Once the mainstream gets ahold of something it dies. It’s no longer alive and to be frank it simply just doesn’t matter.
Serena Williams accomplished an amazing feat this past weekend, becoming one of a few women to win the gold grand slam, which is to have won all four major grand slam tennis tournaments and a gold medal at the Olympics.
This wasn’t a USA Basketball vs. Nigeria victory. Well, it was in terms of score margin, but in terms of competition it was more like if the original Dream team beat the 2012 USA Basketball team by 40 points. Williams destroyed her opponent, #2 ranked in the world Maria Sharapova, in straight sets which is something to get excited about and she did in the form of the C-Walk dance.
Most people in the black community know what the C-Walk is, we’ve known for quite some time so I’m not going to insult anyone’s intelligence by explaining it. We also know where it comes from, and most of us have all done the dance at some point in time. Some of us have been so diligent as even to learn how to B-walk.
There has been uproar over Serena’s C-Walk. People are saying that she’s encouraging gang culture. Was Lil’ Bow Wow encouraging gang culture when he was doing it several years ago while rapping to a tenny bopper audience? Was NBA, white man that CAN jump, Brent Barry glorifying gang culture at the 2003 when he did it? There was no uproar when Bow Wow or Barry did the dance because Mainstream had already gotten ahold of it. Snoop Dogg — a real Crip, has been accepted by mainstream media as have other real gang members and gangster rappers. To be frank, once mainstream gets ahold of something “cool” it’s like stage five cancer…it’s going to die really soon. See the term “swag” for reference.
The African-American community is known for taking things with bad origins and turning them into good things. We did such a good job with the C-walk that the mainstream was walking right along with us. Serena could have done the stanky leg dance and people would have still frowned upon it. It wasn’t the dance people had an issue with; it was that she celebrated at all.
There is a cocky personality about Serena that people just don’t like and there is a clear Randy Moss-esque “I play when I want to" quality about Serena that traditional tennis fans just can’t stand. This year, Serena has decided to play — winning Wimbledon in London and now Olympic gold in the exact same stadium. Whether her detractors admit it or not, they didn’t want to see her win. After she destroyed Sharapova, the only thing they could complain about was a dance that if Men’s Tennis Olympic Gold winner, Andy Murray — a popular Brit, would have done it…it would have been cute and funny.