Venus Williams is not only a tennis champ but an notable activist for equal pay in sports.
#BlackGirlsRock – @ForHarriet, 11/3/2013
For @SistaSprtsSwag and many others, Venus Williams represents the American dream of consistent, focused, hard work developing into unmatched talent (in tennis), strong advocacy (equity in sports), innovative industrialism (JambaJuice), and creativity (EleVen). She is not immune from criticism or competitors. But she extends appropriate grace, recognizing her history-making strides have opened doors for countless others. Not through yet, Ms. Williams remains an inspiration to her generation and to those who will follow her.
A champion attitude is about giving a 100% & preparing yourself what whatever you want to do in life – Venus Williams
So, it was no surprise when @BlackGirlsRock recognized the remarkable greatness of Ms. Williams with the 2013 STAR POWER AWARD. After all, in her 33 years (19 as a pro), Ms. Williams earned four Gold Olympic Medals, seven Grand Slam titles tennis singles, five Wimbledon singles title, and 44 singles titles. Along with Serena Williams, the two sisters have forever changed the landscape of tennis.
With all that gave rise to the celebration and adoration of Ms. Williams in that awesome moment, some tweeters attempted to minimize her worth by focusing only on . . . her well-designed, purple colored braided hairstyle. They must not have known that purple is historically recognized as a color of distinction. They must not have known that braid styling crosses well beyond racial, ethnic and social economic lines. They must not have known that historically, braiding displayed the geometrical genius of the designer throughout Africa; in Egypt, braids were reserved for royalty worn only in ceremonial events. http://www.mysocialbeauty.com/cosmetology-career/cosmetology-information/the-history-of-hairbraiding They must not have known – ignorance.
The negative responses to
#blackgirlsrock are too laughable. It’s as if folks are threatened by us celebrating what no one else will. – Tweeter, 11/4/2013
Ms. Williams is not the first Sista in sports whose swag surpasses stereotypes to sway in the face of the ignorant. Assuredly, all women at all levels who dared to be involved in any sport gained their status by stepping beyond some limited thinking by others. But, there is a cultural disdain, sexualization, and global oppression toward us – women of the African Diaspora. Google the historic journeys through segregation of Track and Field Olympian Theresa Manuel in the 1940s; from childhood polio and paralysis to three Olympic Gold Medals by Wilma Rudolf in the 1960s; or the scorn of sexism and racism surmounted by Althea Gibson in both golf and tennis. Women of color in sports are unequivocally skilled, talented and beautiful in every hue, but typically relegated to the end of media stories if mentioned at all – – – even when they win! Though slowly improving, not often enough are Sistas in Sports seen on magazine covers or in television and movie cameos. It was Alice Mable’s 1950s piece in the American Lawn Tennis magazine that challenged the denial of Althea Gibson to compete in the top championships because of her race. Still, now the wins, assists to team wins, or the personal athleticism of Sistas in sports are infrequently headlined in newspaper sports sections – or even tweets and youtube videos – unless they are extraordinary or scandalous.
Have you not seen the diversity of the 2013-2014 United States National Women’s Bobsled Team preparing for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi; have you not heard of NHRA Top Sportsman, ADRL Top Sportsman and NASCAR Racer Nicole Lyons; did you not know that teen Simon Biles is not only the reigning 2013 Gymnastics U.S. National All-Around Champion but also the reigning 2013 Gymnastics World All-Around World Champion?
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
CATCH UP AND GET READY for Generation #GotNext – Victoria Duval, Sachia Vickery, Madison Keys, Tornado and Hurricane Black; (tennis); Olivia Baker, Crystal Jones and Meshala Morton (track and field); Crystal Dunn, Amber Munerlyn, Meg Morris (soccer); Alexis Austin and Danielle Cuttino (volleyball); Claressa Shields (boxing); Ginger Howard, Cheyenne Woods, Shasta Averyhardt (golf); Paige McPherson, Monique Rawls, Cheyenne Lewis (taekwondo). From Crossfit to Rugby, Wheelchair Racing to Wrestling, Swimming to Polo, Football (tackle) to Fencing, Basketball to Softball and more, there are Sistas in Sports leaving drips, drops and floods of #sistaswag everywhere!
@SistasSportsSwag is not about ignoring, minimizing, or overshadowing the greatness of all women – but it will educate, advocate, sometimes entertain and always celebrate the most petite to the greatest World Championship and Olympic achievements of Sistas in Sports.
Simply because we’ve earned it. We – those involved in sports, those who cheer, and those whose little arms wrap around basketball and soccer balls bigger than they are – deserve it. We are articulate. We are intelligent. We are well prepared. We are high achievers. We are innovators and investors. We are leaders. We are business-world focused. We are hard-working. We are determined. We are overcomers. We are worthy. We are here . . . and WE AIN’T DONE YET!
It’s time. And, the time is now. . . #SistaSwag #SwagOn
I’d rather run through a wall than give up~ V. Williams
- I have a lot left to give: Venus Williams (thehindu.com)
- Venus Williams done for the year (sportsnippets.com)
- Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova: We Have NOT Come a Long Way Baby (iamsherleyfierce.com)
- Omarosa And The Difference Between Asserting Ourselves And Reinforcing Bad Stereotypes (madamenoire.com)
- Serena Williams calls sister Venus ‘greatest’ source of motivation (dnaindia.com)
- Watch trailer for documentary about Serena and Venus Williams (tennis.si.com)
- Serena Williams Proves as Big for Black Athletes as Being No. 1 – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Venus Williams denied new record for world’s fastest serve in win over Eugenie Bouchard at Pan Pacific Open (telegraph.co.uk)
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