photo credit: ebony.com
Crabs in a barrel syndrome is defined as early as the 20th century by Filipino feminist and activist Ninotchka Rosca. This mentality is ultimately described as one person prospering in a specific community or ethnic group, but jealousy and self-loathing bring a specific person back to the level of the impoverished community.
The analogy of crabs can possibly represent many aspects of The African American community. Chronicles of Harriet states the mentality diminishes the importance, or negate the efforts, of any member who achieve success beyond others, out of envy, self-hate or competitiveness. A prime example is American Olympic gold medalist, Gabby Douglas. Despite making history at the London 2012 receiving two gold medals; social media viewers rant how ‘unkept’ her hair specifically her edges are. Something so minor and meticulous has become the focus from the African American community opposed to her accomplishments.
Black America has produced many public figures across multiple industries yet there is always something to marginalize their success.