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What Black Excellence Means To Me

By: Mikala McFadden

The portrayal of Black excellence very often includes an immaculate, fashionable, well-off Black couple that takes trips, runs a multi-million dollar company, have amazing educational accomplishments and raise beautiful children that dress like mini fashion models. While all those things are incredible and I manifest that more brothers and sisters of color will get to experience similar accomplishments; I must state my point that Black Excellence is so much more than those things alone.

The aesthetics of success are one thing, however the everyday grind, and obstacles that POC face and overcome with grace is what really catches my heart. The traumatic experiences that many black brothers and sisters share when it comes to police brutality, systematic racism, colorism, sexism, and discrimination are beautiful stories of triumph and victory over evil.

The stories that Black mothers share, especially single mothers, raising children with little to no support. Pushing, grinding, nurturing, teaching and surviving for the sake of the next generation. The selfless fight that many mothers fight everyday for their beautiful black babies. Preparing them for a world that does not love them and does not want them, but wants their culture and their aesthetic. Despite the struggle, every generation gets stronger and smarter.

The stories that Black men and women share across the world and constantly overcome. That is Black Excellence. How we can smile, laugh and lift each other up with love even when our world paints us as something to be feared and degraded. How we can fight without throwing fists but with resilience and hope. How we can strive for more even with roadblocks, hate, and ignorance. We push on.

I love how we come in so many different shades, shapes, and sizes. How we are diverse and still one people. How our hair grows up towards heaven and curls with defiance...against the wind, against the odds, against statistics and against centuries of torture and hate. We will never forget the things that have broken us in the past, but instead, we hold each other up and stick together so those things cannot break us again.

I love how we still choose to love each other with all of our might and to be bigger than those who seek to hate us. We hug a little bit longer and hold each other a little bit tighter and laugh a little bit louder. We sing, dance, praise, and we continue to look forward to the next day. Our culture is strength, resilience, forgiveness, and love. We are excellent because we are black, and because of the stories that connect us all.

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