Working as both a television host and a correspondent, Sunny Hostin has been an advocate for social justice issues throughout her entire life. But when it came to systemic racism, it didn’t occur to her until recently that her testimony could expose and--hopefully--help correct it. That very realization is why she decided to write her new book, I Am These Truths, a detailed account of her journey from the housing projects of the South Bronx to her seat on The View.
The memoir was released back in September and published in both English and Spanish, at the suggestion of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It was originally slated to be one of two books released by Hostin this year, but the other, Summer on the Bluffs--her debut novel about the Black beach community of Martha’s Vineyard--ended up being postponed until 2021. Because of the heightened police brutality and racial injustice going on in our country right now, Hostin believed releasing her memoir was more important.
Hostin is a proud Afro-Latina woman, but she hasn’t always embraced her multicultural roots. Born in 1968 to a Puerto Rican mother and a Black father, she spent a lot of her life feeling ostracized for checking more than one box.
“I grew up living in the grey,” she says. “I was otherized.”
These feelings of inferiority are some of what made Hostin want to write her book, so she could live in her truth and encourage other Black and Latina women to feel comfortable doing the same.
“When you‘re telling a story, you have to humanize it; people need testimony,” the host said. “I thought, ‘I’ll be the face of this story.’”
Of course, writing to book and being open about her story wasn’t an easy feat for a journalist, as she’s so used to telling others’ stories. Still, the book is filled with honest, unfiltered stories, which includes harrowing accounts, like her parents’ experience with housing discrimination.
If there’s one thing Sunny has learned from releasing her memoir, it’s that she should advocate for herself in the same way she has for others since she made the decision to become a lawyer almost 30 years ago. It’s that very same lesson she wants Black and Latina women to keep in mind as they navigate the professional world, which is still full of discrimination.
“When you think it‘s happening to you, it probably is,” she says.