The Dichotomy of Excellence: Navigating Racial Landscapes in America and the Prospect of Repatriation to Sub-Saharan Africa


The lived experience of an African American professional, particularly in the tech industry, is marked by a paradox of visibility and invisibility. Despite the strides toward diversity and inclusion, the corporate landscape in the United States often remains an arena where Black excellence is the entry ticket to opportunities that are freely handed to others. This narrative explores the dichotomy faced by a Black professional in the twilight of a successful tech career, juxtaposed against the allure and apprehension of repatriating to Sub-Saharan Africa, a region free from the racial prejudices endemic to American society but presenting its unique set of challenges.

The American Corporate Labyrinth

In the United States, the corporate structure, especially within the technology sector, has been characterized by a passive-aggressive acknowledgment of diversity. As a Black man, the journey through this landscape is fraught with hurdles that are invisible to some and insurmountable to others. The requirement to be exceptional—to consistently perform above and beyond the standards set for peers—is a testament to the systemic barriers that still pervade the industry. This exceptionalism, however, is often perceived as mediocrity, a reflection not of one’s actual performance but of the stereotypes and biases that cloud the judgment of those in positions of power.

The consequence of this dynamic is a perpetual state of proving one’s worth, where being merely competent is equated with underperformance. The psychological toll of this reality cannot be overstated. It engenders a sense of impermanence and anxiety, where the margin for error is infinitesimal, and the specter of unemployment is a constant companion. This reality is exacerbated by the knowledge that the criteria for success are not only mercurial but also mired in a racial context that questions the legitimacy of Black achievement.

The Allure of Sub-Saharan Africa

Against this backdrop, the notion of repatriating to Sub-Saharan Africa presents itself as a bittersweet prospect. The continent, with its burgeoning tech industry and increasing connectivity, offers a sanctuary from the racial prejudices that taint the American experience. In this context, one’s race transitions from a perceived liability to a neutral, if not positive, aspect of one’s identity. The psychological relief of existing in a space where one is judged by merit rather than melanin is a powerful draw.

However, this romanticized vision is tempered by the realities of transitioning from a Western corporate environment to one that is still in the throes of development. The challenges are manifold; from navigating different business cultures that may lack the efficiency and process orientation of Western models, to grappling with the uneven distribution of technology and infrastructure. These obstacles are not insurmountable but require a recalibration of expectations and a willingness to adapt to a landscape that, while free from racial animus, presents a new set of challenges.


The dilemma of whether to remain within the familiar confines of an American society that necessitates Black exceptionalism for survival, or to venture into the relatively unknown terrain of Sub-Saharan Africa, is not merely a professional consideration but a deeply personal one. It involves weighing the psychological toll of systemic racism against the logistical and practical challenges of adapting to a new cultural and professional environment.

Ultimately, the decision to repatriate or remain is emblematic of a broader search for belonging and acceptance, a quest for a space where one’s worth is not contingent upon the color of one’s skin but recognized for the quality of one’s contributions. As I stand at the precipice of this decision, it is clear that the journey ahead, regardless of the path chosen, will require a resilience and adaptability that has been honed over a lifetime of navigating the complexities of race and identity in a world that too often fails to recognize the humanity that binds us all.

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