King Richard is an inspirational story about the tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and their determined father. The movie shows the journey of how these young ladies from Compton became the iconic athletes they are today. Here's what I took away from the movie.
1. We have to intentionally invest in our kids
In the movie, King Richard's audacity to have that much belief in his kids was inspirational. He not only said it but he showed it through action by standing up for his daughters, being their coach and hitting the pavement day after day to find "big" league tennis coaches to take his girls to the next level. He was their #1 fan and invested countless hours, rain or shine to the craft and ultimately it paid off.
2. Black fathers are so important to our community
Good black fathers honestly don't get enough credit. There are so many that go 110% for their kids and help elevate us as people just by being present. In King Richard, He was there, at every game, at every interview, at every big move whether he and their mom were in agreement, on good terms or not. According to Fatherhood.org, children who have fathers present are less likely to go to prison, less likely to commit a crime, less likely to drop out of high school, less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and less likely to face abuse or neglect. Let's ensure that we are welcoming fathers in and not pushing them out of our kids lives.
3. Sometimes it's our own people that hate to see us progress
Patriarch Richard had his fair share of run ins with the people in his neighborhood. From the nosey neighbor to the gangs that plagued the parks. Will we have haters? Yes! Should those haters come from our own people in our own neighborhoods, Absolutely NOT! Doing something positive comes with its own hardships and the reality is everyone won't be happy for us, but the good news is, most of us will be!
4. Do something different
As we all know tennis has been a predominantly white sport. What I love about this story is the initiative to do something different and forge a new path. After doing his research Richard found out that tennis players can sign multi-million dollar deals in high school. Determined to give the family a better life he embarked in unknown territory, the tennis world. We can follow suit by encouraging our children and ourselves to bust down doors and become trailblazers. Our people are needed in all industries from animation to engineering. Lets do our research, lets do our part even if it means being different.
5. Make a plan and see it through!
King Richard created a 78 page plan before Venus and Serena were ever born, talk about a vision! Although we may have different opinions about creating visions for our children vs. them creating them for themselves, you can't knock the intentionality. So intentional that Venus dominated professional tennis in 2000 and became the first African American woman to win Wimbledon since Althea Gibson and Serena has shattered many records and is debated to be the greatest athlete of all time!