For all those who watch Wimbledon, this may not be news. But for those like me who only glance at the TV a few times when Wimbledon is on, 15-year-old Cori (Coco) Gauff beat Venus Williams during her Wimbledon debut. This makes her the youngest woman to qualify for Wimbledon since 1991. Now, this post isn’t necessarily about tennis, but to talk about another important thing. Representation. This goes to show that role models still matter. I watched a 1-minute clip on the moment Coco beat Venus and, in all honesty, I was close to tears. The first thing Coco did upon winning is go up to Venus to thank her. Representation Matters. When asked about the Williams’ sisters, Coco explains how “they’re just really great role models for me. My whole life I’ve looked up to them”. I believe we underestimate the power of seeing someone who likes you doing the thing you really want to do. Imagine all the little black girls who would become artists, engineers, physicists, doctors, presidents, astronauts (the list goes on), if they saw another black woman do that thing. This post is to encourage all those black women who have dreams but don’t know if they can achieve them. At the risk of sounding like a Nike ad, “Just do it!”. Take the risk and see what happens. And if you don’t succeed at first, try again. Your risk can be another girl’s confirmation that she can do it too. To everyone who sticks out and goes against the tide, keep going. We need you to show us that this is ok. When I see news like this, it makes me look at my own life and think “wow, I NEED to keep pushing!”.
In my next post, I will be discussing my final art piece for uni which I created for all the black women out there but also, on a personal level, for my younger self. I never really had a role model while growing up, and so I’m trying to be the role model I never had. Although I don’t play tennis, black women like Venus Williams also encourage me to keep going and to strive to pave the way for other black girls and women.
Seeing really is believing. Sometimes.