A Dee Vazquez Story
Finding Your Voice and Standing Up to Authority
Stories Told in Souls of My Young Sisters
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New York, NY—As a young girl growing up in Queens, Dee Vazquez learned early on about the consequences of not fitting in or keeping quiet about injustices going on around her. When a fourth grade teacher yelled at her to “shut up,” she refused, and when she tried to escape, the teacher physically assaulted her.
Changing schools only added more trials for Vazquez, as she found herself torn between her African American and Dominican backgrounds. Her schools and even her own family upbringing encouraged her to keep her opinions to herself and be “good,” which meant be silent and accept authority without question. But with the help of some caring teachers, Vasquez was able to grow into her own voice and realize the value of establishing her own identity and sense of purpose for her life. Vazquez tells her story in Souls of My Young Sisters: (Souls of My Sisters, an imprint of Kensington Publishing; June, 2010; $15.00; trade paperback), written and edited by Dawn Marie Daniels and Candace Sandy with a foreword by Madeline Smalls and Mary J. Blige. She joins sixty contributors who all tell their true stories, sharing their private pain in the hopes that it will inspire other women during difficult times.
“I understood that if you keep your mouth shut and are able to be disciplined, then you are good. I was good in their eyes. If I got in trouble, I listened, instead of saying, ‘No, this isn’t right.’ I swallowed my truth, absolutely,” Dee writes. “But I was confused, and I knew that I needed to find answers. I needed to find out my own truth.”
The women in these pages are survivors and have not even reached the age of thirty. If you are trying to figure out what’s next, headed to college, in the midst of a quarter-life crisis, or getting your career or family started, look to your sisters and their honest – sometimes heartbreaking – but always encouraging real-life stories.
“These young women are powerful, and knowing the stories of other young women from around the world keeps you from feeling alone,” say Daniels and Sandy. “Our purpose is to give women the opportunity to be able to recognize themselves by reading about other women’s lives and gain the strength to move on and succeed as those have before them.”
With the strength of her voice, Dee now hosts the Fuse Network’s No. 1 Countdown: Hip-Hop, where she brings viewers the hottest new music videos and interviews with influential hip-hop artists. She is also a radio personality with “The Drama King” DJ Kay Slay on HOT 97 and Sirius Satellite Radio. The authors, Dawn Marie Daniels and Candace Sandy, who have been friends since high school, enlisted the help of women between the ages of 18 to30 from United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. Sections of the book revolve around self-image, “I Had Enough,” “Why Does It Hurt so Bad?” “Why Am I Afraid?” “Am I My Mother?,” faith, decisions, careers, love, and death. Whether you’re dealing with issues of self-esteem, dating, domestic violence, cyber-stalking, or racial profiling, within these pages a diverse gathering of amazing women like yourself, from entrepreneurs to entertainers, have words of wisdom, inspiration, and practical information. Women of all backgrounds will find stories or issues they, or a loved one have confronted in their own lives.
This year marks the ten-year anniversary since the publication of the first volume of the national bestseller, Souls of My Sisters: Black Women Break Their Silence, tell Their Stories and Heal Their Spirits. We are honoring this release with a Souls of My Sisters conference on the island of St. Lucia, August 5 to 8, 2010.
For a comprehensive list of upcoming Souls of My Sisters events, please visit our website at www.soulsofmysisters.com.