Should we continue to complain about it or build a sports network for her to be televised on. If every black athlete became an investor, we'd run a network and we could tell any story we wanted.
Complaining as your beginning and ending point is useless. It distracts you from solving the bigger problem of a acquiring and sustaining economic power. Organization building, educational support to create a generation of independent entrepreneur intellectuals who should have some real stake on Wall Street in this country.
If your will to win is absolute, then what white people or anybody else thinks or acts out is irrelevant.
We only find ourselves in discussion about what someone is doing to us when we doubt ourselves.
If you're winning, u have no room for doubt or "what people thinkism"....
Think of yourself as the subject and not the object in relation to majority culture (which just happens to be white).
Subject wins, is central to the story, goes on the heroes journey and is transformed.
The object exists to tell the subjects story...
Stop acting like objects and assume your place as the subject...central to the story that is your life....
When you ignore bullshit, it floats by, when you entertain it, you are defined by it and unable to create change by standing in your power.
And we need her example, modeling perseverance in the face of obstacles, to balance out the negative messaging that inundates too many young women — particularly young, African American women.
As an educator who has spent a substantial part of my career facilitating the professional development of young women, I can’t overemphasize the importance of the way she demonstrates what it takes to win, and to keep winning. Consider Serena’s will to win in the face of what Vox’s Jenée Desmond-Harris catalogues, and rightly describes, as the routine and barely-veiled “racism that underlies the characterizations of her as hypersexual, aggressive, and animalistic” to the point that “when she dares to express frustration” (also known as being human) “she’s stamped with the infamous ‘angry black woman’ stereotype.”
Consider the attempts to diminish both her beauty and accomplishments that were thankfully shut down by another woman who knows how to win, Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling. Too many of the young women I’ve had the honor to teach and mentor come to the game of life burdened by similar stereotyping. They’ve absorbed the idea that this is a world in which they can probably hope to get by, but not reach for their highest aspirations.
Even in an era of increasing gender equity, there are young women with unlimited potential who will still set their sights on becoming nurses — a noble profession in its own right — instead of taking the necessary risk to go for their true goal of becoming doctors. Others, talented poets and playwrights, feel compelled to take the “safe” career path to a government job or teaching position. There’s nothing wrong with the jobs they’ve chosen (hey, I’m a teacher), but there are already enough real societal challenges facing black women — in health outcomes, educational and employment opportunities — that it’s devastating when dreams are curtailed because of perceived limitations.
What’s missing in many cases is Serena’s single-minded determination to push past those who would place a ceiling on what she’s expected to achieve — an attribute that’s essential for anyone who wants to succeed, however they define it.
Hard work, of course, is a necessary condition of that success. There’s no way Serena would dominate tennis as she has without a life spent on the practice court. But it frequently takes more than that. It takes an embrace of Maya Angelou’s lyrical, but deadly serious mantra: “You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies“ but “Still I’ll rise.”
So where did her determination come from? Recall that when Serena and sister Venus Williams burst onto the tennis scene as young girls, with their engaging on-court personalities and trademark white beads — that were, believe it or not, themselves the subject of controversy — they were regularly derided as ungracious because they’ve never bowed to the tennis establishment. Even John McEnroe — tennis’ original enfant terrible, once had the audacity to say “they have no respect for anyone in the game.”
They were meant to be taken off course for not offering deference that they should have never been expected to give. But these women have a fortitude that was nurtured by parents who — initially with limited resources — loved, protected and challenged them. With as much tennis knowledge as they could glean as outsiders, on Compton, Calif.’s public tennis courts, Oracene Price and Richard Williams — themselves targeted by critics over the years — molded their children into winners. They instilled, among other things, that their daughters “have to stand for something” and be fully-dimensional individuals, not just tennis players.
With that nurturing, Serena has been able to define herself. And on those occasions where she’s stepped over the line, she’s apologized, accepted whatever sanctions have come and moved on, but always continued to win.
In a white man, that same confidence is expected; and in a white woman, trailblazing, perhaps. But in an African American woman, confidence is just as likely to be taken as uppity, if not bellicose. Black women with confidence often implicitly challenge the insecure among us, who then want to put black women in what they perceive as our proper place. Think Michelle Obama. Think — if we’re going to be real about it — Sandra Bland.
And that’s the rub. In a society that values winning above almost all else, young black women consistently receive the message that they should try to be less Serena-like when, in order to compete, that’s exactly who they should emulate.
Play the game, black women are too often told. Go along to get along. Don’t rock the boat. Be demure. Don’t swivel your neck to react to slights; just put on your friendly face if you want to fit in. But Serena rocks the boat, and wins, and every time I see her prevail on the tennis court, I pray she motivates a young woman of color to prevail in every aspect of her life.
Serena reminds young black women that self-confidence is strength, not a sin. She reminds us that you can win in spite of life sometimes being unfair and that you can acknowledge inequity without letting it throw you off course: Maria Sharapova has won only a quarter of the grand slams as Serena, but tops Serena in annual earnings, with $29 million last year compared to Serena’s $24 million. It’s hard for me to see this as anything other than sponsors’ genuflection to the white, slight and blonde beauty ideal. But Serena’s response to Sharapova’s success — one that I’d say was quite gracious — reflects her belief in herself: “I’m happy for her, because she worked hard, too. There is enough at the table for everyone.’’
Yes, we should cherish Serena Williams as a sports hero. But we need her as a role model who inspires women who look like her to step past stereotypes, exceed expectations — and win.