The theme of this Black History Month is ‘Saluting our Sisters’ and writer Hope Bonarcher explains why she’s inspired by presenter and author Cynthia Garrett.


Source: Youtube

I read Cynthia Garrett’s 2016 memoir: Prodigal Daughter: A Journey Home to Identity back in 2019 and was riveted! It was like reading the crazy backstory of your slightly older celebrity best friend who became a Christian, over mocktails and sushi. I wanted to call her Mrs. Garrett, but not only does this bring to mind an inaccurate image of the endearing housekeeper from some of my favorite 80s sitcoms, but I also feel like I know her so well that we’re now on first name terms.

I’m convinced upon meeting, her husky, gregarious voice would quickly ingratiate me onto a first name basis. Fun fact: in elementary school I made up a weird lie that my middle name was Cynthia, but I think the only actual Cynthia I’ve ever known (though removedly) is this one!

Cynthia was a welcome breadcrumb on the path to becoming acclimated to my new world.

I was first introduced to Cynthia’s ministry when I moved to Scotland six years ago. I was a new, predominantly black girl in a foreign, predominantly white country. I found her friendly, familiar American accent on her TBN show, The Sessions, while channel surfing. She was a welcome breadcrumb on the path to becoming acclimated to my new world.

There was a reason she felt so familiar to me. Cynthia was a VH1 host (an early competitor to MTV on American television) back when I was a teenager. She also hosted a late night talk show called Later with Cynthia Garrett, I remembered! In fact, a quick search will show when it comes to pop culture, she’s more than a little accomplished. She has a sibling-like best friendship with Lenny Kravitz, her father was the first black man to own banks in America, she cohosted talk shows with Kimora Lee-Simmons and is the mum of a successful college basketball player. It’s fair to say Cynthia has lived the dream many ambitious, young girls only imagine. She’s gorgeous, poised, bubbly, relatable; all balanced by the fact that she has law degrees from University of Southern California and Oxford.

If there’s one word describing Cynthia Garrett, it’s candor. Whether reading her memoir, listening to a recent podcast or an old interview, she’s consistently and admirably open about some of the most heartbreaking parts of her story. She’s experienced childhood sexual abuse by a family member, rape, drug abuse, divorce and even prison. Cynthia Garrett’s superpower lies in her overcoming nature and biblically grounded certainty that as a believer you are an overcomer too.

The proverbial poster child for hills and valleys, she’s an important example of not only embracing life’s glimmer and shine, but capitalizing on the meat and marrow of realities we all face as women, understanding that it’s the victories in life that make it beautiful, but victories don’t come without entering into battles! It’s no mistake her second book is called I Choose Victory- Moving from Victim to Victor.

Cynthia Garrett’s superpower lies in her certainty that as a believer you are an overcomer too.

Looking at the present state of the world and Church, it’s important to honour this faith-filled sister. She chooses to pay forward the wisdom and blessing she has received from God to equip and encourage young women to know their identity in Christ and walk victoriously in it. Cynthia is a mixed race woman who has represented tens of millions of black women throughout households internationally with the spirit of humility and unity. She is a witness that we are all sisters, part of the family of God, with so much to offer each other over and above the divide of color lines. I encourage you to check out her faith filled, encouraging YouTube programming, Girl Club, to keep up with Cynthia in the present day.