Tinely Manor, Kwa Zulu Natal, 2017
by nkgopoleng moloi
The idea of black excellence should strike us as odd.
The existence of the language and its use reveals absurdity.
Often used in the public sphere as a celebration of blackness against given standards, the concept goes beyond acknowledging the perverted gaze of white supremacy, serving that gaze instead.
By celebrating the public successes of those who have “made it” and linking our successes and failures to our blackness, we simplify the complexities of living in a black body, a performing black body in a world that was built on our backs, but not for us.
Through singling out ‘good,’ ‘slaying’ and ‘worthy’ blacks, we de-contextualize success and fail to frame the politics of success, celebration and failure within the broader context of structural injustices.