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Serena Williams' 'Wakanda' Catsuit Approved by Women's Tennis Association​

The WTA's new rule modifications also offer more protection to players on maternity leave.

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Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, is considered the best player in the history of tennis. So, the unnecessary obstacles Williams has to face in her career are seemingly serving as teachable moments for the tennis world.

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A Black Father Pushes Congress to Save the Lives of Black Mothers

Charles Johnson lost his wife post childbirth and he's fighting to make sure no more Black women die from poor post-natal care.

Screenshot from YOUTUBE

Charles Johnson IV posted on Instagram Thursday morning that the final deadline in getting Congress to pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act is next week.

Johnson, a Los Angeles resident, has been fighting for Black mothers like his wife, Kira. She died in 2016 in a hospital that left her bleeding internally for 10 hours without a CT scan after giving birth to their second child. Medical professionals had told Johnson, who was pleading for help for his wife, that she "wasn't a priority" for them.

Johnson and his mother, TV judge Glenda Hatchett, are advocating for Black women, as they are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Johnson and his two sons are also plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the hospital and several doctors alleging wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Kira Johnson died of "hemorrhagic shock due to acute hemoperitoneum," which the lawsuit said doctors failed to properly diagnose and treat.

Black women including, Serena Williams, have put the alarming statistics into perspective. Williams demanded a CT scan after giving birth to her daughter, Olympia, when she felt short of breath. A nurse had told her she was confused because of her pain medication, but Williams was persistent and it ended up saving her life.

Johnson formed 4Kira4Moms, a nonprofit dedicated to honor Kira's life and to prevent other families from experiencing unnecessary birth-related deaths.

Johnson and Hatchett, recently participated in a congressional briefing on maternal mortality hosted by the Reproductive Justice Initiative.

"They did nothing to correct it in a timely manner," Hatchett said.

"This is a woman who would be alive today had it not been for, what we say in the complaint, medical negligence. One minute we're at the hospital celebrating [the couple's] second son's birth, just a very joyous time and then hours later, she's gone…"

His testimony to Congress in September was followed by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) who read of the jarring statistics that Black women are 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications than white women.

The hospital's statement released TWO YEARS AFTER Kira's death:

"Kira Johnson's death was a tragedy. Her husband, Charles S. Johnson IV, and his mother, Judge Glenda Hatchett, are demonstrating important leadership in raising awareness of preventable maternal deaths. Cedars-Sinai strongly agrees with Judge Hatchett and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that no mother should die giving birth."

"Based on our findings, we make any changes that are needed so that we can continue to provide the highest quality care to our patients. This includes reviewing hospital procedures as well as the competency of healthcare providers. Among other changes, we have updated processes for post-anesthesia care and have increased simulation training for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals related to care of hospitalized obstetric patients."


Charles Johnson shares the tragic story of his wife Kira's death hours after giving birth. www.youtube.com

Reader Question: Do you know any women who have experienced discrimination in medical care post child birth?

Open Letter To GQ's Editorial Team: Serena Williams 2018 'Woman' of The Year Cover

The white editorial team claim judgement on a Black woman's body.

For the second year in a row, GQ Magazine has selected a woman for its annual Man of the Year issue. Last year's cover featured Israeli-actress, Gal Gadot. The cover was light and cute. It could've been an advertisement for "The Women's March." This year, tennis-legend Serena Williams, won the "honor." Only her cover isn't a celebration of her athletic prowess and excellence. It's outright racist.

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Black Women Have Higher Rates of Life-Threatening Birth Complications

New study shows women of color have a 70 percent higher rate of major birth problems, even when they suffer the same health ailments as white women.

REUTERS

The University of Michigan released a study that shows women of color have higher rates of major birth problems. Many required emergency treatment such as blood transfusions — a staggering three-quarters of cases —for women suffering a serious hemorrhage.

The study of 40,873 women between 2012-2015 revealed Black women had 70 percent higher rate of severe birth-related health issues than white women, and that a disparity existed in terms of needing life-saving treatment—50.5 Black mothers vs. 40.9 white mothers per 10,000.

Black women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, according to the C.D.C.

"Celebrities like Serena Williams who have shared their birth-related emergency stories publicly have drawn the national spotlight to the urgent need to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care for women around the time of delivery. To drive and target those changes, we need specific data like these," said Lindsay Admon, M.D., M.Sc., the study's lead author.

Williams, who has a history of blood clots, began feeling short of breath in the hospital the day after her daughter Alexis Olympia was born. A nurse said her pain medication was likely confusing her, but Williams was persistent and it saved her life.

"Situations like these are often considered near misses, and looking at them allows us to get a better picture of who the high-risk women really are," said Admon, an obstetrician at Michigan Medicine's Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital, and a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

Maternal Morbidity: Study reveals disparities by race and ethnicity.

All women who had chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, hypertension, depression or substance use issues before giving birth had a higher risk for the continuation of those problems post-child birth, but women of color with two or more conditions were two to three times more likely to have major birth problems than white women.

White women had higher rates of depression and substance use issues than any other group, but the risk for birth problems was lower than women of color with the same health issues.

While Medicaid pays for almost two-thirds of all births among women of color, access to care is another issue that affects births and post birth health. Medicaid pays for more than a third of births of white and Asian women.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Blacks and Latinos were more likely than whites to face barriers in access to health care.

Between 2013 and 2015, disparities with whites narrowed for Blacks and Latinos in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, including the percentage of uninsured working-age adults, the percentage who skipped care because of costs, and the percentage who lacked a regular care provider.

Medicaid pays for most procedures for women of color.

Serena Williams Tells Women to 'Be Seen, Be Heard'

The tennis pro talked to women about empowerment and equality.

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Wearing a T-shirt with the statement "Be Seen, Be Heard," Serena Williams spoke at a conference Friday afternoon in Philadelphia, offering a message consistent with the tennis pro's battles in her professional life.

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UPDATE: A Father Posts Photo of His Little Girl Dressed Up as Serena Williams for 'Superhero Day' and Gets a Message from the Tennis Superstar

Chris Wright told DiversityInc that Williams "shows young Black women it's okay to be strong and have voice."

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UPDATE: Sept. 30, 2018 at 8:40 a.m. ET

Chris Wright, who shared the photo on Twitter, told DiversityInc that the little girl is his 9-year-old daughter, Ameya.

Wright told DiversityInc on Sunday that Ameya dressed as Serena Williams during homecoming week at her elementary school in Cairo, Ga.

He said she is slowly starting to get into tennis.

"Her grandfather loves it," Wright said. "[They] made a deal a while back that she was going to try and make the varsity tennis team as a freshman. Right now, she is just having fun learning the game."

Wright, who coaches girls' basketball at Chattahoochee County Middle High School, said Williams "shows young Black women it's okay to be strong and have voice."

He added, "Our young Black girls need to see women in those positions. It lets them know they can do anything they put their minds to."

Wright said that when his mother picked up Ameya from school on Friday, she told her the news that Williams had sent her a message on Twitter.

"Ameya screamed multiple times," Wright said.

ORIGINAL STORY

Serena Williams, one of the world's greatest athletes, is not only a role model for her one-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia, but for other little girls who look up to her.

Twitter user Chris Wright shared a photo on Friday of an adorable Black girl dressed in a tutu, holding a tennis racket and striking a powerful pose.

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Venus and Serena Williams Mocked by Australian Athletes Wearing Blackface

Earlier this month, Serena Williams was also the subject of a racist cartoon in an Australian newspaper after the US Open women's final.

REUTERS

Once again, Serena Williams is insulted in Australia.

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Serena Williams Breaks Her Silence on US Open Controversy

Meanwhile, Williams' husband slams a New York Times study, which tries to discredit her claim about the treatment of women in professional tennis.

Serena Williams continues to dispute comments that she received coaching during her matchup with Naomi Osaka at the US Open final on Sept. 8.

In an interview with an Australian talk show, The Project, scheduled to air next Sunday, Williams refutes the remark her coach Patrick Mouratoglou made about gesturing to her from the stands. She denies cheating.

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Tennis Umpires Reportedly Discuss Boycotting Serena Williams' Matches

Williams standing up to sexism is creating a fear of culture change.

REUTERS

As a Black woman, and tennis superstar, Serena Williams has experienced racism and sexism in her profession, repeatedly. And now, umpires may collectively come against her for calling out sexism and boycott her matches.

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Jesse Jackson Calls Racist Serena Williams Cartoon 'Despicable'

The Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston stands by the cartoon, meanwhile the National Association of Black Journalists slams it.

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka / YOUTUBE

UPDATE: Sept. 11, 2018 at 6:12 a.m. ET

In response to massive criticism from across the globe regarding the cartoon, Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston is backing editorial cartoonist Mark Knight.

Johnston said in a statement on Tuesday: "A champion tennis player had a mega tantrum on the world stage, and Mark's cartoon depicted that. It had nothing to do with gender or race."

But the U.S.-based National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) disagrees with the Herald Sun, and calls the cartoon "Sambo-like."

"The Sept. 10 cartoon not only exudes racist, sexist caricatures of both women, but Williams' depiction is unnecessarily Sambo-like." NABJ said in a statement. "The art of editorial cartooning is a visual dialogue on the issues of the day, yet this cartoon grossly and inaccurately depicts two women of color at the US Open, one of the grandest stages of professional sports."

ORIGINAL STORY

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is firing back at a newspaper cartoonist for a racist depiction of Serena Williams, which perpetuates stereotypes about Black women.

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UPDATE: Serena Williams Fined $17,000 by US Open, Male Tennis Pros Have Said Worse to Umpires Without Penalty

Williams' "thief" comment to Carlos Ramos amounted to $10,000 of the imposed fines. James Blake and Andy Roddick comment on Twitter.

The US Open tournament referee's office fined Serena Williams a total of $17,000 for three code violations — $10,000 for "verbal abuse" of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for breaking her racket, according to The Associated Press. The funds will come out of her prize money of $1.85 million as the runner-up.

The $10,000 fine for "verbal abuse" is the largest fine of the U.S. Open so far.

Williams called Ramos a "thief" and demanded an apology for his accusation that she was cheating. However, James Blake tweeted that he's said worse to umpires:

Andy Roddick admits to saying worse as well.

Meanwhile, Williams continues to be subjected to both sexism and racism:

Meanwhile, Williams continues to be subjected to both sexism and racism:

UPDATE: Serena Williams to US Open Official: 'Because I'm a Woman, You're Gonna Take This Away From Me?'

Williams' "thief" comment to Carlos Ramos amounted to $10,000 of the imposed fines. James Blake and Andy Roddick comment on Twitter.

REUTERS

UPDATE: Sept. 10, 2018

The US Open tournament referee's office fined Serena Williams a total of $17,000 for three code violations — $10,000 for "verbal abuse" of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for breaking her racket, according to The Associated Press. The funds will come out of her prize money of $1.85 million as the runner-up.

The $10,000 fine for "verbal abuse" is the largest fine of the U.S. Open so far.

Williams called Ramos a "thief" and demanded an apology for his accusation that she was cheating. However, James Blake tweeted that he's said worse to umpires:

Andy Roddick admits to saying worse as well.

ORIGINAL STORY

Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams, 6-2, 6-4, on Saturday at the US Open women's final. But #Serena was trending on Twitter as fans reacted to a double standard in tennis.

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