Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. I think no matter where I reside in the world, this month will always hold special significance to me. As a child, it was the month when I knew for sure that I would see some of the contributions of Black Canadians and African Americans highlighted at school, in community events and even on television.
As I have gotten older, and moved from being a student, to teacher and to parent, I have gained a great appreciation for the power of representation. I have also gained great admiration for those who have been amongst 'the firsts,' and everything that comes with being in this 'club.' It is not lost on me the challenges they have had to face and overcome in making a way for others...no matter how easy they make it look.
For this month's Book of the Month, I am recommending Marci Ien's 'Off Script : Living Out Loud.' Marci Ien, who is Member of Parliament for the riding of Toronto Centre, is known as one of Canada's first Black female news anchors and the first black woman in Canada to co-host a morning show.
In her book Marci Ien shares her journey and particularly what the pressure was like to stay 'on script.' As 'a first' she knew she had to be exceptional . She felt as though she had to show up every day and show that she deserved to be there. We also get to join her as she shares what it was like as she moved away from news and was able to embrace her new role 'off script,” as a host on the day-time talk show, “The Social”.
"In Off Script, Marci shares personal milestones, tales of resilience and kindness, dramatic moments from her career as a journalist and insights from the many unforgettable people that she’s met and interviewed. Living off script means having the courage to speak up, trust your voice and follow your own formula for what matters most."