Friday, June 12, 2015

HGP highlights: Serena Williams -- Woman of Distinction

This June, an incredible mile-stone was achieved by Serena Williams: she captured her 20th Tennis Major championship.

While still 2 shy of record holder Steffi Graff, Serena, age 33, has truly emerged as the Michael Jordan of her sport -- killer instinct included.

And Still I Rise...

The uniquely insane and phenomenal aspect is that Serena (and sister Venus) thrived and over-achieved in a high brow, hoity toity elitist environment. The William's family journey included honing their world class skill set in Compton -- yea, South Central La.

This clash of cultures was/is not always warmly received: taunts, racial epithets, pejorative slights endured by Serena, Venus and father Richard -- from tennis fans and press -- stirs the memory of Jackie Robinson.

On the other hand, not to diminish his out-of-this word achievement, MJ reached the NBA Mount Rushmore in a sport dominated by men of color; men that often master the sport on gritty urban playgrounds.

We honor Serena -- still young and on fire -- by serenading her with a beautiful Maya Angelou poem.

Sidebar: The I'm not cute line does not apply to our fine sister Serena.

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Maya Angelou :