The world in 2008 was a very different place, and methinks, much simpler. The worst kind of race argument you could get caught up in and viciously slated was debating Barack Obama’s biracial identity – and get caught up in a debate and viciously slated I did, when on a Facebook post I questioned why Barack Obama was always referred to by the mainstream media as “America’s first black president.”

Sad, how it’s been 11 years since “America’s first black president” was a reality and not a dream, and how 11 years on America seems to have regressed into Jim Crow era, but that’s for another day.

I don’t have a child yet, but one day when I am blessed with one, she will be blessed with Turkish-Nigerian roots. My argument in 2008 was that Barack Obama was no more black than he was white. As a biracial son of a Kenyan father and American mother, he was the “first biracial American president.” But alas, post after post, my Facebook friends and frenemies kept reminding me of the infamous one drop rule – a social and legal principle of racial classification, ironically, created by white Americans.

I had heard of one drop rule of course, but I refused for my then imaginary children to be defined by that one drop at the expense of half of their DNA, identity and heritage. “If someone calls my child Nigerian,” I remember arguing, “that may as well deny my whole existence in their creation, because, whatever happened to the other half of them that is undeniably Turkish?”

I even brought in my dual heritage into the mix, which has since become even more of a contentious issue in my native Turkey; for all the similarities on the surface, Turkish and Kurdish connote very different things in my ever polarised home country, where increasingly you’re having to pick a side. It may not be a case of the one drop rule just yet, but say out loud you’re Kurdish, and in the eyes of some, you might as well have admitted to having leprosy. In this melting pot of centuries old ethnic cultures, I was fortunate enough to have never had to choose, being born to a Kurdish father and a Turkish mother. To date, when talking about how dissimilar we are, my mother still reminds me I am the daughter of a Kurd after all, not in a derogatory way, but as a loving reminder of my late father’s heritage. Exactly as I would want my children to embrace both sides of their ethnic makeup, without being pigeonholed into one, or forced to pick side.

In the year 2019, while much has changed, some things remain the same as I was reminded earlier this week, when the new tennis sensation Naomi Osaka fielded a question from a Japanese reporter who wanted her to reply in Japanese and Osaka replied that she was going to say it in English before going into her answer.

Last year, upon winning the third round of the Australian Open, Osaka had to educate another Japanese reporter who wanted to know what her victory as a “very proud” Japanese means for her people.

“You moved to New York when you were two years old and lived in the United States for a long time, but you’re very proudly Japanese, obviously. What will this victory mean for the people back home, for both sets of fans who will be watching this for you?” asked the reporter, not knowing his mic would be handed back to him with the kind of sass we now know Osaka to be capable of.

“Actually, I live in FL now. But, I mean, of course I’m very honored to be playing for Japan. But my dad’s side is Haitian, so represent. But um, yeah. I forget the rest of your question. Sorry!” responded the tennis ace.

Following her latest win, USA Today called Osaka “the first Japanese player, man or woman, to win a Grand Slam trophy.” ESPN called her “the first tennis player from Japan to reach No. 1 in the rankings.” A story too similar to the French national football team made up of sons of immigrants who carried the country to the World Cup final who were relegated to the second class row behind the lily-white, pure-blooded French boys who went up to receive the cup, or the immigrant who was Malian one day but became French almost the next upon saving the life of a toddler dangling off a balcony, or men of African descent, footballers, scientists, politicians, who are defined by their country of adoption at the height of the success – how many times have you heard “American scientist of Nigerian parentage” or “British politician of Caribbean descent” – and dismissed by country of heritage at first sign of misdemeanour – “the terrorist thought to be Nigerian having gained naturalisation in 2015…”

So much may have changed in 11 years, but so little seems to have, if we are still debating the race of my still imaginary children. All I know is that I hope they will not be defined by the one drop rule, their non-black side erased, or whitewashed to make them fit into the success story that dictates all hint of colour should be removed. Above all, I hope they will have as much sass as Naomi Osaka in not letting anyone put their well-rounded selves into square boxes of racial tick boxes.



Credit: Guardian Woman, Sinem-Bilen Onabanjo

Naomi Osaka has won the Australian Open and is the new world number one, after beating Czech Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2) 5-7 6-4 in a dramatic final.

In September 2018, Osaka was reduced to tears when the crowd booed her after a controversial US Open final in which Serena Williams lost her cool. The hard-fought victory made Osaka the first Asian, male or female, to hold the world’s top ranking, taking over from Romania’s Simona Halep.

The Japanese youngster fell to one knee in celebration, head bowed, as Melbourne Park erupted in thunderous cheers. “I felt like I was in a state of shock through the entire trophy presentation,” the 21-year-old said.

She is the first woman to follow her first grand slam title by immediately winning the next one since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 and the first since Serena in 2015 to win two slams in a row.


Credit: LIB

Serena Williams has defeated World’s number 1 Simona Halep to reach the quarter-finals of the 2019 Australian Open.

Serena Williams, 37, sat out last year’s Australian Open after giving birth to her daughter months earlier and suffering health complications. Since returning to the tour, Williams has reached the past two Grand Slam finals, losing both.

On Monday, the mother-of-one outlasted Simona Halep at Melbourne Park and won the fourth round match with a 6-1 4-6 6-4 victory.


Serena Williams knocks out world


Speaking on court, Williams said:

It was a really intense match, some incredible points. I love playing tennis, I love this court and it’s really cool to be back out here playing.

I really needed to elevate my game and there’s a reason why. She’s a great player. I had to just play a little bit like I knew I could and I did, and I think hopefully that was the difference.

I’m such a fighter, I never give up. There’s definitely something that’s innate.


Serena will now make her way through to the quarter-final where she will meet Czech Karolina Pliskova.



Credit: LIB

Tennis star Naomi Osaka is on the cover of the latest issue of TIME magazine and she’s dishing on her journey so far, her match against Serena Williams, her aversion to attention and more.

On facing her idol Serena Williams, she says “Serena is Serena. I didn’t experience her life. I can’t tell her what she’s supposed to do, because there are things that she’s gone through. I have nothing against her or anything. I actually still really love her.”

Read her feature here.



Credit: BN

Tennis champions, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, are set to play each other for the first time in their careers.

They will play a mixed doubles match in the Hopman Cup competition in Perth today. Federer and Williams have won a combined total of 43 Grands Slam titles.

On the match-up, Federer said: “It is very exciting for both of us and I hope a lot of tennis fans tune in and watch it. I admire everything she’s done on and off the court, we are both fierce competitors and we always want to win.”

Williams said it was “a dream come true” and added: “I have been looking forward to it. This is so cool.

The match has been labelled by many as one of the most exciting and anticipated match involving a male and female player since Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the sexes” in 1973.

37-year-old Tennis champion, Serena Williams is the cover star for Teen Vogue’s December issue.

Serena Williams and Naomi Wadler who sat down for an interview with Lindsay Peoples Wagner, the editor-in-chief of the magazine spoke on Activism, Power and other sensitive issues.

Read below.

Lindsay Peoples Wagner: There are so many things I want to ask both of you, but one of the immediate things that comes to mind is how you’ve both taken a lot of risks in your personal and professional lives. Why have you been so willing to take risks and speak out, whether about activism or being a woman of color?

Naomi Wadler: Okay, so I want to do all of the events that I do right until I am about to go onstage, because that is when I am like —

Lindsay Peoples Wagner: You nervous?

Naomi Wadler: It’s just great to be able to have the platform that I have, and that Serena has, and that you have, because not everybody has those platforms, and so part of that is being able to lift up other voices, and so that it’s not just somebody who is famous, or well known, or just a public figure.

Serena Williams: You put that really well. We’re in a position where we have the opportunity to use our status and our social network, and to use different platforms that we are on and that we can talk about it, ’cause a lot of people see what we post and see the things that we write. And although it’s so fun to have the opportunity to post lots of fun things, I also find it really important to post and talk about real items that affect us on a day-to-day basis.

Lindsay Peoples Wagner: Serena, how do you handle it all? Your training, your beautiful baby, business. How do you handle it day to day?

Serena Williams: Honestly, I don’t know. I go to bed every night thinking, How did I get through this day? I’m sure a lot of people out there can relate, right? It’s like, this day is over, it’s 10 o’clock, I got through it. How did that happen? That’s kind of how I am. Between… I just started training. Yes, I’m still playing.

Serena Williams speaks on Power and Activism as she graces the cover of Teen Vogue (Photos)

Lindsay Peoples Wagner: We’re ready.

Serena Williams: So, that has been… OK, now I’m training on top of running this fashion company, on top of being a full-time mom. I’m super hands-on as a mom. I just take it as it is and realize that everyone goes through the same thing.

Lindsay Peoples Wagner: I want to talk about confidence. You both are so public, I’m sure you have days where you either get nervous or don’t feel great. How do you pick it back up on those days when you don’t feel so confident that you’re doing the right things or you don’t feel like things are going in that direction?

Serena Williams: I think it’s really important to realize that no day is going to be perfect. For me, that’s really hard because I strive for perfection, and I feel like everything I do has to be great and has to be perfect, because I am a true perfectionist. But that’s impossible. That’s not reasonable. Then I realize that, OK, I had a rough day today, let’s do something to make it better tomorrow. I think it’s important to expect to have some really rough times when you’re going through something, but always know that you can overcome it.

Credit: stargist.com

Tennis superstar Serena Williams on Sunday, 23rd of September was honored for her charitable work at the 2018 Imagine Ball in West Hollywood.

Serena wore a form-fitting animal print mini dress as she arrived at the event which had Kelly Rowland and Nicole Scherzinger in attendance.

The event, honoring the 23-time Grand Slam champion, was hosted by Good Day LA‘s Rita Garcia.

See photos below:

Serena Williams

Kelly Rowland

Nicole Scherzinger

Photo Credit: Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images


Credit: Bella Naija