This is one of the constantly ridiculous and hilarious parts of the black community, our anger at those who have excelled married and dating outside of our race. I could understand if these individuals were being problematic. If they judged black men and women through a stereotypical lens and labeled them unfit to date. However, that is not the case with either high profile or even the successful non celebrity black people.
Let’s look at the status on Serena Williams. Until September she held her spot as the number 1 women’s tennis player. Also, that stunning loss followed her best year of tennis yet where she attempted to win all 4 Grand Slams of the season. Her drop from number one and her loss aside, she is still the most sponsored, most feared, and most powerful player in Women’s Tennis. She and her sister brought power tennis to the women’s landscape drawing viewership and taking the game to the next level. She is sponsored by Nike, but not only that, she helps to design her own outfits! Which leads to our next point. Serena has her own fashion line and in September, had models showing her line off at New York Fashion Week. She also has an apartment in France that she treats as a second home, and although she is not fluent Serena does speak decent French. She speaks up against racism, gender inequality in her sport, and empowers young women. Serena is a woman that remembers she came from Compton and does not shy away from it. She became the unlikely tennis super powerhouse after her sister, Venus, started suffering with an autoimmune disorder. Yeah she has some attitude when she loses. She is not going to sugar coat what she has to say to you. Basically she is a real person.
Her current record:
21 Grand Slams, 69 Single Titles, 6 US Opens, 4 Gold Medals, 6 Wimbledon, 36 total Grand Slams, 6 Australian opens, 22 Doubles Titles, 3 French Open, and 2 Mixed doubles
Why did I mention all her awards, her apartment in Paris, and her speaking a second language? These impressive strides are part of the reason for the backlash she faces from men. She is a powerful successful woman that has enough autonomy to choose what she wants in her life. She is not stuck and for some men that is intimidating.
There are many points that can be examined, but we will stick to two large ones: how powerful women are treated in the black community and how black people who “make it” are treated in the community.
Without fail I see black women who are considered powerful being put down for being “manly.” In the case of Serena, she literally is physically built for power. While Serena was dating and showing interest in black men, I saw countless comments about her looking too much like a man. Her not being soft enough, and outside of people policing something that is none of their business, you have one problem that is the culprit, fragile masculinity. Serena is a top athlete what do you expect her to look like? Even with all the muscle she has built, she appears soft, feminine, and sexy. I saw no one calling her a man when she danced in Beyonce’s Sorry music video, but you see her playing tennis or doing an athletic photo shoot and now she looks too masculine for you.
Then whenever women have built something based upon their talents without the backing of a man everyone gets uncomfortable in the black community. Yes her father gave her and her sister their base, but she built a formidable persona and legacy herself. Often black men are quick to discredit and point out the negative aspects of women who have secured their own power. This is someone who came to dominate a sport that was long held by white women. She had a huge ladder to climb, and yet everyone waters her down to how dateable or fuckable she is. The same negative comments aimed at Serena remind you of what is said to the single mothers who say they are good without a man. They are not hating men. They simply are good with the consistency that has been built and have no need to see it disrupted. We always put the burden on these women rather than those who are making these comments. Here we have how the unspoken way in which she is like a man. She has her own status and power. So many men want women to need them, and she is not one that needs your materials in order to survive. You are an option a choice not a necessity. She obviously is talented, educated, and cultured. Without fail in the black community that either makes you too white or too unapproachable.
Now we can move on to those who made it. Serena has made it, but that does not make you entitled to her success or her body. Because the whole issue is not actually about her being engaged to a white guy. The issue is that all of these men felt like her body was owned by the “black community.” She has the agency to love who she wants. Everyone wants to show up after the “glow up”and growing period. Also, there is a difference between pride, support, and feeling as if the success of individual black people is owned by the community. I see a lot of complacent black people who are not doing anything to better the community, but they are the first to name drop a successful black person to show that we are making progress. Then, they become angry if this person does not act like a puppet for their whims. Most black women do marry black men, but if you are really concerned that you are loosing them stop policing their bodies, being scared off by their success, and stop expecting for them to need you.
Lastly, is it really strange for her to be engaged to the Co-founder of reddit? Celebrities marry celebrities. Many athletes date other athletes, so an innovator in sports is in love with an innovator in social media. That does not seem like such an odd match up. In fact, when she was with Drake no one said much about that. He is a music artist who has notoriety. If anything this match much like other is about the proximity of the group around her. You usually fall in love with someone around you. If she is running around fashion week, designing clothing, preparing to get an MBA, and other activities of this nature men like this guy are around. I am not surprised by the paring at all, but I am over the victim behavior of these men acting as if Serena left them.
Black women do not owe you anything. No one has to explain who they love. The same men making comments about her leaving would not know what to do if she talked to them. We need to grow past resenting people after we reject them. I know there is a lot of the group mentality in poc communities, but we are individuals. Let Serena live. Let all black women live free and liberated. Leave your insecurities at home.