How a car ride prompted Serena Williams to join the fight against police violence.

Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes of all time. Full stop.

She's won 22 grand slam tennis titles, 307 victories in grand-slam play, and four Olympic gold medals. She is a dominant player, beloved by millions of fans, charities, and brands.

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.


But on Sept. 27, 2016, Williams took on a challenge she can't win alone: police violence.

In a viral Facebook post, Williams explained that she asked her nephew to drive her one day so she could work on her phone between meetings.

Two people embrace during a demonstration for Philando Castile outside the governor's mansion in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.

But what should've been a simple task left Williams feeling anxious and tense, something many black Americans can't help feeling at the moment.

Here's her Facebook post:

Read the full text below, emphasis mine.

Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he's black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone...

Posted by Serena Williams on Tuesday, September 27, 2016
"Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he's black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone #safteyfirst. In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He's so innocent. So were all 'the others'
I am a total believer that not 'everyone' is bad It is just the ones that are ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive that is affecting millions and millions of lives. Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on — for it's not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.
I than wondered than have I spoken up? I had to take a look at me. What about my nephews? What if I have a son and what about my daughters?
As Dr. Martin Luther King said 'There comes a time when silence is betrayal'.

I
Won't
Be
Silent
Serena"








Williams may be one of the most recognizable faces in sports, but all the money, fame, and endorsements in the world won't stop a badge or a bullet.

Flowers and a short note found at a memorial at the scene of the death of Keith Scott. Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images.

That's why she decided she couldn't be silent about this issue anymore.

Her message comes just days after the shooting deaths of Alfred Olango, Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of police. And weeks after NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest injustices that black Americans face each day.

What does a celebrity like Williams have to lose by speaking out? Start with her life and work backward.

It's unclear how Williams will mobilize against police violence. But regardless of the method, her critics will be ready to argue, or worse.

Since Aug. 27, 2016,  Kaepernick and some of the professional and amateur athletes who've joined him (including children as young as 11) have received death threats.

"If something like that were to happen, you've proved my point,” Kaepernick told The Mercury News. “It'll be loud and clear for everyone why it happened..."

Eric Reid, Colin Kaepernick,  and Eli Harold of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sidelines during the national anthem. Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images.

That's white supremacy disguised as love of country.

"It's rude and disrespectful to protest like that," they jeer, invoking veterans and the "American way" for their cause. Still others claim it's just not the right time or place to speak out.

But there will never be a right time or place for this because these critics don't want people like Williams or Kaepernick protesting at all. They don't want a reminder that America may not look or feel the same to everyone who calls it home.

And while many people will line up to throw their support behind Serena Williams, do not begin to think this is an easy decision for her. Her fan base, endorsements, clothing line, and appearances are assuredly all in jeopardy.

This is no small move, but she's doing it anyway. That's courage.

Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for USTA.

So if Serena Williams can risk it all, what will you do?

Will you speak out? Will you march? Will you write letters? Will you lift up the voices of people of color calling for justice? Will you vote? Will you shut down your racist uncle or grandmother who "just doesn't know any better"?

People are dying. The time for hypotheticals, small moves, and silence is over.

Protesters march in Charlotte, North Carolina, following the shooting of Keith Scott by police. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

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