Book Review 92: BLACK AND WHITE: THE WAY I SEE IT by R. Williams

Richard Williams, best known as the father of Venus and Serena Williams, grew up in a poor town in the south. He experienced lumps on the head, derogatory comments, and severe poverty.

These real world problems drove him to master the art of stealing. He stole as a means of paying back the world for the terrible conditions he lived in and for the destruction of white supremacy. Stealing might not make sense for an individual who thinks that this is not a way in which you pay back people for mistreatment and take down white supremacy, but this is the only way that he saw that he could empower himself to fight back. He say power in his misdeeds because misdeeds were done to him.

After almost getting caught stealing and the potential of receiving stiff consequences for it, like bodily mutilation or death, he moved to Chicago but realized that Chicago was just a different version of the south terribly oppressive and unfair to black people. He wanted freedom to build a business and expand himself to match the image of the man he held himself to be in his mind.

Eventually he moved to California established a business, gave the business away, and then reestablished the business. He had an intelligent mind for business so he rebuilt a business in security. Life is going well for his business but he always wanted more.

Finally met his wife and took care of her three children as if they were his own. Watching TV one day seeing a woman make $40,000 for winning a tennis match, Williams thought he wanted to make that kind of money. But the only way for him to make that kind of money was if he had daughters. So immediately he wrote a 78 page plan for his unborn daughters to become tennis champions. After his wife gave birth to two daughters, he sold his house in Long Beach on the beach, and moved to Compton so his girls would be toughened by the tough city. In a gang polluted part of the city, Williams taught himself the game of tennis. He is an autodidact just like one of the figures from the book HIDDEN FIGURES. Then he and his wife had two daughters whom he trained to become champions.

The rest of the book he shares his parenting lessons he learned from helping the Williams sisters to become champions. One parenting tip he shared was helping shape your children’s mindset. This mindset shaping process was the centerpiece of his parenting. Note the following passage from the book below:

Through example he taught his daughters about the can-do attitude. Our attitude is as important as our actions. No matter what action we take ensure at least one of your actions is to manage the mindset. Live in a can-do world instead of a can’t-do world. In a can-do world one can fly; in a can’t-do world one can’t get off the ground.

From Compton to championship courts in major tennis tournaments, Richard helped groom his two world champion daughters. Williams, a man who didn’t fit any mold, a man hated by others because of his quicks, raised himself and his daughters to unprecedented heights. His story reminds us of what is possible.



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