Meghan’s powerful Black Lives Matter video message
Meghan Markle has shared a stirring speech on racism and the Black Lives Matter movement as protests sparked by George Floyd's death in police custody continue around the world.
In a powerful video message to the graduating class of the Los Angeles high school she attended, the Duchess of Sussex called the events of the past week "absolutely devastating", admitting she "wasn't sure what to say" at first.
"I wasn't sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that it would get picked apart," she said.
"I realised the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing," she told the Immaculate Heart High School students, as first reported by Essence.
"Because George Floyd's life mattered and Breonna Taylor's life mattered and Philando Castile's life mattered and Tamir Rice's life mattered … and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know."
Meghan, who was born and raised in LA where she now lives with Prince Harry and their son Archie, shared her memories of the riots that occurred in the city in 1992, which she described as similarly triggered by "a senseless act of racism".
"I remember seeing men in the back of a van just holding guns and rifles. I remember pulling up the house and seeing the tree, that had always been there, completely charred," she recalled.
"Those memories don't go away, and I can't imagine that at 17 or 18 years old, which is how old you are now, that you would have to have a different version of that same type of experience. That's something you should have an understanding of as a history lesson, not as your reality."
She went on to apologise that the world isn't "in a place where you deserve it to be".
"I am so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present," she said.
The former Suits actress ended her poignant five-minute message by urging students to take action and be leaders in inspiring change as they forge a path outside high school.
"We are going to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild until it is rebuilt. Because when the foundation is broken, so are we," she told the students.
"You are going to lead with love, you are going to lead with compassion, you are going to use your voice in a stronger way than you've ever been able to, because most of you are 18, or you're going to turn 18, and you're going to vote.
"I know you know that black lives matter, so I am already excited for what you are going to do in the world. You are equipped, you are ready, we need you and you are prepared."
Meghan's powerful message comes as she and Harry have been maintaining a low profile on social media during the Black Lives Matter protests, having stayed offline during Black Out Tuesday this week on their Sussex Royal Instagram page.
The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, which is overseen by the Queen, Harry and Meghan, this week shared on Instagram and Twitter a Martin Luther King Jr quote, saying "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
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Young people are vital voices in the fight against injustice and racism around the world. As a global community of young leaders we stand together in pursuit of fairness and a better way forward. QCT passionately believes that we all have the power to effect positive change. Now is the time to speak up and speak out. The time to have uncomfortable conversations with ourselves and with others. The time to educate ourselves and unlearn. Now is the time to come together and build a better future as one. Silence is not an option. #BlackLivesMatter ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏻
Originally published as Meghan's powerful video message