Serena Williams has been openly sharing her motherhood journey. Williams’ 11 million Instagram followers are privy to special moments that she shares with her daughter, Alexis Olympia.
The tennis icon shared a photo on Thursday of her braiding her toddler’s hair and explained the origins of braiding.
“Braiding started in Africa with the Himba people of Namibia,” Williams wrote. “We have been braiding hair for centuries. In many African tribes, braided hairstyles were a unique way to identify each tribe. Because of the time it would take, people would often take the time to socialize.
“It began with the elders braiding their children, then the children would watch and learn from them. The tradition of bonding was carried on for generations.”
In African societies, “braid patterns and hairstyles indicate a person’s community, age, marital status, wealth, power, social position, and religion,” according to Face2Face Africa.
Both Williams and husband, Alexis Ohanian, have publicly shared how they are choosing to learn about grooming their daughter’s natural hair.
Last month, Ohanian, co-founder and executive chairman of Reddit, tweeted:
Just applied to join 4 private Natural Hair facebook groups. I hope they don’t auto-reject my application when they see my profile photo ?
I told them it was to keep getting better at doing my daughter’s hair.
— Alexis Ohanian Sr. ? (@alexisohanian) May 16, 2019
Not only did Twitter users applaud Ohanian for wanting to be that dad who grooms his daughter’s hair, but they also started providing helpful tips on where he could find knowledge.