The author shares the life stories of Venus and Serena Williams, who charged onto center court in professional tennis at the end of the 20th century with a force never before seen in the sport. No other women tennis players have matched their strength, their speed, or their overall athleticism, and none have achieved the status and celebrity they have gained on and off the court as they powered to the number one and two rankings in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). Venus and Serena Williams represent in many ways a shift in attitudes concerning women in sports, particularly African American women. By playing tough tennis, they conveyed to the public that it was acceptable for women to be strong, to have muscles, and to compete.
When Venus and Serena first appeared in the public eye, their hair bound in beads bespoke their ethnic pride, the braces on their teeth belied their youth, and their grit and determination enabled them to withstand challenges concerning the attitudes of these young African American women in what had traditionally been a white-washed sport. This book shares their stories, and it provides a way to consider the impact of race, gender, and culture, and the influence these have through sport in shaping popular culture. Includes a timeline and a bibliography of print and electronic sources for additional research.
About the Author
Jacqueline Edmondson is Assistant Professor of Education at Penn State University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in language and literacy education, and she researches and writes about education policy.
Table of Contents
Timeline: Venus Williams
Timeline: Serena Williams
Knowing the Possibilities in Life
The Williams Family
Controversies and Challenges
Fashion and Celebrity
How Big a Deal It Is
Appendix I: Grand Slam Events
Appendix II: Glossary of Terms
Appendix III: Venus Williams' Records and Awards
Appendix IV: Serena Williams' Records and Awards