A concept that holds a lot of strength within the black community, maybe in your community as well.
Growing up, I was always told by my family members that (insert African accent) “you have to be the best”, when I would ask why, my family would reply “because you are representing us”. At that time I assumed ‘us’ meant my immediate family, later I would understand ‘us’ meant the whole black community.
From a young age many black girls and boys are taught that your best needs to be better, we are at a disadvantage, as a community we are behind. Largely, the fact we may know London to be our home but to the rest of the world, we are guests. The feeling that we must always prove our place is silent, but true.
The reason for the title was to say, for example – a degree for most people would be a great achievement, however a degree for us is just another step on a long ladder to “your best”. Currently I’m in the process of sitting my 9th exam for my ACCA qualification in the hopes of becoming a chartered accountant. Next step will be to gain a masters from a respectable university, then a PHD, followed by an Oscar……”like come on, do I really need a PHD?”. But most of us will probably say yeah, you do.
We have been conditioned to want more, than to be happy with what we already have. Our drive for success could one day lead to Marvel’s Black Panther movie (if you haven’t already seen it go watch it) but for some reason we have developed the ‘crabs in the barrel’ mentality, because our spaces in most fields are few and far between, we don’t try to help one another.
Now our best has moved away from ‘our’ best.