I loved watching Soledad O'Brien on Weekend Today several years ago. When she left for CNN, I knew I would miss her, and since I probably wouldn't change over to watching CNN, I wouldn't be seeing her anymore on television.
The Next Big Story: My Journey Through the Land of Possibilites is newly published, written by Soledad O'Brien. Finally, I have been able to catch up on this personality that I let into my home each weekend via the TV screen. And what I have learned of her through her book impresses me even more than I was previously. Partially a biography, O'Brien recalls her childhood in Smithtown, New York, where she and her siblings were part of just a handful of black children in their town. Today Smithtown continues to struggle with racism, often trying to keep their town predominantly white. O'Brien explores the issue of racism at many different points in this book. She incorporates personal stories from various people she has met while doing her job and shows through these examples how different the American experience is. O'Brien has rushed to the scene of many big stories- from Katrina's devastation to the earthquake in Haiti, she has tried to put some meaning into her work. While she enjoyed her time as Weekend Today's co-anchor, after the death of David Bloom found it difficult to report on the sillier stories they covered, wanting to be remembered for something more.
I loved this book. While not really about O' Brien's personal life, bits and pieces of her childhood, marriage and motherhood leak through. So do pieces of the stories she covered and how she has been impacted by them. All of her experiences have helped create the person she is now. I can only hope to hear more of her thoughts again.