Black Public Scholars

September 18, 2009

News: Serena Williams, Kanye West, Public Outbursts and Race

by Dr Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University, Your Black World 

From AOL Black Voices and TheGrio.com 

Were there any racial implications to the recent outbursts by Serena Williams and Kanye West? Yes, there were. In my latest conversation with Rev. Al Sharpton, we break down these interesting events, all of which occurred during the past week. We can agree, however, that there are certainly things more important than worrying about Serena Williams and Kanye West. But these situations, in light of the backdrop of Obama’s comments about Kanye, might provide true teachable moments regarding America’s tattered racial history.As I’ve written before, Serena and Kanye have a lot in common, but nothing in common, all at the same time. Serena’s actions were justifiable, given the intensity of the situation and the fact that the line judge made the wrong call. At the same time, most of us can agree that Serena went over the line by threatening to "shove the ball down the f**ing throat" of the line judge because of her mistake. Yes, Serena, you are from the hood. But you don’t need to take it back to the hood to make your point to a U.S. Open line judge.

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