Sunny Hostin is getting real about race and identity.
Born Asunción Cummings, Hostin was raised in New York City by her Black father, William, and her Puerto Rican mother, Rosa. Because she was biracial, Hostin felt from a young age that she didn’t completely fit in.
“I have lived in the gray for so long, and it really is an uncomfortable place to be. My Black family considered me an other … my Puerto Rican and Jewish family treated me as other because I didn’t look like any of them either,” Hostin, 51, says in the new issue of PEOPLE.
After graduating at 16 years old from her private N.Y.C. high school, Hostin went on to study journalism and law, then worked as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., before beginning her career in journalism. Early on, she appeared on Court TV with Nancy Grace, who gave Hostin her nickname “Sunny” because she could not pronounce her given name, Asunción. “She struggled with it so much. ‘Asunción, it’s not going to work, and you’re really good and you’re really talented. You should use a nickname,'” Hostin recalls Grace telling her. “I just became Sunny Hostin, and I just went with it, honestly.”
All these years later, Hostin wishes she had kept her given name because she feels she lost a piece of her Latina identity. “I still regret it,” Hostin says. “I think I allowed my identity to be stripped from me, for my job. I don’t think Nancy was trying to strip me of my identity, or you know, Americanize me, or colonialize me, or anything like that. Nancy’s my friend, and it wasn’t ill-intentioned. I don’t think people would question my identity as much if I stuck with my given name.” [. . .]
For full article, see https://people.com/tv/sunny-hostin-struggled-to-be-accepted-as-black-latina
‘The View’ co-host Sunny Hostin hired a lawyer after ABC wanted her to change facts in ‘I Am These Truths’ memoir
Karu F. Daniels, New York Daily News, September 21, 2020