THE BLOG
01/30/2017 08:41 am ET Updated Jan 31, 2018

It Takes 5 -- In Honor Of Serena Williams

Something little-known about Serena is that she is one of five sisters -- the youngest, with one, sadly, murdered.

That personal fact is overshadowed, understandably, by her on-court accomplishments -- her 23rd Grand Slam won just last Saturday, at 35, the open era record, many won against her closest sister, and on track soon to depose Margret Court for unqualified all-time singles champion.

But perhaps it is time to bring that personal fact to light.

Because off-court Serena not only rises above the incessant racism that swirls around her, but also above disdain for her femininity -- too buxom, too brazen, too black.

The 18th Century European Aristocracy, which presumed to determine such things, diverted the feminine ideal down a dead-end, from which it has not been, or certainly not yet been fully, rescued -- petite, passive, pale.

Even back then, only the Aristocracy could afford these things in their women, and then only thanks to the enforced servitude of those who could not. In the British Empire, and so in these American Colonies, that servitude was taken all the way to slavery.

But no matter how bloodily-tainted, the "feminine ideal" that servitude enabled endures.

And still it stands in condemnation of Serena.

And still she stands singular in its defiance.

Smiling, ear to ear, All Woman, eyes twinkling, Champion.

Singluar, but not alone, she is one of five, all behind her, Feminine.