The Meaning of Serena Williams by Claudia Rankine [New York Times] On tennis and black excellence.
There is a belief among some African-Americans that to defeat racism, they have to work harder, be smarter, be better. Only after they give 150 percent will white Americans recognize black excellence for what it is. But of course, once recognized, black excellence is then supposed to perform with good manners and forgiveness in the face of any racist slights or attacks. Black excellence is not supposed to be emotional as it pulls itself together to win after questionable calls. And in winning, it’s not supposed to swagger, to leap and pump its fist, to state boldly, in the words of Kanye West, ‘‘That’s what it is, black excellence, baby.’’
Venus Williams, learning to live with a chronic illness. [NYTimes.com] "Singing replaced swinging; karaoke became her way to cope. Williams said this Monday, in a quiet moment at the French Open, inside a windowless room beneath the courts. Since doctors told her she had Sjögren’s syndrome, an incurable autoimmune disease, last year at the United States Open, everything has changed. Williams says she wakes up each morning unsure of how she will feel."