Dr. Boyce Thought of the day – 4/30/11


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, YourBlackWorld.comScholarship in Action 

If there were a royal wedding being held in Africa, would CNN spend an entire week covering it?  If not, what does that say about race, if anything at all? 

I couldn’t help but feel entirely disconnected from the ceremony that was being shown all over our television sets at the same time hundreds of people were being killed in an Alabama tornado.  I kept wondering if the fantasy of the British fairytale had more relevance to news producers than the reality of death and devastation.

I also felt badly for any little black girls (or grown-ups) who found themselves swept away by the fairytale that they will never live in their own lives.  Not to be presumptuous, but I can’t imagine the royal family taking it well if Kate Middleton (the bride) had been black.

But perhaps I’m just speculating.

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Filed under African Americans

15 responses to “Dr. Boyce Thought of the day – 4/30/11

  1. Bro. Boyce,

    I fully understand your sentiment, and to a large part agree. In fact, I started researching William and kate last week to do an article dragging this ostentatious spectacle through the mud. But as I got into the research I began to realize that I liked these two people.

    William is very unpretentious person who’s not very big on the spectacle himself, but he felt obliged to carry out a responsibilty that he was raised to adhere to. And Kate is just a flat-our regular who was dogged and looked down upon by the “aristocrates” for not “knowing her place” when she started dating the brother. So I found myself pullin’ for the sister. So for me it became a simple matter of a human being overcoming adversity.

    I understand that considering all of the suffering go on in the world that all of the opulence, pomp, and circumstance constitutes a vulgar display of waste. But I also realize that efficient thought require to first, see life as it is, and only then, as we would have it.

    And it can also serve a useful purpose. It stimulates dreams, and that’s a good thing. Some Black child in the hood may look at all of that extravagance and say, “I’m gonna live like that. I may never become a prince or princess, but laying back and accepting a future of poverty and squalor is not going to be an option for me.

    And finally, envy is one of the seven deadly sins – and what’s makes it so deadly is that it’s wasted energy that could be going into something constructive. One of the unique enlightenments that we should bring out of our education attendant to the Black experience is that hating on people just for the sake of hating on them is counterproductive. Whether than hating, we should view every situation as a source of knowledge.

  2. AntBee

    Dr. Watkins,

    Once again, that is your opinion and your choice not to watch the Royal Wedding, however billions around the world did watch and they enjoyed it!

    What is wrong with a bit of a faire tale?

    William is a nice young man, who has taken on much of his mothers causes, and he is well liked. Why show any disrespect to him and his wedding day? This is the way it is done, and he has to be a part of it because of whom he is. In addition, most of the world has followed these young men since they were young boys, and have interest in them as young men.

    Please stop the nonsense about CNN or other news programs not covering the tragedy that took place here is the USA, because it was all over the news! And, if you did not know or hear, William and Kate made sure they mentioned the tragedy and sent their prayers and concern to those that were affected. In other words, they presented themselves as a class act!

    To assume that black folks would not enjoy the royal festivities (black folks don’t do that) are to once again belittle us as a people. We are human beings just like millions of other humans on this planet.

    Once upon a time…….! We all grew up with it, and many of us enjoyed it.

  3. Well said to the two comments above (Eric Wattree and AntBee)!

  4. Tara

    “but I can’t imagine the royal family taking it well if Kate Middleton (the bride) had been black. ”

    I thought this was most poignant and a question I have been pondering throughout the whole spectacle. I am reminded of the difficulty the royal family had with accepting Diana and Dodi Al Fayed and the speculation that this might have been the reason for their fatal car accident.

    I live in the UK and most of the people and media enjoyed the event mostly because it was an occasion when they didn’t have to endure ‘multi-culturalism’, when they could be ‘proud to be British’. – this is evident in many of the language and imagery used in relation to the event.

    Now do tell me why a black or non-white child or person should feel a part of sentiment like that.

  5. Dear Dr. Boyce
    I just love your news. I challenge you to the come to Paducah, KY , you will not believe that this city is “The Heat of Night” You will get so much insite on how black folks here two steps back and three steps beating down here. So you see how your news is helping me to bring them to the kight that they have to rise up not stay down. Thanks to your articles I may get them get them motivated, I also own a Beauty Supply Store, why aren’t there more beauty supply stores own by blacks. I will be their distributors info lady.
    God bless you and thank you for being real
    Kathryne Robinson Paducah KY

  6. Marie B.

    I don’t see the relevance of asking this question? There are royal families in many countries abroad and the US media will simply mention when they have weddings. There is a history between the US and UK, for better or worst. I am more concerned about the increased number of Africian Americans who are not marrying. You recently posted a powerful video about the fatherless household and that 64% of AA children are fatherless. Let’s develop a strategy that will address some of the barriers and challenges facing our community.

  7. No I don’t care about the Royal Wedding and why should I. I was actual upset that most stations had it on. But my answer to that was I did turn off my T.V. We should be thinking about getting the United States back up and running. We as Americans always had a problem with what’s important. We need to think about the lives that was lost, unemployment, hungry and standing together in the United States to continue to be number 1. I guess some of you have nothing to do in the United States but watch the Royal Wedding.

  8. afropick1


  9. Tracy White

    I agree with your statement. What if the royals were black? Would we have been bombarded with every step / preparation of their wedding? Would their wedding would have even been on every network? I wasn’t interested at all in this wedding but I couldn’t get away from it because it was everywhere. I didn’t want to see it or hear about. Some people of this world think that everyone shares their feeling and enjoy everything that they do. We are all individuals with our own likes and dislikes. I like what I know of Will and Kate but I did not want to watch their wedding or know about everything they did. I would have rather watch the news about the tornados because I do have family in ALA. and that news coverage would have helped me stay informed about their situation.

  10. Adrienne

    I went on the Huffington twitter and was bombarded by unknown persons because I said that I do not feel sorry for men. Do you catch a lot of flack about comments like these, pitting news of the Royal Wedding against news of the Alabama tornado?

  11. Gina Johnson

    And an accurate speculation it is! Of course the “Royal Family” would not have a black women not even remotely near Prince William. They can go to Africa….but dont’ dare date or fall in love with one. We, African American families, on the other hand, are just the opposite….we always smile chesterly and bow down to welcome “them” with open arms. I watched my boyfriend almost tear a restaurant door off because a white women with a mixed child was exiting!!

  12. I think there is more to this situation than Black and White. Size and importance has to be a consideration also. Plus the fact England is our major supporter on all internationally issues. There is no Black Country of equal size and importance to the U.S. as England. Some of us are trying to compare the Lisa Ray Marrage to the Turqos King comparable to the Marrage of the Future King and Queen of England, thats silly. Most people don’t even know the people involved in Turqos or where it’s located.

    Most Black Ruled Countries don’t even control their own Resourses. And very few of them are able to provide most of their Citizens with a quality Lifestyle. Most of their economic Infrostructure are controlled by Foreigners who take all the Money out of the Country, thus leaving the low paying jobs, and a lower quality of life for the Local Nationals.

  13. Harris

    What you may or may not know is that Queen Sophia Charlotte (who was the grandmother of Queen Victoria) was indeed black: in history she is listed as one of the 100 Great Black Britons.

    So whilst this information is not widely disseminated and whether the Royal family like it or not the black race is an important part of their foundation and history.

    With regards to the recent Royal wedding, I wish the newly weds all the best. Even though I understand where you are coming from, many of us have freedom of choice, so we were not under any obligation to watch the event: you could have switched off. We live in England and in our household that is exactly what we choose to do.

    This choice was not made as a result of hating, but purely due to a lack of interest: however being a lover of clothes and fashion later on in the evening I did google the outfits that were worn by the range of guests that attended, as I would do for any high profile event. For me this represented a short and welcomed relief to the day-to-day tragedies that is so often reported in the news.

    As correctly stated there are many issues that need to be addressed within the black community both in England and the US: acknowledgement should be given to the many who put in so much time and effort in order to ensure / create an environment in which we can flourish.

  14. Africa

    Just a point of reference, Queen Sophia Charlotte is the great great great grandmother of the current Queen: she is also responsible for the creation of key monuments in England. For example:

    *Her husband bought Buckingham palace for her as a gift
    *Queen Charlotte maternity hospital was established in the 1800s and is operating today
    *She introduced the Xmas tree to the British culture which is still on going today
    *She cultivated plants and established Kew Gardens (big tourist attraction here).

    For more information on her google Black Queen of England

  15. Queen Charlotte, wife of the English King George III (1738-1820), was directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal House. The riddle of Queen Charlotte’s African ancestry was solved as a result of an earlier investigation into the black magi featured in 15th century Flemish paintings. Two art historians had suggested that the black magi must have been portraits of actual contemporary people (since the artist, without seeing them, would not have been aware of the subtleties in colouring and facial bone structure of quadroons or octoroons which these figures invariably represented) Enough evidence was accumulated to propose that the models for the black magi were, in all probability, members of the Portuguese de Sousa family. (Several de Sousas had in fact traveled to the Netherlands when their cousin, the Princess Isabella went there to marry the Grand Duke, Philip the Good of Burgundy in the year 1429.)

    Six different lines can be traced from English Queen Charlotte back to Margarita de Castro y Sousa, in a gene pool which because of royal inbreeding was already minuscule, thus explaining the Queen’s unmistakable African appearance.

    Queen Charlotte’s Portrait:
    The Negroid characteristics of the Queen’s portraits certainly had political significance since artists of that period were expected to play down, soften or even obliterate undesirable features in a subjects’s face. Sir Allan Ramsay was the artist responsible for the majority of the paintings of the Queen and his representations of her were the most decidedly African of all her portraits. Ramsey was an anti-slavery intellectual of his day. He also married the niece of Lord Mansfield, the English judge whose 1772 decision was the first in a series of rulings that finally ended slavery in the British Empire. It should be noted too that by the time Sir Ramsay was commissioned to do his first portrait of the Queen, he was already , by marriage, uncle to Dido Elizabeth Lindsay, the black grand niece of Lord Mansfield.

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