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Founder's Letter: Why The Narrative Of Black Excellence Has Made Me Think Twice This Black History Month

When I look back at Black Ballad and the journey, there are very few things I regret. However, one of the things I regret is the original tagline: “for the Black British woman of excellence.” I can tell you that now, seven and a half years later, how much my body recoils in embarrassment as I type that. I’m actually wincing as I type, sitting at my desk, because what the hell is the Black British woman of excellence? Why does a Black woman have to be excellence in the first place to be visible, to be accepted?

Life is a journey and unlearning old ways of thinking is just as important as learning new things the older we get in this journey of life. I would be lying if I said I’ve never felt great when someone described me as Black Excellence. But for the past few years, I’ve felt extremely uneasy with the term. I think because it feels that the term is used as a juxtaposition to common Black stereotypes that the world (read white people) created in order to maintain a racial power hierarchy that sees Black people as the most uncivilised and least deserving of opportunities.