Williams’ dad unconventional way he taught tennis stars to face - KMSP-TV

Williams’ dad unconventional way he taught tennis stars to face racism

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - Richard Williams, the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, knew they would grow up facing racism, so he used an unconventional method to prepare them.

In his new book, 'Black and White: The Way I See It,' Williams recounts raising the girls to make their own decisions- even at a young age.

"I would invite busloads of kids to come by and call them every name you could think of.  I’d asked them, what do you think? We had a lot of acres of land, we had kids running around, asking questions, saying things, and they said different names and you would ask them, what do you think?" said Williams.

The strategy was intended to have the girls come face-to-face with prejudice and allow them to form their own conclusions.

“That’s why (in) the book, 'Black and White,' some of the things I wanted to share with them, they would never have understood,” said Williams.

The father of the most successful sister duo in tennis history had no tennis background when he concocted a strategy to make them stars. Training them to win could mean big money, Williams began to believe, after hearing of a tennis player's $40K pay day after four days in a tournament.

“I started writing the plan. I’m going to have two kids. I had a sign that said 'my girls are going to be champions.' I would walk around on Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach (with the sign,)" said Williams.

His fatherly ambitions continue even today with his young son, Junior, but not on the tennis court.

"I don’t want to put Junior in sports. I want Junior to be into business," said Williams.

You can meet Williams at the Barnes and Noble on Broadway and 82nd St. in Manhattan on May 7 at 7 p.m.

"Black and White' is now available.









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