All Articles Tagged "venus williams"
For many celebrities, a chunk of the bread and butter comes from side hustles as product spokespeople. And more companies are turning to a diverse group of celebs to serve as the face of their products. For example, we reported recently on new gigs for Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and astronaut Dr. Mae Jamison were just tapped as spokespeople for two separate major advertising campaigns. There have however been some notable campaigns using black spokespeople. We take a look at some of our favorite African-American celebrity spokespeople.
Last month we told you that über talented sisterly duo Venus and Serena Williams would be starring in a documentary that would recount their remarkable climb to tennis stardom. Venus and Serena, which is scheduled to hit theaters May 10th offers an in-depth look at their humble beginnings and their father’s relentless determination to make them the top two tennis players in the world. A brief description of the doc found on the film’s website reads:
“Ever since Venus and Serena Williams started playing in tennis tournaments, they’ve provoked strong reactions – from awe and admiration to suspicion and resentment. They’ve been winning championships for over a decade, pushing the limits of longevity in such a demanding sport. How long can they last? In Venus & Serena, we gain unprecedented access into their lives during the most intimidating year of their career. Over the course of 2011, Venus grappled with an energy-sapping autoimmune disease while Serena battled back from a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Neither Venus nor Serena let their adversities hold them back. They drew their greatest strength from each other.”
Magnolia Pictures has since released their official trailer for the movie and if the trailer serves as any indication of how good the actual documentary will be, fans will not be disappointed. Opening with a young Venus accompanied by her sister on a tennis court, both girls express that they’d like to grow up to be tennis players.
“To Black girls from Compton who probably weren’t ever supposed to play tennis, let alone be really good at it. My Dad had one of the most revolutionary ideas when it came to changing the game,” says Venus.
“I had written a plan before they were born, 78 pages. The plan was for both of them to become number one in the world,” revealed Venus and Serena’s Dad Richard Williams.
Venus went on to laugh about her parents predicting that she’d be number one in the world and drilling it into her so much that she was “brainwashed.” The doc will also offer a peek into some of the life-threatening health woes experienced by the Williams sisters and how they dealt with them.
“I wanted to go out for sure and know that I couldn’t play,” Venus said of her determination to play despite her ailment.
As previously stated, Venus and Serena is available on iTunes and is slated to hit theaters May 10th!
Check out official the trailer below.
If you ask me, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the phenomenal Williams sisters to get a documentary. Their story is the stuff of legend. They overcame obstacles like a dangerous environments, lack of access and racial discrimination to go on to become the greatest female tennis players the game has ever seen.
Despite their public success, the Williams sisters have managed to keep certain details about their personal lives and secrets to their immense success on the low. Now, in a 100 minute documentary, directed by Maiken Baird and Michelle Major and edited by the two will share the complexity of their lives. According to Tennis Now, the documentary will shed light on their remarkably inspiring story:
“Venus and Serena takes an unfiltered look into the remarkable lives of the greatest sister-act professional tennis has ever seen. In a sport where they were not welcomed, the indomitable Williams sisters faced the opposition with grace and courage not only breaking new ground for female and African-American athletes everywhere, but dominating the women’s game for over a decade. The film tells the inspiring story of how these two women, against all odds, but with the help of visionary parents, made it to the top.”
And while the film is going to uplift you, it’s also going to expose some of their personal hardships and even controversies associated with their lives and careers, like the affair, divorce and second marriage of their father Richard. The film will also include interviews with everyone from Bill Clinton to Chris Rock to Anna Wintour speaking about the sisterly duo.
The documentary, which has already been screened at several film festivals, has been well received. Magnolia Pictures will release the film on iTunes On Demand April 4 and it will hit theaters on May 10.
Check out a short preview of the film on the next page.
For 40th Anniversary Of Title IX, ESPN Doing “Nine For IX” Documentaries On Women In Sports, Including Ava DuVernay’s “Venus VS.”
For years, I’ve been a massive fan of most ESPN documentaries (I don’t think there’s one I’ve seen that I haven’t enjoyed), including the very creative “30 for 30″ docs, which give many up and coming and little known but exceptional directors the chance to show their talents and tell stories from a different yet immensely deep angle. Maybe that’s why I’m so excited about the new “Nine for IX” series, an ode to the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the civil rights law of ’72 that “requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding,” according to the Title IX website. It has allowed young women everywhere to have the opportunity to play the sports of their choice, obtain higher education through these opportunities, employment and more. The nine films will be directed by women, and Robin Roberts, anchor for Good Morning America, is an executive producer for the project.
Among the nine films are a few big notables centered around black women, including Venus VS., by Middle of Nowhere director, Ava DuVernay. The film chronicles Williams’ choice to challenge the fact that female tennis players were being paid less than the males for huge tournaments like Wimbledon and the French Open, and her battle, which she won, made her the first women’s champion (during her win in 2007) to take home the same reward money as men’s winner Roger Federer.
DuVernay put out a statement about the film and to speak on the little-known impact of Williams in this particular equal earnings fight:
Venus is a superior athlete, a legend; but she is also an activist who revolutionized her sport off the court with her fight for prize equality. I don’t believe this story should be relegated to dusty history books and UK newspapers. People in the United States should know of her true professional bravery and personal tenacity in making sure women athletes are regarded and rewarded on par with their male counterparts. This is my mission.
Another great feature during the “Nine for IX” series will be Swoopes, a doc on the life of WNBA icon Sheryl Swoopes, as she has “defied a multitude of labels.” And Shola Lynch is behind the documentary, Runner, about Mary Decker. Of course, Decker had her Olympic moment stolen in the worst of ways when she collided with a fellow runner after being thought as being in the forefront for the gold medal in the 3,000m final during the ’84 Olympics.
But these of course are just a few of the documentaries ESPN is offering. You can check out the full lineup here. Starting on July 2, ESPN will debut the films, beginning with Venus Vs., and they will air until August 27. Check out the preview video for all nine films below!
Will you be watching?
In honor of Black History Month, MadameNoire is sending a daily salute to the African American women who inspire us every day of the year. Today we’re recognizing the black women athletes who make us proud everywhere from the tennis courts to the track, the balance beams, and the swimming pool.
Venus and Serena Williams
Venus and Serena Williams took the tennis world by storm when the two brown girls from Compton with braid and beads showed up on the courts and dominated their opponents. Venus has been ranked World No. 1 in singles by the Women’s Tennis Association on three separate occasions, and when she was named so in 2002 for the first time, she became the first African American woman to achieve be given then title during the Open Era. Venus is also a four-time Olympic gold medalist and as of February 2013, is ranked number 22 in the world in singles.
Like her big sister, Serena has also ranked up a number of World No. 1 rankings — five to be exact since July 2002. Serena is the only female player to have won over $40 million in prize money and she is regardedas one of the greatest tennis players of all time, having won 30 Grand Slam titles and four Olympic Gold medals.
If you don’t follow tennis, you might have missed all the talk about young up-and-coming 19 year-old, Sloane Stephens from the United States. She is currently the youngest top 40 player on the WTA tour, and turning heads down under at the Australian Open, as she is set to play her mentor, Serena Williams Jan. 22 in the quarterfinals.
Serena recently had some great things to say about Sloane, according to Sports Illustrated. She pictures her becoming the future of U.S. women’s tennis.
“Like I said after the match [in Brisbane], she can be the greatest player,” Williams said after her fourth-round victory at the Australian Open. “It will be another good match and a good opportunity for both of us. Definitely one of us will be in the semifinals, which I think is awesome. So it’s going to be good.”
After her win in the fourth round against Bojana Jovanovski, she is set to crack the top 20 for the first time in her career.
In other news, the Williams sisters have lost in doubles at the Australian Open, which leaves only Serena left on the singles side. We’ll see who wins tonight between Serena and Sloane, but our money is on Serena based off experience. But, we look forward to great things from the young Sloane.
Ignorance is still very much alive — contrary to the evolving times. Even when we thought dark skin was in, the memo must have only been about the brothas because sistas have still been getting the most cringe-worthy compliment ever to be spoken: “Wow! Yo’ure pretty for a Black girl!” Whaaat?!
As a brown-skinned sista, let me speak for every other dark girl out there when I say, I thought pretty was determined upon your features and the way you carried yourself, not by the shade of your skin. A woman is never “pretty for a black girl,” she’s beautiful because that’s simply what she is inside and out, and these Hollywood starlets prove just that. Here are our favorite beautiful black sistas whose strikingly gorgeous looks leaves this not so complimenting compliment in the dust:
From the moment we got a glimpse of her in Eve’s Bayou, her acting skills and raw good looks took our breath away. From there she would woo audiences in her roles from ‘You Got Served’ to ’Stomp the Yard’ growing into not only gorgeous woman, but also one of virtue as we’ve seen from her relationship with new hubby Devon Franklin.
Tags:brandy, brown celebrity beauties, Dark Skinned celebs, dark-skinned beauties, dark-skinned celebs we love, Gabrielle Union, janelle monae, jennifer hudson, Jennifer Williams, keisha knight pulliam, kelly rowland, kenya moore, Kerry Washington, Meagan Good, naomi campbell, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, serena williams, venus williams
Any tennis fans out there? The first big Grand Slam of the season is underway: The Australian Open started on Monday, Aussie time , with the players taking the court while the rest of us were watching the Golden Globes.
Venus Williams has made it to round two, crushing her first round opponent Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-1, 6-0. And what was she wearing to administer this spanking? Why, a design from her own line EleVen. That’s it above. Thoughts?
You’ll recall that Williams took EleVen to New York Fashion Week back in September, so it stands to reason that she would use this appearance for promotional purposes (as well as tennis dominance). Her sister Serena will be playing Romania’s Edina Gallovits-Hall tonight (it’s already Tuesday in Australia), so we’ll have to wait and see what she wears on the court.
We did the men, now it’s on to the women. We scoured the interwebs and our own treasure trove of celebrity knowledge to bring you 15 women who shocked us just a bit when they stepped out with white men.
We know by now that Venus Williams is a businesswoman as well as an athlete: part owner of the Miami Dolphins (with sister (and recently crowned US Open champ, Serena), operator of Jamba Juice shops across the Mid-Atlantic, interior design and fashion maven with her clothing line EleVen.
The tennis champ gave USA Today a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for her line’s debut on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week catwalk. Over the course of three hours, the newspaper watched as Williams assessed hairstyles and make-up, watched the performers prepare for the evening (a dancer and a yoga practitioner are among the people who will be taking to the runway rather than models) and talked about the EleVen customer.
“It’s about being your best…. and doing more than you thought you could,” she says in the clip, available here.
Separately, but juicy, turns out that Williams has had a secret boyfriend, Miami-based Cuban model Elio Alberto Pis, who is 24 years old, eight years younger than Venus. Actually, I guess it’s not so secret since they were seen kissing at the US Open. But back to Fashion Week…
We’ve never really paid too much attention to EleVen, so we’re surprised that it’s making such a big splash during Fashion Week. Are you? Have you ever bought anything from the brand? If so, let us know what it’s like. Maybe we’ll check it out. Here’s a link to the brand’s website so you can see a little more.