History and Culture

Black Excellence In Our Community

Excellence for development

Patrick Musyoka

May 24, 2021

Black Excellence

Black Excellence Originates from Historical Inequalities

From the onset of the African slave trade in the 16th century by Western colonialists, African slaves were barred from getting an education that was a preserve for Europeans and Americans. In American history, it is only the African Americans to whom it was illegal to know how to read and write.

Although the continental and historical African Diaspora has made significant progress towards achieving excellence, they continue to face challenges brought about by systemic racism. For instance, in the UK, the rate of unemployment among men of African descent is double that of Britons. Similarly, the rate of incarceration is four times more among children of African descent than European children. Worse still, the likelihood of African-Briton women dying at childbirth is five times more than that of European women.

Why Our Excellence is Important

We all acknowledge that education is a critical factor of excellence as it equips us with knowledge and power. When people are educated, they get access to success through quality employment and opening business start-ups to empower others.

The modern-day African Diaspora must strive to acquire excellence – not only to empower themselves but also to create space for the whole African community and future generations. We must collectively appreciate that excellence is a powerful tool in dismantling the rhetoric of stereotyping African Diaspora as inferior people, especially the UK and the US. Excellence creates a firm foundation for us to impact our community positively.

The pursuit of excellence is essential for African Diaspora community as it motivates us to explore greater heights of personal and community development. Embracing excellence benefits us all through bringing together our rich experiences and knowledge, as we also prepare a fair playing ground for the future generations of African Diaspora. And ultimately, we will be able to root out systemic discrimination against our community.

The Problem of Black Excellence

One main problem emanating from the excellence narrative is the portrayal of African descendants’ humanity as contingent on exceptionalism. There has been a perception that minority ethnic groups must achieve exceptional excellence levels to be accorded the humanity they deserve. This myth has been further advanced to perpetuate that we must work extraordinarily harder than native Europeans or Americans to be accorded a seat at the table. Unfortunately, this narrative has led to the treatment of African Diaspora, who don’t have the opportunity to achieve high levels of excellence, as second-class citizens.

Why We Still Need to Cultivate Excellence

At WeAfric, we provide a unique platform for continental and historic African Diaspora to engage and pursue excellence as a community. We will elevate our community as a whole if we bring together our expertise, resource, and diverse ideas and pursue a common goal of excellence. And by working as one people, we will be able to occupy our rightful socioeconomic position in society. Our collective effort will also enable us to lay a firm foundation for our future generations to excel and connect with the rest of Africa.

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