Serena Williams has been loving every moment of her newfound motherhood after giving birth to her first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., earlier this month. While the tennis sensation is swimming in diapers, giggles and mother-daughter moments, she took a moment to acknowledge her own mother, Oracene Price, in a sweet letter.
The letter, which Williams penned on Reddit, was a loving thank-you to her mother for showering her in love and molding her into the strong woman that she is today. “I was looking at my daughter (OMG, yes, I have a daughter),” she wrote. “I don’t know how I would react if she has to go through what I’ve gone through since I was a 15 year old and even to this day.”
Williams went on to explain all the cruel names she has been called in light of her muscular frame, and how the “power of a black woman” was able to overcome all of that. “I’ve been called man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that that I use drugs,” she continued. “It has been said I don’t belong in Women’s sports — that I belong in Men’s — because I look stronger than many other women do….But mom, I’m not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman.”
She concluded the letter by listing all of her mother’s finest attributes and sharing her hopes for building that same relationship with her newborn. “You are so classy, I only wish I could take your lead. I am trying, though, and God is not done with me yet. I have a LONG way to go, but thank you,” she wrote. “I hope to teach my baby Alexis Olympia the same, and have the same fortitude you have had.”
Read the entire letter on Serena’s Reddit account here.