First and foremost the unseeded Naomi Osaka won the Indian Wells Open this past weekend (March 18). The same tournament who’s past leadership guided a policy of exclusion directed at the Williams Tennis Dynasty. Just a few years ago those now in control of the tournament opened their arms wide to both Venus and Serena. These two legends came with trepidation’s given past history. Now that has all changed and Venus the taller one and also the most active one returned with impressive results over the last several years, despite Indian Wells missing her youthful prime performances. Now they are experiencing another resurgence by Venus this year at 37 years of age only to perhaps to see her lose staying power in a defeat to a 20 year old in the semi-finals. If this had gone the way I dreamed, It would have been the opportunity to appreciate the other 20 year old finalist Naomi Osaka play her tennis idol Venus Williams (8). Just a note that Venus knocked out her sister, Serena, a new mom, upon her return to serious competition. Serena will return!
I have been watching the rise of Naomi Osaka for several years. She has the tennis star physique, tall, strong, fast, serves at 125 mph with varying spin and paces and apparently got her mental act together. That demonstration was apparent in her defeat of the world’s number one, Simone Halep in the semi-final run at Indian Wells. The championship was unambiguous as was the final score (63 62) against her also 20 year old opponent Daria Kasatkina ranked (20). This win places Osaka at number 22, her highest so far. Statistics shows she wins at 59.29% and this is also her first WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) title a major accomplishment for an upcoming tennis player. Her grand slam results have been consistent at 3rd or 4th rounds.
Naomi, born in Japan has a Haitian Father and a Japanese Mother and moved to the United States of America at three years old. She has a sister Mari, also a professional tennis player. She is coached by David Taylor, a veteran Australian coach. Her new sparring partner, Sascha Bajin, formerly worked with Serena during her Grand Slam runs and most recently Wozniacki, who just recently won the Australian Open 2018. The future of professional tennis will have major nation representation. Naomi represents Japan yet she remains a Global Afro Woman in my book and that is part of my recognition. How many will the young Osaka influence from all the nations she represents? As many as possible, I hope! Her website is naomgosaka.com. Visit us at artbylillianlthompson.com.
PS: Since the initial writing of this article, Naomi Osaka played and defeated Serena Williams at the Miami Open only to fall the next round. I hope she remembers that it is difficult to beat Serena twice and savored her victory. Given her size and talent she and Serena will most surely meet again and that will be another story.
I normally do not select high profile Global Afro Women who are doing very well in the media, besides my community has a pretty good Idea of who they are. In this instance, it is important. My respect continues to grow for Rihanna. Do not ask me about her latest this or that which is for her generation to address. I’ve seen her in fashion, and a Central Park performance. I have seen snippets of her in photos receiving awards and of course her past public love affair with Chris Brown. Both young, wealthy rising stars. She is a success story. That’s it!
The latest Snapchat app designed to enlist users to decide whether to ‘slap’ Rihanna or ‘punch’ Chris Brown drew a comment from Rihanna putting them on notice. Many people want fame yet this display of what I would call ‘a predatory hustle’ from Snapchat reflected the problem of a public life in pursuit of your craft and love relationships. It also shows how these billion dollar companies draw attention to their platforms. Apparently this was unneeded as on 60 Minutes last evening (March 18, 2018) reported on the upcoming generation of Saudi youths favorite past-time is Snapchat. Going after ‘Domestic Violence’ is the low blow of this new app ad, which the company pulled from the web, though it continues to circulate through other sources. Rihanna’s reaction with her 60 million followers caused the stock to tank 4% or 800 million dollars after saying the ‘app-oligy’ ought to be thrown away. Making it clear to the observer, she did not have many feelings about it, pointing out the many people going through or into domestic violence relationships now. (NPR article)
While some states are grappling with domestic violence as it relates to gun control, this being ‘Women History Month’ and high schoolers walkout due to gun violence, our cute technology companies are sitting in the back rooms apparently OUT OF TOUCH with reality. They had to be and their whole corporate system had to be to fund this kind of gaming for public consumption. This, what I consider a black or white issue, begs the question, are they part of the problem or part of solution. Which is Snapchat?
Article and art by Lillian L. Thompson of Lillianonline.us
Why re-emerge as a visual artist after so many years of being a designer, project manager or coordinator of the built environment? As it goes, my youth was involved with drawing among other things (like dancing), exposing more talent after entering Howard University. Fortunate to work under some impressive professors and national acclaimed artists. Regardless that I had my sites set on Interior Design and later studied Architecture also with impressive teachers. While art is part of architecture and interior design, actual drawing has suffered because of technology requirements. Perhaps the very best Architects, which I respect, especially those with great talent and foresight to envision a building, still form sketchy drawings and move through a process to technical and artistic buildings i.e Michael Graves and Phil Freelon.
In the beginning of 2017 I picked up my favorite pens and started sketching again. What poured out of me were not masterpieces but unique expressions of a quiet spirit. I remain an artist. I am still excited about the idea that art can tell stories and empower souls. I have moved in four steps with my drawings which I will show at the Exhibit on April 6, 2018, a First Friday in Downtown Raleigh at the Revive Raleigh Massage Therapy space at 1151/2 second level. I will bring my recent discoveries, as I return to the endless possibilities of artistic expression. My reveal at this age is as exciting as my triumphs in the design field against many tribulations.
This work is causing reflection and introspection for me as a human being, an African-American, all the many titles I’ve had and more importantly, citizen of the Globe and member of the Global Afro Woman family, of which I intend to investigate and flourish within. This first public exhibit, an adventure which I hope many who come to see can look for my evolution over this year as a new beginning. This link will reveal a flyer for the exhibit. Art by LT Exhibit Mailer pdf