My Time To Speak: Reclaiming Ancestry and Confronting Race

Atria. Aug. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781982103859. $27. BIOG
Calderon’s memoir is bursting with history and urgency. She is one of the first women of Afro-Colombian descent to rise to national esteem in her native Colombia, and also in the United States. In 2018, she famously interviewed Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan Chris Barker in rural North Carolina for Univision, the behind-the-scenes story of which opens her book. She traces back to her childhood in the rural state of El Choco, Colombia, a jungle region that was settled by freed slaves in the century following emancipation. From a happy house without electricity, to high school and college in Medellín, to securing her first handful of jobs on the air, Calderón invites readers to retread her path to success and illuminates issues of race, gender, and poverty along the way. Woven within her personal story are the author’s insights into news and politics. She is now a power player who rose through the media ranks against most odds, and as a Black Latina and an immigrant, she is able to look upon both the United States and Latin America with a most-needed critical eye.
VERDICT This memoir is a delicious media investigation in itself, but will be valued by all who love a good success story.
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