This rags to riches narrative that has followed Meghan Markle to Buckingham Palace is simply not true … and many members of the media are to blame for the fiction fairytale spreading like wildfire.
First, it is imperative to note that Meghan is not from Crenshaw, California because it does not exist. Crenshaw is a boulevard, not a city, and it spans from the affluent area of Hancock Park all the way down to Rancho Palos Verdes (another affluent suburb of Los Angeles). It encompasses a diverse spectrum of ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses and cultures. Crenshaw is not monolithic. However, Ms. Markle did grow up off of Crenshaw, near the famed Liquor Bank in Leimert Park. Movies such as Baby Boy, Boyz In The Hood and Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood featured the popular liquor store which further solidified the “hood” image associated with it throughout the 90s. And even though the stereotype has stayed, the neighborhood has changed. Now, Leimert Park, like many other predominantly Black pockets of Los Angeles, is experiencing a wave of gentrification. The median home price is now well beyond the $700,000 mark (and soaring by the day) plus, you’re more likely to see a Starbucks and a white kid on a skateboard, then Jody screaming at Yvette.
Oh, and that picture of Markle’s mom’s home that’s floating around the Internet, it’s actually in View Park-Windsor Hills, an affluent, predominantly Black neighborhood in Los Angeles … not the “gang-infested” ‘hood many in the media keep saying it is. Many famous folks have called the area home including Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, and Debbie Allen. Even Loretta Devine and former Lakers star Michael Cooper still live in the area dubbed “The Black Beverly Hills”.
It’s also worth noting that Ms. Markle spent her formative years in private school, affording her many opportunities and experiences like traveling to London at the age of 15. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2003 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in theater and international studies. She was also a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
The shoddy reporting and shady stereotypes being woven into Meghan’s storybook romance are unnecessary and damaging. Her story is just as inspiring, interesting and notable without all the inaccurate, and borderline racist, extras being thrown on top.
Media, do better.