The Book Nook
Le Coin Lecture
Curl up and grab one of these books to help you navigate the work that's ahead.
This list is meant to help, challenge, and encourage discussions around DEI, Anti-Racism and Emerging Leadership practices.
July 1, 2022
Can You Hear Me Now? by Celina Caesar-Chavannes
What's this about?
Formerly a Member of the Canadian Parliament and Liberal Caucus, Celina Caesar-Chavannes transports us back to her origin story and leaves everything on the table when walking us through her childhood, teenage-hood, adulthood with raw, sometimes graphic, vulnerability. This book shows us the real Celina, how her life experiences and choices have led her to become the member of parliament for Whitby, Ontario in 2015 and discover that ultimately, Ottawa and politics were not made for her.
Generational Trauma, Immigration, Coming-Of-Age, Racism, Personal Growth, Passion and Purpose, Leadership
What We Liked
This book did not hold back. The rich descriptions of C3's home and loved ones in Grenada and the candid recounting of her life experiences will move you, sometimes shock you, but will serve so much relatability if you're a first generation immigrant in Canada with strict parents. In so many instances in the book we could see ourselves being stressed, feeling overwhelmed, fabricating stories, lying to our parents, sneaking out at night, trying to over-perform at school, trying to fit in at work. In so many ways, through so many pages, we were the girl and the woman C3 was describing. What we truly respected and loved is how this book broke the image of the perfect and model politician with a blank sheet that immigrants are expected to be and uphold. There was so much honesty in this book.
What this book is : Memoire, road maps, it offers a lot of leadership lessons to take away from just story-telling.
What this book isn't : A how-to.
"Sometimes the most powerful action you can take is to refuse to remain a part of the machine that is keeping you down. For a bold Black woman to keep hammering away on the political machine from the inside only enabled the people running it to say, “Yes, we can hear you hammering! Don’t worry, we’ll take all your concerns into account in the fullness of time. That did not sit well with me. After all, we were supposed to be doing government differently. That is what I signed up for—to be bold, transformative and deliberate. We are running out of time to make important and necessary changes, not only in politics, but in every aspect of ourselves as human beings. I didn’t know that before I got to Ottawa. But I know it now." - p.7, INTRODUCTION
Get the Gist
Listen and watch her talk about the book and its significance on this Interview.
How does it fare?
"I can hear you Celina, and you’ve encouraged me to speak up and speak out and make sure that my voice is also heard."
- Raven Reads
"Accessible, thoughtful, hopeful, courageous—I could list a bunch of generic adjectives that apply. What Can You Hear Me Now? comes down to though is honesty. This is not a book that panders to our white supremacist society’s idea of what a Black woman who is a business owner and was a politician should say about her experiences. She isn’t moderating her tone, isn’t going to follow the narrative."
- Kara Reviews