Don’t let them break her spirit!

Dr. E. Faye Williams

(TriceEdneyWire.com) –Two very talented Black women went out to play a game of tennis a few days ago. I’m sure each of them looked forward to a great game. Other than Venus and Serena playing each other, we had not had a chance to have two Black women play such a match. We’d grown accustomed to seeing Serena and Venus play each other. It didn’t matter which one won because we were proud of both.

Naomi Osaka is a sister, too and showed her concern for the way Serena was treated. She may have Japanese blood, but it’s her Black side that the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, prevented her from enjoying her victory. She had won one set, but Serena was winning when the dastardly act of occurred. The question is still open as to who would have eventually won had Serena been given a fair chance.

Naomi knew that what happened to Serena was not right and through her own tears she showed that she recognized her victory isn’t the victory she had hoped for in the way it came about. Serena is definitely our sister, and no matter what, she has proven to be an awesome sister. She acknowledged Naomi’s victory, and though unhappy about how it came about, she hugged her and congratulated her.

Serena is still the Queen of Tennis for those of us who love and admire her. As a Black woman, I am proud to have Serena represent Black people so well on the tennis court.

We are blessed to have many Black women making us proud. Currently there is Stacey Abrams, candidate for governor of Georgia and more.

The haters can do their thing in trying to belittle Serena, but we celebrate her for her entire history of bringing us victories. Say what you will about her calling out the chair umpire and throwing down her racquet, she’s still the best. Her male counterparts have done worse, and were never punished.

That’s something we Black women are accustomed to, but I write this message to ask that we not engage in the criticism others are doing about Serena. What she did was normal.

Sure, she was upset about the call against her. Any one of us would have responded the same way she did. Let’s protect and defend her legacy and never allow anyone to destroy it or the legacy of any Black woman who is achieving so highly. She is, after all, a 23-time Grand Slam champion!

As for that stupid cartoonist who drew the racist image of Serena, put him in the category of #45; he just doesn’t know real beauty when he sees it. He knew what he was doing and no explanation Mark Knight gives is acceptable. One can assume he thinks because #45 tries to denigrate everybody he doesn’t like, he can do the same.

Fortunately, people from around the world have condemned him and we should condemn him. Let him know that Serena is talented and beautiful and his opinion does not even matter.

Thanks to Billie Jean King and others, the push-back on Knight’s racist depiction of Serena came immediately, as well as on the matter of the harsh penalty given to her by the chief umpire.

On the other hand, certain umpires are considering a boycott of some of Serena’s matches. I don’t think that threat will break Serena. Umpires are expected to be non-partisan. This threat alone shows their bias against Serena. That’s why I see it as our responsibility to stand up for Serena even as we celebrate another young Black woman being the victor from the chaos.

(Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. is National President of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. See www.nationalcongressbw.org—202/678-6788. She is also host of WPFW 89.3 FM’s “Wake Up and Stay Woke.)