Serena Williams and the Fear of a Dominant Black Woman

Serena Williams of the United States holds up the trophy toward the media after winning the women's singles final against Garbine Muguruza of Spain at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Saturday July 11, 2015. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP)
Serena Williams of the United States balances the trophy on her head after winning the women's singles final against Garbine Muguruza of Spain, at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Saturday July 11, 2015. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)      UNITED KINGDOM OUT      -    NO SALES     -    NO ARCHIVES
Serena Williams of the United States balances the trophy on her head after winning the women’s singles final against Garbine Muguruza of Spain, at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Saturday July 11, 2015. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)

Tomas Rios, THE DAILY BEAST

 
(The Daily Beast) — Serena Williams is on the cusp of cementing herself as the best, most dominant athlete of her generation, regardless of gender. At the age of 33—ancient by the norms of tennis’s attritive nature—Williams is by far the top-ranked player on the WTA tour and bested 20th ranked Garbine Muguruza in straight sets to claim the 2015 Wimbledon title.

That means she now holds all the Grand Slam titles in tennis and will enter the 2015 U.S. Open with a chance to complete both a calendar year Grand Slam and tie Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles in the open era.

It’s an awe-inspiring accomplishment in the making, but one that will do little, if anything, to change the fact that Serena Williams’s legacy will be decided in the context of a society that has institutionally oppressed black women. This institutional oppression manifests itself across a broad spectrum of data.

 

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