... so I'll repost an excerpt of my musings from elsewhere.
"...Black people, as I know them, are all individually excellent (at something or other) mostly because our background tends to make us dig down deep within ourselves and pull forth whatever it is that you can excel at and be twice as good at just to get by on average. That sort of crucible creates a sort of inward focus; because no one can help you with you. There really is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path and all the well meaning advice in the world will fail to be fully adaptable to your exquisitely specific life situation. So, you unleash your talent(s) on the world with the knowledge that it was really you that enabled you. This also tends to explain our collective exuberant confidence, because you know exactly what you can do and within your purview of skill no one on earth can deny you. This also generates our 'it's me against them' mindset.
I think the underlying cause is cultural. We tend to come from cultures that exult and revel in individual skill. We all know growing up that if you can be in the top percentile of anything, YOU will be respected in your community. Look at a lot of European cultures and Japanese culture which had lengthy histories of feudalism. The social class table was set, your advancement was primarily predicated by those ranking above you. If you wanted to succeed in those societies you got good at pleasing your superiors who had the power to lift you out of the muck in which you dwelled. They, and their ancestors, knew that if you can be useful to the rulers you will get advanced in social status, and YOUR STATUS will be respected in the community. This is also known as the 'good soldier' mindset.
Am I saying that (recently) African descended people aren't loyal or that Europeans can't be individually brilliant, no. I'm saying our cultures shape us to strive for betterment differently..."
P.S. You could obviously also apply this to any oppressed/suppressed group... I'm black, so when I talk about repression I usually talk about black people (that whole I have personal experience thing I suppose).