Tag Archives: Venus Williams

Black History 2012: Venus and Serena Williams

5 Feb

Today we honor and celebrate two champion athletes, sisters and tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams.

Venus was born in June 1980. She is the first African-American woman to be ranked #1 by the Women’s Tennis Association, a ranking she has held three times. She has won three Olympic medals and is one of the most-winning professional tennis players of all time. Her 21 Grand Slam titles ties her for twelfth on the all time list and is more than any other active female player except for her younger sister. With 43 career singles titles, Williams leads active players on the WTA Tour. She is also one of only two active WTA players to have made the finals of all four Grand Slams, the other player being her sister.

Serena was born in September 1981. She was the second African-American woman ranked #1 by the WTA five times. She won two Olympic gold medals and has won more career prize money than any other female athlete in history. Her 27 Grand Slam titles place her ninth on the all-time list; she has won more Major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles than any other active player, male or female.

Both women also focus on making the world a better place. Following in the footsteps of Billie Jean King, Venus has fought with Wimbledon and the French Open to gain equal pay for athletes regardless of sex. It is a sad testament to sexism that these efforts have still been unsuccessful. The sister’s strength speaks volumes as they are examples of the intersections of oppression challenging a national discourse and working to make the world a better place. Serena does significant charity work, focusing on at-risk youth. As part owners of the Miami Dolphins, the sisters are also the first African-American women to participate in ownership of an NFL franchise.

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