Sunny Hostin published her first memoir in Sept. 2020. Although I did not get a chance to read it until this fall, I am so happy I eventually did. There is a lack of representation in the book industry, especially in novels and memoirs. 

  Hostin’s memoir “I Am These Truths: A Memoir of Justice, Identity and Living Between Worlds” reveals her experience growing up in the South Bronx projects and finding her voice. It is a 270-page piece exploring her time in school, her legal career,  her motherhood and infertility, and her identity of being a biracial woman in America.

  Sunny Hostin, born Asunción Cummings in 1968, grew up in the Bronx. In her memoir, she talks about being born to teenage parents, Rosa Beza and William Cummings, who both had lofty goals, despite having a child young. Beza was an intellectual and activist who dreamed of starting her own social justice organization. William was introspective and studious. He wanted to be a track star in college, but he fell in love with Beza before he graduated high school. They married only 15 days before Beza gave birth. Once they officially became parents, they were determined to be mature and loving. Despite Hostin living in poverty during her childhood, she had a loving family where education came first. After attending public schools, her family converted to Catholicism in order to give her a better education at Catholic schools. This shifted her perspective on not only herself, but the world around her. 

  Hostin attended State University of New York and eventually received her law degree from Notre Dame Law. She went on to become a federal prosecutor for the state of New York. She admits in her memoir that practicing law was not her true passion, but she went into the field to meet her parents’ expectations and was quite good at it. Her true passion, though initially deferred, lay within journalism. Nonetheless she felt that it might be too late.

  One of my favorite things about Hostin’s memoir is that she recounts how many failures she had in contrast to all the success people often see on television or her social media accounts. She talks about how difficult it was to break into the journalism industry. She faced difficulties being hired because she was overqualified or faced discrimination with being too light to be considered Black or too dark to be considered Latina.

  However, through her book, Hostin is able to make her voice heard, and she brilliantly balances her negative experiences with positive ones about allies and other journalists of color. Luckily Hostin was soon able to put her legal work to use at Court TV and Fox until transferring to CNN as a legal correspondent and analyst. During her time there, she worked with Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, and several other acclaimed journalists.

  Hostin expressed her views on being one of the few Afro-Latina journalists. In an interview with Essence, she admits, “I encountered similar obstruction when people found out that I was a kid of teenage parents from the South Bronx projects, so my journey has been a difficult one, and finding my voice has been a difficult one. But I found my voice Feb. 26, 2012, when Trayvon Martin was murdered.” The news and social media immediately lit up with images that claimed that Martin was a thug. One showed a shirtless young black boy “giving the finger” to the camera, yet to be verified as Martin, while the other is another demeaning photo used to justify Martin’s murder. 

  Hostin wanted to tell the side of Martin that wasn’t seen in the media. She reached out to Martin’s parents and the community,  on behalf of CNN, curating photographs of Martin to show him as the child he was without the metal grill that the media used to make him into a criminal. The latter half of her memoir dives deeper into her process being a journalist of color along with her conversations with Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, to tell Martin’s side of the story. Rather than painting Trayvon as a monster or a threatening Black man, Martin is presented in the interview on CNN as the young, talented boy he was.

  While Hostin was writing her memoir, one of her editors who also worked for the ABC News network “was [actively] attempting to edit out passages from her book that it deemed could put the company in an unfavorable light,” per an interview Hostin did with the Hollywood Reporter. Hostin was disappointed, confused, and angry, but that did not stop her. She did not make any changes to her memoir. She addresses ABC News’s attempt to silence her in the foreword. Her strong condemnation unfortunately proves just how much further we still have to go regarding race and representation in the field of journalism. Hostin simply tells the truth and related her personal experiences, as her memoir title suggests, but ABC only wanted to protect their company’s reputation rather than owning and apologizing for their behavior. 

  Hostin is unapologetically herself now. She exudes confidence, consistency, and truth-telling with authenticity. Though both Latinx and Black Americans have questioned Hostin on her authenticity on claiming both communities, she shines bright as a cultured, multilingual, and mixed race woman. 

  Her work has spanned various media outlets, including a large media presence on television through The View and several news outlets, such as CNN, Fox, and ABC. Hostin is also a freelance author, having published her first novel “Summer on the Bluffs” in 2020. She is often seen in news headlines online or on her own social media sharing her personal and political perspectives. Hostin is an invaluable member of the journalism world, as seen through her time at The View and especially now as a current correspondent at ABC News. Although her brutal honesty was something ABC wanted to censor, Walt Disney, ABC’s parent organization, investigated and apologized on behalf of the reporters who asked Hostin to remove potentially damaging passages. Her work is unmatched as she has pushed boundaries as a biracial woman in the journalism world and proved her worth. She is an inspiration to many, including me, just for being herself.