In a recently aired special on ESPN by The Undefeated, phenomenal athlete Serena Williams spoke to rapper/actor Common in a candid, engrossing conversation about many things, but particularly about being Black and in the limelight.
One of the most interesting things to come out of the interview was Williams’ thoughts on gender and sexism. She had this to say:
“I think being a woman is just a whole new set of problems from society that you have to deal with, as well as being black, so it’s a lot to deal with — and especially lately. I’ve been able to speak up for women’s rights because I think that gets lost in color, or gets lost in cultures. Women make up so much of this world, and, yeah, if I were a man, I would have 100 percent been considered the greatest ever a long time ago.”
Regardless of what others think, Nike crowned the 35-year-old just that in an ad earlier this year.
Williams also talks about being Black in the interview, and how she has always been proud of being a dark-skinned woman, courtesy of her parents’ positive reinforcement.
“[My parents] always wanted us to be proud of who we are and who we were. A lot of black people, unfortunately, especially growing up, are discouraged, like, ‘You don’t look good’ or ‘Your hair is not pretty’ or ‘Your skin’s too dark.’ We were always told to love ourselves. My dad always said you have to know your history, and if you know your past, you can have a great future.”
She continues, “Like that poem that Maya Angelou said, that we are the hope and the dream of a slave. If you think about what the slave had to go through, and then the life that we are privileged to live — I wouldn’t want to be any other color. There’s no other race, to me, that has such a tough history for hundreds and hundreds of years, and only the strong survive, so we were the strongest and the most mentally tough, and I’m really proud to wear this color every single day of my life.”
SOURCE: The Undefeated