Culture

Serena Williams and the Black Women at the Top of Their Fields

Sun., Jul. 8, 2012 5:51 PM EDT
by Terry Shropshire

Serena won the singles and doubles titles at Wimbledon and returned to the Top 5 in the WTA Rankings

Tennis rankings are about as useful as a Hawaiian weatherman in the Arctic Circle, because the top slot consistently evades Serena Williams despite winning the most majors of any female of the modern era (14), including her 5th singles and doubles majors titles (the latter with sister Venus) at Wimbledon, the most revered tennis playing monument in the world.

Doesn’t really matter in the end, because Serena’s popularity, exploits, back-story and career earnings supersedes the WTA’s convoluted rankings (she’s currently ranked 4th). Serena is must-watch theater. When father Richard Williams warned the world in the 1990s that the fantastic tennis feats of older sister Venus Williams would soon be trumped by someone better, his youngest daughter, he was regarded like an orphan at a family picnic. But how prophetic he turned out to be.

Below are other African American women from other occupations and professions who, like the riveting Serena Williams, are at the top of their professions.

terry shropshire

 

1. Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce Knowles

To millions of fans around the world, these two women are members of America’s royalty. Oprah is the undisputed queen of multimedia, the first black female billioniare and by far the most successful talk show host of any kind who has ever lived in this country. And Beyonce? It takes vision, talent and guts to leave the bestselling girl group of all time, Destiny’s Child, to carve out a career that, eventually, takes you to even greater heights of popularity. Only her biggest childhood idol (the King of Pop) and a few others were able to duplicate that rare feat.

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