Analysis Of The Poem ' The Meaning Of Serena Williams '

1195 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 5 Pages
Black excellence; a term that is possibly defined as the recognition and celebration of the successes of the black community. Lacking from the definition is the idea that black excellence cannot be achieved without understanding its relation to apparent racist perpetrations. In the essay entitled “The Meaning of Serena Williams”, author Claudia Rankine states, “the notable difference between black excellence and white excellence is white excellence is achieved without having to battle racism. Imagine.” The prevalent absurdity exuded by this statement is the unfortunate reality we now inhabit.
Rankine’s essay concentrates on the idea that racism affects the perception of Serena’s excellence as the world’s best female tennis player. Toward the beginning of the essay, Rankine states “…the legendary Chris Evert, who herself has called you a ‘phenomenon that once every one hundred years comes around.’ Imagine that you’re the player John McEnroe recently described as ‘the greatest player, I think, that ever lived.” Rankine goes on to say, “Imagine that you have to contend with critiques of your body that perpetuate racist notions that black women are hyper masculine and unattractive”. These quotes, rooted toward the beginning of the essay, easily suggest the idea that Serena’s excellence cannot be discussed without the addition of the racist notions she so often encounters. This statement clearly reflects the lesson in which Serena’s father, Richard Williams, attempted to teach…
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