The term “black excellence” is a buzzword that has gained momentum over the years, but how many of us have stopped to think of the origins and relevance of the concept in today’s world, where more and more black people, particularly women, seem to attract overnight fame and fortune as social media influencers, bloggers and social entrepreneurs?
From the youngest producer in Hollywood, Marsai Martin, who became executive producer at 13 years old, to former child refugee-turned- supermodel, Adut Akech Bior, and Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi, who was the first black South African woman and the first person ever with afro-textured hair to win the crown, there are many women who make the black community proud.
We often refer to such people as displaying black excellence. Evidently, the concept has gained more traction as younger women increasingly break glass ceilings in their industries. This may not always mean that corporate bias and sexism immediately bow to the new kind of women in the room. Still, it does mean the gaps are closing as more women personify a new brand of capability. But first, let’s define the term, and then take a step back into the history of black excellence.