Meghan Markle, Issa Rae, Ziwe Fumudoh Set Record Straight on ‘Angry Black Woman’ Label

For ages, Black women have been perceived as aggressive, difficult, violent, bitter, and stubborn, and the list of negative connotations could go on. However, Black women are using their platforms to change the narrative.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, addressed the stereotype of the ‘angry Black woman’ on Tuesday during a recent episode of her “Archetypes” podcast.

According to Today, Markle sat down with actress Issa Rae and comedian Ziwe Fumudoh to discuss and dissect the meaning of the trope. The notable women also discussed how the stereotype has affected them throughout their professional careers and relationships.

“We all know that sometimes things make you feel angry or sad or hurt or upset — and that’s not a gender or racially-specific feeling,” Markle said. “Yet, this trope of the angry Black woman, it persists.”

“I remember when I was auditioning, and even the idea of Black roles — I remember those casting sheets where the description of the character, she always had to have an edge or an attitude,” Meghan, the Suits alum, said.

“It was this ruthless Black woman or this uncouth Black woman,” Rae noted. “We were made to laugh at them as opposed to or to laugh with them in some ways. But it was just like these caricatures of Black women.”

The women shared a similar focus on using their platforms to shut down the stereotype in the entertainment industry. Rae chimed in with references to hit reality shows from the 2000s like “The Apprentice” and “The Flavor of Love” and how Black women like Omarosa Manigault and Tiffany Pollard were featured in roles that brought chaos and fury to their white costars.

“I want to be able to show that not all women are like this. I don’t feel fierce, flawless all the time,” Rae explained. “These characters aren’t that all the time, and that’s OK.” She added, “It was like we overcorrected this other narrative, and now we couldn’t be human. We were superhuman.”

Fumudoh spoke of her own experiences, sharing that reporters have admitted to being intimidated to talk to her face to face.

“Usually, when I’m talking to an interviewer, the first thing that they say to me is, ‘I’m terrified of you,’” she remarked. “I’m like, Oh my God, that hurts my feelings. I’m a sensitive Pisces. Like, I don’t want you to be scared of me. That’s not my goal.”

US Weekly reported that Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, stepped down from their working roles as senior royals in 2020. In a tell-all interview with CBS, the two addressed racism and how the royal family had multiple opportunities to show support, however, they never spoke up.