Serena Williams – Rise

Serena Williams discusses the adversities she had to overcome, and shares a poem from her favorite poet, Maya Angelou, that inspired her to rise above.

Transcript:

I’ve had my shares of ups and downs. I’ve had many struggles. I’ve had blood clots in both my lungs at the same time. I lived through tragedies and controversies. People look down on me, put me down because I didn’t look like them. I look stronger. I’ve had people look past me because of the color of my skin. I’ve had people overlook me because I was a woman. I had critics say I will never win another Grand Slam when I was only at number seven. Now, here I stand today with 21 Grand Slam titles and I’m still going.

“I cannot help but think of my favorite poet, Maya Angelou. She has this poem called And Still I Rise, so here it goes: ‘You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may trod me with the very dirt but still, like dust, I rise. Just like moon and suns with the certainty of tides, just like hopes and springing high, still I rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling like teardrops weakened by my soulful cries? Out of the huts of history’s shame, I rise. From a past that’s rooted in pain, I rise. Into the daybreak that’s wonderfully clear, I rise. Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I rise. I am the dream and the hope of a slave. I rise. I rise. I rise.’

“Thank you so much for giving me a chance to rise. I’m so honored.”