I LOVE the Williams Sisters. PLEASE UNDERSTAND- I REALLY LOVE THEM! The two powerhouses of tennis are known for kicking asses and taking names around the globe. According to the WTA, Serena is the 4th woman EVER in tennis to covet the #1 World Title for 250 weeks and she is on her way to surpassing Chris Evert’s record of 260 weeks at #1 with no problems. Miss Brickhouse has won 36 Grand Slam Titles including 21 Singles Titles. Don’t get it twisted. Venus is a beast in her own right. She has 10 Grand Slam Titles (5 Singles Titles) respectively. They could, easily, represent every little brown girl in any hood in America with cornrows, beads, sass and all. Richard Williams is the genius behind these fierce competitors. He reminds me of my dad. The type of man who comes from humble beginnings but is proud and confident. This man creates warriors and will get in the asses of EVERYBODY that comes for his children including white media.
Mi hermanita y yo grew up in Detroit which is no different from Compton although the Williams family is originally from Saginaw. Shout out to Michigan! I digress. We could have easily been these sisters. My daddy was an avid tennis player and fan. He didn’t hesitate to sign us up for the PAL League Tennis Team at his alma mater- Northwestern High School on the far west side of Detroit. We started at the ages of 10 and 8. My father was eager for us to learn the sport that he revered so much. Our coach was a stunning young woman named Deborah. She was tall and brown-skinned with an infectious smile and a soft, encouraging voice. We practiced 4 times a week in the scorching sun. We partnered with children that were older and better than we were. He bought us our own Wilson Pro rackets and we practiced for what seemed like a millenia on the tennis wall. Old school players live by tennis wall drills and my dad was no different. We were quick and powerful but for my sister and I- it was nothing more than a hobby.
Even though we were raised in Detroit, I attended an affluent all-girls private high school in Birmingham, Michigan. I will never forget my freshman year. I was one of a few black girls in a sea of white faces. Gym was a class that I loved. We played many games that I had grown up playing like kickball. Who would’ve thought that I was at the most bourgeois of schools yet I was participating in a game that we played on the block on any given summer day. There were forty girls in my gym class. I was the only black girl and then there was Madhu Kaza- an Indian girl who was roughly my complexion. One particular week, we were to play doubles in tennis. I recall this moment like it was yesterday. Thirty-eight girls on the court choosing their partners. Some of them actually played together on the tennis team but as the choices dwindled down and there were only 2 players whom weren’t selected. I, quickly, understood where I was and with whom I was dealing. Madhu and I were forced by brown association to be partners. Not one of these assholes dared assume that I could be as good if not better at tennis as I was at kickball. I was pissy even at 14 at the blatant disregard for who I was. I made sure they felt every power play. I made them chase that ball like they were stepping and fetching for their lives. HOW DARE YOU ASSUME THAT I COULDN’T WHOOP YOUR ASS! These same girls loved to watch me dance even though I made it a point to not “perform” upon request. WTF did I look like? I wasn’t some damn circus monkey. I was extremely good at EVERYTHING but my peers just couldn’t fathom that a black girl from Detroit would be any competition in tennis. Madhu and I won 19-1 only to be beaten by Ellen and Tara. They played on the varsity tennis team by the way. Frankly speaking, I carried our team because Madhu didn’t play very well. The looks and comments that arose from each win offered me a clear and concise look at what folks really thought. Congratulatory handshakes were nonexistent. My victories were met with disdain and questions like “Why didn’t I say that I could play tennis?” or “Where did I learn to play?” Instead of asking me about driveby shootings and the crack houses on my block, maybe they should have changed their focus. As they say in the hood- “Closed mouths don’t get fed.”
It’s rather ironic that Serena is at the top of her game. Yet instead of the many articles and photos that should have been written and taken singing her praises, we are bombarded with petty, derogatory faux-news “stories” that blatantly refuse to acknowledge this sister’s impeccable skill and killer looks. White media, including the supposedly upper crust of all publications “The New York Times”, has resorted to cheap, bitch-assed tactics to attempt to diminish her light. This isn’t new by any means. Russian tennis chief Shamil Tarpischev’s dimwitted comment referring to Serena and Venus as “brothers” was another fucked up example of the European inferiority complex rearing its ugly head. We see you AND you’re MAD, son! You’re mad because no matter how many “top seed” white chicks your media hypes up -Serena, so graciously, serves them a “12 Years A Slave” ass whoopin’ on the court and I am HERE FOR ALL OF IT! So go ahead white media- continue to show your insecurity to the rest of the world, especially Black Twitter, so we can keep clowning your asses.