It’s a collection of 12 stories written by 12 women of colour from across North America.
Titled We Rise in Power, the book includes personal stories of immigration, abuse, and overcoming hardships.
Christina Williams, a resident of Pitt Meadows since 2010, wrote her life story for the book.
As a young Black woman, she has been put through difficult times but for this book, her challenge was not only to share them with the world but to pick and choose which ones to write about.
“We shaped this project as a culmination of stories that lend light to the struggle in the hopes that it can help other women of colour, be they young or old, maybe facing similar junctures in their life, offer some light and just help them understand that perseverance counts and it works and we can get through all the tough stuff together,” Williams said.
Through her chapter, titled Dispelling Darkness, she wants other women of colour to know that they are not alone in their experiences of racism and abuse.
Stronger Voice and Representation
After the murder of George Floyd, Williams felt a shift in herself.
She wanted to have a stronger voice and share her thoughts but didn’t know how to articulate them.
Soon after, she was approached to write for the book. She said she believes it all came together at the right time.
Through writing this book, Williams had the opportunity to not only acknowledge the hurt caused by racist encounters but also to share how she found light at the end of every traumatic experience.
“One of many favourite quotes is: ‘Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes,’ encapsulating the importance of sharing to empower and support others to find safety in their experiences and do the same.”
Dealing with casual racism
Although she grew up in a predominantly white community in the Kootenays, she did not experience racism until she was in high school.
In an excerpt from the book, she writes about the moment she realized racism was not a one-off incident.
“I realize that I had been naive to assume that was an isolated incident when clearly racism is a position shared in predominantly disguised communality.”
While recalling her formative years of trauma, Williams wanted to make sure her story also gave hope to others through adversity and pain.
“I live my life that way. I feel like there’s always hope and there’s always light. Regardless of what we’re going through in our darkest times, there’s always hope and there’s always light in my experience,” she said.
The book is launching on International Women’s Day, March 8 across North America.
A correction has been made since the story was first published