New mother and all-time tennis great Serena Williams shared a heartfelt letter she wrote to her mother on Reddit, in which she thanked her for teaching her the strength to persevere in the face of opposition — both on and off the court.
In the letter, Williams noted that her newborn daughter “has my exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body.” Since she was “a 15 year old and even to this day,” Williams wrote, she had endured taunts from those who disapproved of her powerful physique. But how would she handle it, Williams asked herself, if her daughter were to be subjected to the same treatment? The answer, she found, was in the lessons she had learned from her own mother.
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Dear Mom, You are one of the strongest women I know. I was looking at my daughter (OMG, yes, I have a daughter ????) and she has my arms and legs! My exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body. I don't know how I would react if she has to go through what I've gone through since I was a 15 year old and even to this day….
“I’ve been called a man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that that I use drugs,” wrote Williams. “Mom, I’m not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman. I am proud we were able to show them … we don’t all look the same. We are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small … and all the same: we are women and proud!”
Read the full story at The Associated Press.