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Soledad O’Brien Mourns Her Cuban Mom’s Death Just 40 Days After Her Father Passes Away

It’s been a difficult 2019 for Soledad O’Brien. On Monday, the former CNN anchor announced that her Cuban-born mother, Estela, had passed away, just 40 days after her father, Edward, died.

“She was a pretty remarkable lady,” the Afro-Latina journalist wrote on Twitter about her late mother along with a photo of her living in Cuba in the 1930s.

In the tweet, O’Brien, who is of Cuban and Irish descent, notes that her mother was an immigrant from the Caribbean country and that she once lived with the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore while she was in college.

“She always was sad about leaving Cuba — but hated how Castro had destroyed her country. She went back once to visit — and said — I’ll never go back again,” she said of Estela alongside a photo of her taken in the 1940s.

In the thread announcing both her parents’ passing, she stated that her mother grew up poor, but was able to move to the United States to receive an education. While in Maryland, she met Edward. At the time they fell in love, mixed-race marriages were outlawed.

“The year their sixth child (my little brother) was born, the US Supreme Court would overturn the ban on interracial marriage,” she said, sharing a photo of her parents together.

O’Brien, who currently anchors a weekly public-affairs talk show called Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien and is the founder and chairwoman of Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production, referred to her mother as “a pretty remarkable lady,” noting her accomplishments, like being fluent in three languages — Spanish, English and French — becoming an educator and sending all six of her children to college, with some also attending grad school.

While honoring her mother, O’Brien said she hoped all working women had “access to her wisdom.” The journalist then shared some of the best advice her late mother had once given her: “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 s—, stop taking their stupidity to heart;” and lastly, “You never stop fighting for the important stuff.”

Estela’s insightful guidance has undoubtedly served in shaping her own brilliant and sensational daughter.

Read: Read Latina: 7 Cubana Writers Conveniently Left Off Your High School Required Reading Lists

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7-Year-Old Guatemalan Migrant Jackeline Caal Dies In Border Patrol Custody

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7-Year-Old Guatemalan Migrant Jackeline Caal Dies In Border Patrol Custody

A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who crossed the southern border into New Mexico with her father on December 6 died in Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) custody last week, the Washington Post reported.

Jackeline Caal, who was part of a group of 163 people who surrendered to Border Patrol officers, experienced seizures eight hours after she and her dad were taken into custody. During a bus ride to a CBP facility in Lordsburg, the girl, who “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days,” started vomiting before the convulsions and losing consciousness. When emergency responders arrived, she had a recorded fever of 105.7 degrees.

The child was then transported to a children’s hospital in El Paso, Texas, where she was revived after going into cardiac arrest, but then died 24 hours later at the facility. Her causes of death were listed as Septic shock, fever and dehydration.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley called the death “a horrific, tragic situation,” but he also indicated that the child’s father, who has not yet been identified, rather than the Trump administration, was responsible for the loss. “Does the administration take responsibility for a parent taking a child on a trek through Mexico to get to this country? No.”

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas disagrees, telling NPR on Thursday that the president’s immigration policies are putting people, including children like Caal, at grave risk.

“By limiting the ability of folks to present themselves at the port of entry, the Trump administration is making it more dangerous for these folks,” he said.

The CBP and the Inspector General of DHS have said they would each conduct investigations to determine whether the agency followed all correct procedures and policies.

“This tragedy represents the worst possible outcome when people, including children, are held in inhumane conditions. Lack of accountability, and a culture of cruelty within CBP have exacerbated policies that lead to migrant deaths,” Cynthia Pompa, an ACLU Border Rights Center advocacy manager, told the Associated Press.

In a statement, she added: “The fact that it took a week for this to come to light shows the need for transparency for CBP.”

The death follows a year of hardline immigration policy. Officials are holding nearly 15,000 immigrant children in detention facilities, while agents are increasingly apprehending families with children at the border.

Read: An Undocumented Housekeeper At Trump’s New Jersey Golf Club Is Speaking Out Against Mistreatment

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Hours After News Of Aretha Franklin’s Death Breaks, Latinas Honor Her With Tributes And Lyric Quotes

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Hours After News Of Aretha Franklin’s Death Breaks, Latinas Honor Her With Tributes And Lyric Quotes

In the hours after her death on Thursday, American R&B and Soul icon Aretha Franklin received an outpour of praise and love from fans across the globe. The tributes and homages that have been dedicated in her honor leave no doubt in our understanding of the ways in which the Queen of Soul’s legacy and her effect on the lives of her fans, musicians of today and popular music.

Born to two African-American parents in Memphis, Tennessee, Franklin wasn’t a Latina, but there’s no doubting the impact her voice and message had on Latinas of her time and of today’s current era.

 Franklin’s greatest hits inspired female and Black empowerment as well as Latina Power.

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In 1967, Franklin rearranged the lyrics and music to the song “Respect” which had originally been performed by Otis Redding. Her version, which stood as a declaration by a strong woman who knew what she had to offer became an anthem for both the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements. In this way, her version of the song quickly became associated with black freedom and women’s liberation, both movements that Afro-Latinas and other women of color were easily and closely affected by. In her time, Franklin’s influence and voice were so impactful to women in these communities that even artists like Celia Cruz, and La Lupe collaborated with her on music and covered version of her song. In 1969, La Lupe recreated her won a version of  Franklin’s “Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream.”

A simple search of Franklin’s name on the artist’s trending hashtag on social media highlights her influence on today’s Latinas well.

On Thursday, Latinas on social media created tributes honoring the artist and her works after news of her death broke.

Various celebrities, including Dominican and Puerto Rican Marvel’s star Zoe Saldana, wrote well wishes to Franklin’s family and honored her with accounts of how she affected their lives.

While many are openly using platforms to mourn her death…

“What a sad day, died Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, rest in peace, Queen.”

And express the great sense of loss her absence has left behind…

Franklin, who was reported to have been gravely ill earlier this week on August 13 had been experiencing a decline in her health for years. Reports suggest that her death was caused by advanced pancreatic cancer.

So many are sharing their love for the artist by quoting her famous lyrics.

So many women have shared stories of how Franklin’s music and lyrics helped them get through heartbreaks and struggles.

And using some of her most powerful lines to say their goodbyes.

Literally, there’s been so much love for her.

“Wow that delight in the ear! ????????: I’m listening to Aretha Franklin sings the Great Diva Classics”

And so many are sharing images from their favorite performances by the songstress.

The lyrics from this particular song has been beloved for so long.

Here’s to La Reina de Soul

Adios reina!

Read: The Seventeen-Year-Old Actress Set To Play ‘Dora The Explorer’ Is Being Objectified Online By Sexist Trolls

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