What is Black Excellence Really? …. I was sitting here and thinking that very thing while watching a performance by the Dancing Dolls of Southern University. For those unfamiliar, that is a Historically Black College/University (HBCU), with one of the best marching bands in the land. I personally didn’t attend an HBCU so I have no bias, as several of the marching bands from these schools are nothing short of spectacular. In fact, they are the very personification, if you will, of Black Excellence.
Take a moment ….
Everything from the dancers, to the music being played is flawless. I say flawless, just not to overuse the word excellence. But that’s what it is, all 20 minutes of it, which I hope you take the time to watch before you go further.
Bey-dazzled by the brilliance of Beyonce at the first weekend of Coachella, the event became known as Beychella.
Because that is how black excellence goes.
Black people really do come into spaces and recreate like no one else. Always taking things up a notch, and making it better. This is what you’ll find happened, when Beyonce came to town. Whether you’re a fan of her music or not, you cannot deny the talent.
Beyonce, in fact, sprinkled in tributes to HBCUs with her performance which ended up including a reunion of Destiny’s Child. To be fair, that group had so many hits that Beyonce can drag them out to dance around with her for a few songs and it’ll always be good enough. Unlike so many artists who break away from groups, Beyonce’s solo career has been a major success. For her, I’d say she made the right decision – not because the other two were ‘holding her back’. Simply because by her self, she’s creative enough to carry entire performances like the one we saw, just a few weeks ago. The second weekend was more of the same, set wise, with different outfits. Black excellence was on full display!
then from Weekend 2 – in this part of her performance you really see the ‘influence’ of HBCU Bands & Dance Teams (like the Dancing Dolls from Southern University)
Bring Jay Out ….
This too, is a more obvious example of Black excellence. The actors, the director, the script, all included talented people of color. That is unusual in Hollywood, which resulted in the whole “Oscars So White” thing a few years back. The Academy, routinely does not recognize black actors for awards season. Many attributed that, at the time, to black actors and directors simply not getting the Opportunities.
Chris Rock gave a Monologue at the 2016 Oscars which was pretty controversial at the time … worth a re-listen while we’re having this discussion.
No Black Nominees … People are like, “Chris you should boycott, Chris you should quit!” – How come it’s always unemployed people who tell you to quit? – Chris Rock
Because of what Marvel Entertainment has been doing with their movies for 10 years, they were going to make Black Panther. One of the biggest reasons these films have been successful up to the release of Black Panther is, the Studios are very ‘true’ to their characters. With Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor they made sure to keep as much of the ‘story’ as close to the comics that the films are based on. So, in order to truly bring Wakanda to life, it had to be a 99% black movie.
The Excellence of Black Panther is that we finally got to see what a film looks like when black actors, writers and directors are given the ‘same opportunities’ as their white counterparts. Everyone involved knocked it out of the park, and they delivered an incredible movie.
That it included a Superhero ended up being a bonus. The reality of ‘representation’ has already left a lasting impression with so many. Truth is, it’s too bad it always ALL takes this …
White Industries have always done this, and continue to do this. Remember Jackie Robinson in Baseball??
You can also look at black players in Professional Basketball, who for years were also “not allowed” to compete. The decision to allow black players in, is the reason the NBA is still around to this day. It’s ridiculous that in so many areas of sports competition, black people had to ‘prove’ that they were just as good as the whites. Sadly, this nonsense is found in all other areas of white society. Since I’m in this whole, ‘truth be told’ mode, let me go ahead and say all aspects of white society would be better, with a ‘sprinkle’ of black excellence.
Left alone, without white input, black people shine. The ability to create, improvise, and come up with solutions to problems really should not even be questioned by white people. But, whites live in a society that constantly promotes to them, that they are the ‘alpha race’. Sadly, this often means that black excellence is viewed, not with appreciation, but with disdain.
I mean, for all the people losing their minds at the performance by Beyonce at Coachella, there were tons of ‘whites’ who were not impressed.
This is the norm – the status quo in this nation. Not giving black people their full props, is and always has been the American way. As Chris Rock says, Hollywood is Sorority Racist. What goes on in Hollywood happens throughout America. Pushing through it all is part of black excellence too.