The New York Times published a powerful piece about Serena Williams, her seemingly non-stop winning streak, and what it means to be a successful black woman on (and off) the court.
Williams has contended with all sorts of racism in the sport of tennis, but she knows she still has to be a source of positivity for other black athletes coming down the pike. She says to Claudia Rankine, ‘‘We have to be thankful, and we also have to be positive about it so the next black person can be No. 1 on that list…Maybe it was not meant to be me. Maybe it’s meant to be the next person to be amazing, and I’m just opening the door. Zina Garrison, Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and Venus opened so many doors for me. I’m just opening the next door for the next person.’’
There’s no doubt that Serena Williams is a force. But it’s also incredible to see her playing to win for herself, while also keeping the greater racial, political, and gender implications of her tennis career in mind.
Williams is looking to best the overall tennis record of winning 22 majors. I don’t think anyone doubts that she’ll do it. But even more importantly, she’ll do it on her own terms.
You can read the full New York Times article here.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.