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Help Send a Harlem Girl to Vona

$1,131 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 28 people in 6 months
After being waitlisted I just got word that I got into Vona for Memior with Beth Nguyen, author of Stealing Buddha’s Dinner. Words can’t describe what that means for me, mom of two kids, born
and raised in Spanish Harlem. But as a writer I am going to try. :-) I am a child of Jefferson Projects, striving to tell the stories of all the girls that bloomed, blossomed and were sometimes broken there.  Single mom, survivor of 9/11, warrior of the MTA, fallen soldier of domestic abuse who got back up, I got a vault of stories. I know times are hard and we are all struggling so if you can donate to my cause please do. Even if it’s small change that’s everything. Even if it’s just good thoughts and good vibes that’s priceless. I am going to make all my Harlem Boricuas proud. My two little ones will see they can go for their dreams. Thank you everyone. 
Peace and love
the brujafauna of el barrio aka lamujerdecente 
Leslie
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I am incredibly humbled by the support I have received. People believing in you. It’s life changing.

My child and I wandered the streets of the Bronx yesterday and Washington heights. My child wanted some cheap shorts so we headed to Fordham road a quick detour from the book fair. It was a time travel. So much was the same as my childhood, my college years of Bronx Community and Lehman times.

I reminded the child of Zara and Hollister, consumer of Trader Joe how blessed she is. I reminded myself how blessed I am.

I am a Harlem girl born and bred, but the Bronx will always be Harlem’s cousin sometimes half sister. I have lived, loved and slept in the Bronx. My family has seeds and roots there.

I see the Bronx is becoming lost to the very people who made the best of not the fairest of circumstances. And now the colonizers are at the steps demanding the land because rent keeps climbing for the hipsters and yuppies of New York.
I learned in the college class rooms of the Bronx, what the Haitian revolution meant to the colonized Caribbean. I also learned what the urban development of the Bronx was used as a tool for punishment and marginalization of the Puerto Rican people.

Who do we want telling these stories? Lers support our homegrown storytellers. We lived this. We can change it but first we have to tell the truth. Let the truth be told by those who lived it.
#sendaharlemgirltovona #hoodgirlsgetrainbowstoo #thrivenotjustsurvive
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I am a summer baby. I was born in the very middle of a hot ass summer in Spanish Harlem, in the 70’s, back when New York City summers were, a thing. A thing I looked forward to because New York City winters use to be a, thing too. ( the word Brick as cold AF is ours).

But a thing it is and I by the end of it, was a wasted pool of sweat, plastic covers and apartments in Harlem so no central air to blame.


Old ass tenant building wiring so even if anyone was rich enough to afford air conditioning, it would blow fuses. Back then it was a luxury to have the cable guy, con ed guy, etc. come quick to the hood.

So today in 90 degree weather, I am here reminiscing and writing summer Leslie, the vintage one. My mother used to tell me she was obsessed with the son of Sam murders, New York 1976-1977. I am
convinced that news coverage she was obsessed with was watched by toddler me, this beginning my investigative discovery obsession. Underneath the wound, if you dig deep enough, you can find that time before you were just the trauma.

As I descend deep into my memior manuscript for Vona, I am deep in memory. My mother and my father are with me. My grandparents.

I was triggered today. I think by now the writing community knows why. I started doubting myself, choking my voice down, quiet Leslie is best.

So deep in thought I lost my balance and took a tumble on Teaneck Road, in the height of lunch time traffic to the amusement of bored motorists. Then I broke one of my wine bottles. As the wine dripped, staining my dress my thrifty ass repurposed this morning, I get it, the ancestors are thirsty. They want these stories told.
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So thanks to the generous donations of some of my amazing followers, I am paying my deposit for my room later today! I am still far behind of my goal tho. I know these times are hard for everyone. I appreciate everyone who has believed in me so far.
This is my Dream. I am headed to write my stories and heal my seven future generations.
Yes
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Thank you for everyone who has donated. It’s truly humbling.

I am blessed in my life but I am a working mother who was out of work for a year. I was blacklisted from my job for standing up against sexism and racism. I’m still playing catch up from the debt of not working that long length of time.

I want to write this memoir. The survivor of domestic. violence. The 9/11 survivor. The survivor of el barrio in crack era Spanish Harlem the 1980’s. The daughter of one of the OG’s of that era. I got stories.
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$1,131 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 28 people in 6 months
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ZD
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Zuleyka Diaz
5 months ago
JS
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Julissa Santiago
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VC
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