One of the greatest athletes in the world is giving her millions of Instagram followers a little lesson on the origins of African hair braiding. Serena Williams posted a photo of herself braiding her daughter’s hair and had some touching commentary to accompany it.
One-year-old Olympia happily smiled in between her mother’s legs, as the tennis champ started to plait her baby girl’s hair. Williams, who gave birth to Olympia in 2017, decided to use the heartwarming moment as a teachable Black history moment.
“Braiding started in Africa with the Himba people of Namibia,” Williams began.
“We have been braiding her hair for centuries. In many African tribes braided hairstyles were a unique way to identify each tribe. Because of the time it would take people would often take the time to socialize. It began with the elders braiding their children, then the children would watch and learn from them. The tradition of bonding was carried on for generations, and quickly made its way across the world.”
Williams added that she was looking forward to passing this tradition down to her daughter.
“I am honored to share this bonding experience with my own daughter and add another generation of historic traditions.”
The photo drums up feelings of nostalgia for long-time Serena fans, who remember her beaded braids gracing the court when her career was on the rise. We are sure little Olympia will rock the same style one day too.