Prince Harry will be honored this weekend alongside his wife Meghan Markle with the NAACP’s prestigious President’s Award. The former royal will be joining the ranks of Black luminaries who have also received the award such as Lebron James, Ella Fitzgerald, Ruby Dee.
In a statement, the couple said, “It’s a true honor to be recognized by President Derrick Johnson and the NAACP, whose efforts to propel racial justice and civil rights are as vital today as they were nearly 115 years ago.”
Exactly what they’re being recognized for is unclear, but NAACP President Derrick Johnson said that the couple has “heeded the call to social justice and have joined the struggle for equity both in the U.S. and around the world.” A note to everyone out there, if you are supposed to make a podcast but don’t actually do it, that is social justice, and your lack of voice matters.
Harry is actually not the first white man to receive the President’s Award. Everyone place your guesses as to which white guy might have won back in 2001. I’ll give you a hint: think about the name of the award itself. Did you guess former president Bill Clinton? You’re correct! While Clinton did not have a Black wife who suffered mightily from racism at the highest levels of British society, he did play the saxophone on Arsenio.
Harry and Meghan will also be creating a new award — the NAACP-Archewell Digital Civil Rights Award. The annual award will provide $100,000 to leaders who are “creating transformational change — at the intersection of social justice and technology — to advance civil and human rights.” You know what, that actually is nice. It doesn’t totally make up for giving a white guy an NAACP Image Award, but it is nice.
So congratulations to the happy couple. It seems like whatever plan those two have for staying front of mind in our cultural consciousness while doing almost nothing is continuing to pay incredible dividends.