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Why is this Engaged Star Facing so much Backlash?

On December 28th, Serena Williams publicly announced her engagement to the co-founder of the discussion and web content rating website Reddit, Alexis Ohanian. Like other stories that go viral on social media platforms, people do not hesitate to voice their opinions and this was no different. The main topic of discussion wasn’t just the announcement of the engagement, but who the man was. Serena Williams is marrying a white man. The never-ending debate of interracial debating sparked some feedback from the black community of whether or not it was acceptable to date and marry outside of your race.


Many pro-black individuals look down on interracial dating and will question another person’s connection with their own identity for being able to form a union with someone who is not black. With this mindset, Serena Williams was criticized for forming a relationship with the oppressor. On the other hand, some people congratulated her special announcement with genuine happiness for the union of two people who love each other. This happiness was assumed to exist because of black women’s internal desire to find love and acceptance with white men, but is this true?

Interestingly enough, with so many strong opinions about Serena Williams engagement announcement, it is a huge difference from what is usually the topic of discussion. On average, the comments tend to be about her body. People are either praising her lovely assets or tearing her down by questioning her “true gender” because of her, what is said to be, masculine appearance. She has a great booty…but look at her broad arms and her face is not beautiful. Nonetheless, black men have expressed their feelings of betrayal from Serena Williams with her going to the “dark side” but what exactly makes her so desirable suddenly to the community? Before this announcement, Serena was subject to harsh backlash for her looks and masculine appearance but once people found out it was a to a white man, no one can fathom how she could have ended up going with the other side – a white man. A drastic change of language and attitude towards her was the result. Now Serena was their queen, goddess and beautiful, black woman that turned on her community and most importantly on black men. It became an issue of self-hatred instead of love. Black men did not care about her or find her desirable before, but union with a white man means she does not think white people are racists and lost all fear of her black nephew going outside in the world when that is in fact not true. She did not discard of her blackness when she began dating a white man. Instead of questioning her deep desires and acceptance of whites, what if she did something crazy like, fall in love with the person?

Before her engagement, Serena Williams was “ugly” but now that she is with a white man, the community feels betrayed. With countless memes, videos and photos on social media praising white girls for “evolving” and questioning who needs black girls anymore, the question should shift from Why do black women glorify dating outside of her race? because that is not true. The question is Why do black women need to wonder if a black man dates black women?



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