Books Matter: Esmeralda Hudson

March is National Reading Month, a whole month designated to encouraging Americans – and by extension Wacoans – to read! The Act Locally Waco blog is beating the drum for National Reading Month by hosting a blog series throughout the month of March, called “Books Matter.” Every day throughout March we will be sharing a post about a Waco resident and a book that matters to him/her.  Thank you to students from the Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media and professor Amber Adamson for help with this fun project.  To read all the blog posts so far, click here

By Ashlyn Cox

“You can change the trajectory of a person’s life if you can help them read,” Esmeralda Hudson, City Secretary for the City of Waco, said.

In Hudson’s favorite book, Quiet Strength, author Tony Dungy shows how literacy leads to leadership and success, despite the challenges some may face. 

“Dungy was a famous coach who dealt with a lot of trials in his life, and a lot of them resonated with me about how to be a leader despite being discriminated against,” Hudson said. “It’s something I’ve walked with forever.”

Being the first Hispanic City Secretary for the City of Waco, Hudson has faced race-related issues that are similar to Dungy’s challenges within his book. 

“The most important lesson I got from this novel was being a person of color and the trials that are unique to a person of color,” Hudson said. “It kind of just resonated with me, and it taught me that eventually everything will be OK and to be myself in order for everything to work out.”

Without literacy, it would be impossible for everyone to achieve total equality, Hudson said.

“In previous generations, one way people of color were kept from advancing was lack of education. They weren’t allowed to attend certain schools and be in certain groups. This was the lack of education that people needed in order to advance to the next level,” Hudson said. “Now if you can read, you can find out what you need to know. You can live your life to the fullest.”

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