again, typical

6. Betty, May 22, 2018
"I was oblivious to the whole hair thing. I'm white and have naturally curly hair - after the torture of the feathering stage in the late 70's I gave up and embraced HUGE 80's hair, 90's spiral and working woman shorter waves. It's too exhausting to fight what parents mix up and spit out, your features are your features and they are beautiful. I'm glad black women are finally able to enjoy their hair!"

7. TERRY, May 22, 2018
"As a black woman I would like to advise the writer of this article that Serena wore braids not cornrows. There is a difference."

8. Willie, May 23, 2018
"This article is about corn rolls but it forgot to mention the big weave braid she was sporting."

Example #1: Emotional moment Prince Charles grabbed Meghan's mom Doria's hand, she belonged to the family

Hot news 24h Today, Published on May 21, 2018

Emotional moment Prince Charles grabbed Meghan's mom Doria's hand, she belonged to the family
Two people’s hands reaching for the other, and a warm smile. And from the way that Doria Ragland’s face lit up, she suddenly felt safe, no longer lonely in St George’s Chapel....

Example #2: Meghan's mom is staying at Kensington Palace with her & Harry for wedding preparations

Royal Insider, Published on May 10, 2018

Meghan Markle’s mother has arrived! Doria Ragland flew to London to help her daughter prepare for her upcoming wedding to Prince Harry, Us Weekly confirms.
The yoga instructor, 61, is staying at Kensington Palace with Harry, 33, and Markle, 36. A source tells Us that Ragland will meet the entire royal family — including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William and Duchess Kate — in the next few days, along with her ex-husband, Thomas Markle, who is scheduled to land in the U.K. later on Thursday, May 10.

The source adds that Ragland and Thomas will attend a private rehearsal at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle next week. The former actress’ best friend Jessica Mulroney will arrive in London on Monday, May 14.

Example #3: Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir - The Royal Wedding - BBC

BBC, Published on May 19, 2018

Example #4: Choir members react to royal wedding performance

CBS News, Published on May 20, 2018

Example #5: Royal Wedding 2018: Serena Williams stuns in floral Valentino gown in her second look of the night

NEWS LIVE, Published on May 19, 2018

Royal Wedding 2018: Serena Williams stuns in floral Valentino gown in her second look of the night.
As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped out in their elegant outfit changes to celebrate their we .....

Example #6: Royal wedding cellist: Teenaged musician Sheku Kanneh-Mason wows guests

CBC News, Published on May 20, 2018

The royal wedding cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 19, played three songs for guests as Harry and Meghan signed the register.
Although most of the comments in this post referred to Black women who attended the royal wedding, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the cellist who performed at the wedding should also be included in this post as he "sported" a 'fro.

Also, click for a pancocojams post about Bishop Michael Curry who delivered a sermon at the royal wedding. Bishop Curry also had a 'fro.

1. See Meghan Markle When She Was an 11-Year-Old With Pigtails

Inside Edition, Published on Nov 27, 2017

2. See Meghan Markle on ‘90s Nickelodeon Show After Protesting Sexist Commercial

Inside Edition, Published on Nov 30, 2017
These videos certainly seem to indicate that Meghan has her hair "relaxed". meaning she has her hair straightened.

In the late 1960s and 1970s and beyond that time some Black people postulated that whether people of Black descent wore their hair straightened or un-straightened (i.e. in a "natural" hairstyle) was an indicator of how "conscious" they were. "Conscious" her meant and means the same thing as the contemporary African American Vernacular English term "woke"- "to be aware of (alert to) and to work toward issues concerning social justice and racial justice, particularly as they concern Black and Brown people.

Acceptance of Black natural hairstyles is important for many psychological and socio-cultural reasons and it is good to see Black people and other populations recognizing that natural hairstyles can be beautiful. However, hopefully, we have grown past that time when wearing straightened or natural hairstyles are indicators of a person's "consciousness" or state of being "woke".

I believe that, inadvertently, the Duchess of Sussex, formerly Meghan Markle, will help reinforce this point.

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