+Fashion, Advocacy, Growth
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Why the Serena Williams Apology Moment Was About so Much More than Tennis

As if the tennis GOAT Serena Williams wasn’t enough of an inspiration for brown girls (and girls in general) already, this past weekend at the US Open in New York City she showed just how powerful she truly is.

Serena Williams’s performance at the 138th US Open in New York City was one for the books. Of course she played well, she always plays well; but this was by far my favorite Serena on court moment. In case you missed it, Serena gave us the visual of the year when she told the umpire he owed her an apology for implying she was cheating by getting coaching gestures during the second set of the match.

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“You owe me an apology. You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life. I have a daughter and I stand for what is right for her and I’ve never cheated. You owe me an apology.”

For me, this moment was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before on TV. I never saw a woman, let alone a Black woman, demand respect and integrity like that in the face of a  man in charge.  In that moment, I felt so empowered, I cried.  Seeing that moment solidified my feelings about how important it is to empower black women to stick up for themselves.

It is so often that Black women are scorned and broken down by our observers. Our hair, bodies, skin color, attire, tone of voice, etc. all demand comments from onlookers and critics and frankly it’s annoying as fuck.

I myself work in an area where I am often times the only black face I see all day, and especially the only Black woman. I know what it’s like (hell, we all do) to feel out of place, alone, targeted, ridiculed and made to look overly aggressive; but that’s what made Serena’s apology moment so special for me. I saw myself in her. I saw her saying the thing that I find myself thinking all too often, “You owe me an apology!”

Honestly, it was the, “you owe me an apology“ heard around the world of Black women, and I am here for it.

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Serena Williams,

Thank you for giving us a moment of clarity, inspiration and validation that black women and honestly women in general do not typically have. Thank you for using your voice to empower mine. I won’t forget it.

 

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