So today I will be watching one of the best athletes ever and possibly the greatest sportswoman in existence chase another record in the Wimbledon Finals!
‘You can become strong and powerful and beautiful’
I remember reading this statement in one of her interviews last year and you have to understand it in relation to Serena’s 21 year career in the world of tennis and general experience of black women. Throughout her career she has been subjected to misogynistic comments about the shape of her body with people labeling her as a ‘man’ or the early racist abuse that she and her sister faced early on in their careers which led to them boycotting the Indian Wells tournament till last year. And the fact that White commentators continually reduce her game merely to a ‘power’ game. In addition, her so called rival who she has beaten 19 times to 2 gets paid more for sponsorship deals simply because she fits the Eurocentric ideal of beauty. It has been such a privilege to witness the way she has dominated the world of tennis so spectacularly! Win or lose today, her place is cemented in history.
I loved the statement not because I didn’t know it to be true already – I live and breathe it everyday- but because it was a necessary affirmation in a society that seeks to subdue our strength, power and beauty. So I made this sweatshirt so I can rep the message loud and clear with a touch of Serena fierceness.