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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Soledad O'Brien's "Latino in America" Excerpt

CNN recently posted an excerpt from Soledad O'Brien's book, Latino in America:

When you have a name like María de la Soledad Teresa O'Brien, you have a lot of explaining to do. My mother is black and also Latina, more specifically Cuban. She is a devout Catholic who credits the Virgin Mary with any success she's had in this country. But it was my father, a man who spoke no Spanish, who chose the name María de la Soledad to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary of Solitude ("solitude" in Spanish is soledad).

My name is altogether too long for Americans, who've always struggled with it. It's even too long for a driver's license. African-Americans assume I'm named after the notorious Soledad prison or Mount Soledad in California. Latinos want to know if I'm lonely. That doesn't fit because I grew up with five siblings and I have four kids of my own, so I'm not lonely at all, though I do often seek solitude, the actual meaning of my name.

...

... to read the full excerpt: Soledad O'Brien explores mixed-race heritage




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