In America, money is power, so Serena Williams’ power moves are actually Black power moves.
When it comes to America, the singular most important thing that African-Americans must do to protect their own self-interests is power. However, it is not as simple as a slogan or even a worldview that is anti-mainstream, but through the access to capital.
Yes indeed, we live in a capitalist society and it is the mainstream’s history of barring black access to the fruits of their ancestor’s labor that paints a clear view of our contemporary times.
This is why I believe the power move that Serena Williams‘ made on Wednesday is much deeper than simply being another celebrity money grab, but a potential black power grab.
The tennis superstar recently shared the ins-and-outs of her aptly titled investment firm, Serena Ventures, which actually has been backing companies since 2014, with investments in more than 30 independent companies thus far.
“I launched Serena Ventures with the mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries,” Williams said in her announcement on Instagram.
Though her company is five years old, we’re just now hearing of its true purpose, which is “to give opportunities to a diverse set of founders, particularly women and people of color.
Investments will go into early-stage companies that value “individual empowerment, creativity, and opportunity,” according to the company’s website.
Serena Ventures will also take a special interest in mentoring young founders and emerging entrepreneurs as well.
Former JP Morgan asset manager Alison Rapaport is listed as the VP and will oversee the portfolio as well as new investments. She is the only other employee besides Serena herself.
Serena’s interests are in food, health and wellness, e-commerce and fashion thus far.
As we look across the socio-economic landscape, it is clear that monied individuals not only use that money to grease their way through lives on far too many occasions, but they also use it as a barrier to prevent and discourage competition from minority and women businessman.
Serena Ventures and related companies are making moves to reverse the trend.