Human Rights

Serena Williams Writes Impassioned Post About the Dangers of Driving While Black

The tennis star fears for her nephew at the wheel when the police show up.

Photo Credit: Jimmy48Photography/

Tennis star Serena Williams has taken to her Facebook page to discuss her despair over the treatment of African-Americans by police and her fear for her young male relatives.

For Williams, the seemingly mundane request to her teenaged nephew to drive her somewhere is fraught, because driving while black can be dangerous. And when her nephew is at the wheel, the sight of a cop fills Williams with anxiety because of some of the horrible events in the news lately. In the post, Williams refers to the agonizing video of Philando Castile, the Minnesota man who's death was recorded by his girlfriend, after he was shot to death by a cop.

This lived reality for black people even at the pinnacle of American success spurred Williams to write.

Here's her post in its entirety:

Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he's black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone #safteyfirst. In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He's so innocent. So were all "the others" 

I am a total believer that not "everyone" is bad It is just the ones that are ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive that is affecting millions and millions of lives. 
Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on- for it's not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.

I than wondered than have I spoken up? I had to take a look at me. What about my nephews? What if I have a son and what about my daughters?
As Dr. Martin Luther King said " There comes a time when silence is betrayal".




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