Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Serena, The Evolutionary – LaTonya Yvette

For the previous few days I’ve been silently tossing round Serena Williams’ information in my head. For the previous few days, a phrase she so deliberately used, evolution, to explain this transition has been caught in my coronary heart. It’s a phrase that feels beneficiant in a time when titles and What Occurs Subsequent, really feel too usually caught in patriarchal binaries. It struck me that I used to be—like many Black girls of their 30s—saying a goodbye of types to a childhood hero. Simply as she reluctantly, pieced collectively a goodbye that felt proper for her. And like Serena famous in her piece, needing to nearly-immediately evolve her as a task mannequin, for my very own daughter. 

Clive Brunskill/Getty Pictures

I’m considering of the methods we have to say goodbye. How we are saying goodbye. The phrases we use to say goodbye. How we deal with others once we do. There’s extra right here, I plan to jot down about on this weekend’s essay in With Love, L, in the event you’re subscribed. Till then, listed here are a number of pictures over time of Serena Williams that encapsulate how she has all the time seemed to me, though she has transitioned into this mega-mega-mega enterprise lady, spouse, artistic, mom, celebrity. 

Serena and Venus Williams in 1991.
Photograph: Paul Harris/On-line USA
Heather Corridor/AFP/Getty Pictures
Serena Williams sporting her signature braids on the Everet Cup in 1999. Credit score: AFP/Getty Pictures

“I’ve by no means appreciated the phrase retirement. It doesn’t really feel like a contemporary phrase to me. I’ve been considering of this as a transition, however I need to be delicate about how I take advantage of that phrase, which suggests one thing very particular and essential to a neighborhood of individuals. Perhaps one of the best phrase to explain what I’m as much as is evolution. I’m right here to inform you that I’m evolving away from tennis, towards different issues which might be essential to me. Just a few years in the past I quietly began Serena Ventures, a enterprise capital agency. Quickly after that, I began a household. I need to develop that household.” Serena Williams

To {Photograph} by Annie Leibovitz in Vogue, April 2003. 


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