The burden of black excellence

citizen.co.za

- citizen.co.za | 3 months ago

The simultaneous publication of the annual Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list as well as the Mail Guardian Young 200 list has once again put the burdensome concept of black excellence in the spotlight.

However, one particular aspect of this concept has been haunting my thoughts for close to a week and that is the fact that the undue emphasis placed on black excellence has left many a young black person feel as though they cannot aspire to an average life. The origins of black excellence are rooted in a desire to subvert white supremacist and racist ideology by disproving the factually incorrect and unscientific beliefs that were used as a justification for the subjugation of black people.

It has also since evolved into the desire to prove the worth of black people to white people by being better at everything; sports, academia, performance art, beauty, and so forth.

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