Serena Williams can teach her daughter a thing or two about being strong, but the tennis pro would rather have baby Alexis Olympia learn exactly where that strength comes from in her heritage.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion disclosed to Essence how important it is for her and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, to have their 11-month-old discover her African roots.
“There are so many things I want to teach her about being a Black woman, and I’m proud that I have that opportunity. I was just talking with my husband, Alexis. We were talking about how we want to take her to Africa and show her where she’s from and the strength that she gets from her ancestors,” Williams told Essence magazine without disclosing what specific country they’d be traveling to. “We want her to be able to build and thrive off that strength. And that’s only the beginning of what I want to teach her.”
The hard-working mom — who along with her older sister Venus Williams had been groomed for a promising career in tennis since age 3 — can also teach her daughter a lot about building a work ethic.
Serena famously came back from a near-death post-birth experience to make it to Wimbledon 10 months after having Olympia and had just played at the French Open a month before. And earlier this week, Williams won her first round at the Western & Southern Open, marking a comeback from her loss to Johanna Konta 6-1, 6-0 in San Jose, Calif.
“I want her to also have work ethic,” the tennis star said. “I want her to know that this is what her mommy did, and that’s what motivates me. I’m sure first-time moms will totally get it. When you have a baby, you just want to do everything you can for them.”