This past weekend, I was one of the people who didn’t watch the US Open live, but watched the video clips of Serena Williams’ “meltdown”. Honestly, I struggled to watch them. They made me cringe. Watching her react in that way to the umpire made me so uncomfortable. Not because she should have behaved differently. NO. But because as a black woman, I know exactly how she was feeling!
I can relate to the build up of years & years of discrimination, verbal abuse, abuse of power, erasure, having your identity diminished and having your character questioned, all on the basis of you being a black woman.
I’ve come to learn that this world is not about gender equality, because even when you look at it in the context of black women and white women, white women are far more equal than black women.
With all the oppression, antagonizing, efforts to destroy black women - and up the ante even further if they dare to speak up and demand respect & equity as far as respect, equal treatment & recognition are concerned - we are still expected to just sit meekly and respond “with caution” so as not to cause discomfort for those who are actively working to oppress us and suppress our voices.
This world will never “give” black women the right to be angry - furious even. This world will never “allow” us to fight for our rights. This world will find every reason to pay us less than white men, white women and black men.
And this is why what @serenawilliams did, fighting back in front of all of us, is such a critical moment for black women and young black girls. We have to find the courage to step up and speak out. Even when our voices are shaky and breaking. Even when world looks at us like we’re crazy. Even when the world gaslights us because “how dare we make them feel uncomfortable about oppressing and disrespecting us?”. We have every right & every reason to be angry black women.
I AM SERENA WILLIAMS.