When Serena William won the Wimbledon championship many people of power took to media to comment negatively about Serena’s body. As soon as Serena’s victory was announced J.K. Rowling was calling out a spectator on their shallow racist tweet that went out criticizing Serena’s physique as being manly, when in fact Serena has plenty of natural curves. People in power questioned her ability as a tennis player once again examining black women’s body took a form institutionalized racism. Controlling images of black women originated through slavery and was used as a tool of oppression to maintain social control of African American women to keep us in a subordinate space.
Serena did not have to take steroids she worked just as hard as her white counteroparts and opponents to win her title. In the US race has been constructed as a biological category. Attaching biological catagories to an African American female athlete who rose from one of the toughest cities in California undermines her greatness to being fixated on her race. This country made that the benchmark when race was a construct rooted in the body as a means to control black sexuality and maintain racial purity. This same ideology was used to justify black women’s enslavement, raped, and sexual abuse by white men and the lynching of our black men.
To call out Serena’s body or hair as being inferior is an attempt by dominate culture to disassociate themselves from the culture. Politics, sexuality, and race are all linked inextricably in this culture. Stereotypes of black womanhood played a major role in keeping black women out of participating in wider culture because we were Jezebels, Mammies, Hottentot, or Welfare queens not smart enough to develop an intellectual discourse.Well ask Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth about that. In modern day, there is a police brutality movement right now that involves those in power view black bodies as “other”, as disassociated. We just removed the Confederate flag in South Carolina. A symbol of intense hatred and disgust of people of color in the history of the south. Continued poking and prodding into black women’s sexuality while not having us voice our opinion on our own bodies leaves us open to the same bullying and straight up killing that we are hearing about today. This further leads us to be pushed out of the dialog that involves our own bodies on racism, classism, and sexism. Was the video of the doctor selling parts from Planned Parenthood one of our children? When New york city has the highest number of abortions in the country and the patients are from poor African American and Latino backgrounds we have to be our own agents. Your sending the wrong message by underming Venus and Serena Williams work.