Award-winning journalist, Soledad O’Brien's groundbreaking career over the last two decades is full of work that has challenged, enlightened and educated audiences of diverse backgrounds. From her disruptive series on race in America to her support of young women and their collegiate pursuits through her PowHerful Foundation, O’Brien has consistently pushed sometimes hard, but necessary, conversations forward. And she has managed it all, while also successfully navigating as a wife and mother of three.
Today, in a touching Twitter tribute, we learned how -- she got it from her mother.
O'Brien shared how her mother, who passed today, just 40 days after the death of her father, immigrated to the United States from Cuba and carved out a lane of her own.
She went to college, married her father when interracial marriages were illegal, learned English and French and became a teacher, challenged racial inequities and managed to send all six of her kids to college with the help of her husband.
One of the things O’Brien said she wish young women had, was access to her mother’s wisdom. Here are some of Mrs. Estela Marquetti O’Brien’s words that we can still embrace and learn from:
- Everyone gets the same 24 hours.
- Decide how you’ll spend yours.
- Take 24 hours to sit in bed and cry… then stop complaining and make a list and plan your comeback.
- Keep ten dollars in your bra so you can leave when you want.
- People are basically full of sh*t, stop taking their stupidity to heart.
- You never stop fighting for the important stuff.
My mom died today. Joining my dad who passed away 40 days ago. She was a pretty remarkable lady. An immigrant from Cuba, she lived with the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore during college. Here (on the left) she is in Cuba in the 1930s. pic.twitter.com/oZNzEqa7ig— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) March 18, 2019
She’d go on to marry my dad (mixed race marriages were illegal in Maryland in 1959). The year their sixth child (my little brother) was born the US Supreme Court would overturn the ban on interracial marriage. Here she is with me and dad. pic.twitter.com/2sDaLc0LlQ— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) March 18, 2019
She and my dad sent all six of us to college and many of us to grad school. Here we are touring Harvard. I’m scowling in the front row, age 12. pic.twitter.com/wKKIqDgRAp— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) March 18, 2019
She put this ad in our local paper when I was a kid—to protest discriminatory housing in our town. We were the only black family in our neighborhood, so it didn’t win her a lot of friends: pic.twitter.com/RPGnAx7659— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) March 18, 2019
You're right Soledad, she was a remarkable woman. Thank you for sharing her with us, and our condolences to you and your family!