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Serena Williams in Conversation With Naomi Wadler on Power, Activism, and Black Girl Magic

Black Women in Sports

Serena Williams in Conversation With Naomi Wadler on Power, Activism, and Black Girl Magic


“The success of one woman should be the inspiration for the next.”

It’s the last month of 2018, but it’s my first cover as the Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue. As a former Teen Vogue intern, I couldn’t be more excited to be helming this great brand and taking it into the future.

When I interviewed for this role with Anna Wintour, Condé Nast’s artistic director, she asked me several questions, including what makes me angry — which is a question I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about. My answer was simple: everything. My career as a fashion editor has been filled with questions about why I can’t just stick to pretty things and why I have to make so much noise.

As I wrap my head around what it means to be the youngest black Editor-in-Chief at a major publication, at 28 years old, I can’t help but think how fitting it is that my first cover is a conversation I had with Serena Williams and Naomi Wadler at our recent Teen Vogue Summit. As I stood on that stage with the inimitable, 23-time Grand Slam champion and mother, and with a passionate and relentless 12-year-old-activist, I realized that though we are worlds apart, all three of us as black women have had to …

Read More: Serena Williams in Conversation With Naomi Wadler on Power, Activism, and Black Girl Magic


I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

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