Venus Williams, who is the October cover star for Glamor UKprovided insight into being raised as an African-American along with her sister Serena Williams.
The Williams sisters turned pro in the 1990s, when tennis was predominantly a white-person sport. Venus Williams shed light on how her and Serena Williams’ parents shaped them to celebrate their history as young black women.
“For us, it was always important to know where you are, who you are because if you don’t know who you are, you won’t know where you’re going. But most of all, if you don’t know who you are in your history, you’ll have no idea what you need to do to be ready for the world,” she said.
“That was so important and my parents definitely pushed history on us; to know the history of the world and the history of African-Americans was super important,” she added.
Venus Williams also revealed how their parents instilled in them the confidence to feel comfortable in their skin and the values to move forward with.
“I think, especially in challenges that we face in the world, when you’re different or a minority, those are different challenges you’ll face. I think the most important lesson was for us not to see colour; that didn’t matter for my parents. It was like, ‘You don’t need to see colour. People might see your colour, but that’s not how you see the world.’ So, I think it’s important for each and every parent to teach their child that,” she noted.
Speaking about their cultural differences, the seven-time Grand Slam winner confessed that she wasn’t aware at the time of how she and Serena Williams brought something new to the scene by being unapologetically African-American.
“At the time, I didn’t know that I was different and now I realize how very different I was. But the difference is what makes the world beautiful – and I think people can really see that now, in terms of what Serena and I have accomplished in the sport, and how it’s elevated tennis, sport or even the world. So different is the only way to go,” she said.
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