Venus and Serena Williams

A Biography

by Jacqueline Edmondson


Shares the life stories of the Williams sisters, who have made significant achievements for both women and African Americans through the sport of tennis as well as their personal lives.

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Cover image for Venus and Serena Williams

July 2005


Pages 144
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Popular Culture/Sports, Recreation, and Leisure
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The author shares the life stories of Venus and Serena Williams, who charged onto center court in professional tennis at the end of the 20th century with a force never before seen in the sport. No other women tennis players have matched their strength, their speed, or their overall athleticism, and none have achieved the status and celebrity they have gained on and off the court as they powered to the number one and two rankings in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). Venus and Serena Williams represent in many ways a shift in attitudes concerning women in sports, particularly African American women. By playing tough tennis, they conveyed to the public that it was acceptable for women to be strong, to have muscles, and to compete.

When Venus and Serena first appeared in the public eye, their hair bound in beads bespoke their ethnic pride, the braces on their teeth belied their youth, and their grit and determination enabled them to withstand challenges concerning the attitudes of these young African American women in what had traditionally been a white-washed sport. This book shares their stories, and it provides a way to consider the impact of race, gender, and culture, and the influence these have through sport in shaping popular culture. Includes a timeline and a bibliography of print and electronic sources for additional research.

Series Description

Greenwood Biographies

Ideal for student research assignments, this series features interesting and important figures—contemporary and historical—drawn from a broad range of curriculum subject areas, including history, science, politics, literature, and the arts. The series fills a gap in reference collections, offering full-length, engagingly written biographies that are enjoyable to read, based on authoritative research, and fully documented. Each volume includes:
  • Coverage from birth to death or the present day
  • Timeline highlighting significant biographical events and career contributions
  • Portfolio of photographs depicting the subject at different stages of life
  • Bibliography of print and electronic resources recommended for further study

From Bob Marley and Dr. Dre to Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, the Greenwood Biographies spotlight the people who shape our world.
Table of Contents

IntroductionTimeline: Venus WilliamsTimeline: Serena WilliamsKnowing the Possibilities in LifeThe Williams FamilyVenusSerenaTennisControversies and ChallengesFashion and CelebrityHow Big a Deal It IsReferencesAppendix I: Grand Slam EventsAppendix II: Glossary of TermsAppendix III: Venus Williams' Records and AwardsAppendix IV: Serena Williams' Records and AwardsIndex

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