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Elizabeth Acevedo Is a Writer On Fire

Elizabeth Acevedo is a daily inspiration, particularly as a brown woman and a writer. This week the former teacher and daughter of Dominican immigrants, won the UK’s prestigious Carnegie medal for her YA novel, The Poet X, an award won by all-white authors 20 years in a row as of 2017.

“Here’s a story I wrote when I didn’t know who would read it. When I had no sense of what it was. I had never written a novel. I had never written a book that I’d handed over to strangers…in many ways the book was written for me,” Elizabeth tells her IG audience in a recent video.

Her miraculous rise to success has become a beacon of hope for so many people of color disheartened by the egregious lack of representation in so many genres of popular culture.

To hear Acevedo describe the work it takes to own her imperative voice in the literary world, is one so many can identify with.

“Why not? Why not this book, about this girl in this community telling this story? Why not all the stickers, why not all the awards, why not all the lists? Why did I expect less?”

Acevedo acknowledges her story is uncommon and that the obstacles POC’s face are significant. “When I step back from the writer, as someone who is a cheerleader of work of, and for, and by people of color and women of color, I think, “yea, yea, heck yea!”

Check out Elizabeth’s trailblazing new book “With the Fire on High,” which discusses life after teen pregnancy. Whether you have personally experienced the characters given circumstances, her message, “We’re here. Keep going,” is priceless to us all.

Felicitaciones Elizabeth, nos inspiras mujer!

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Jessica Hoppe

Jessica Hoppe is a New York-based writer and social media strategist who founded her blog, Nueva Yorka, in 2015. She has been featured in Vogue, Yahoo, HuffPost, PopSugar, Who What Wear, Ravishly and worked as Lifestyle Editor for StyleCaster. Jessica has been passionate about writing, diversity and Latin American culture from an early age. Having grown up in a Spanish speaking home, her father is Ecuadorian and her mother is from Honduras.

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