Who is Lily Be?

More importantly, WHY is Lily Be?

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 I've been called a hood-ass b**** from the West Side of Chicago (Humboldt Park). Filled with fear and doubt that I would only ever be a hood-ass b**** from the West Side of Chicago.   I really (according to a lot of critics and people) have nothing going for me. I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants. I was a teen mom. I have a criminal record. I'm poor. I don't have a formal education, and I'm not conventionally attractive or successful or “talented” by societal standards.  

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I became a storyteller/griot out of necessity. Had I not been forced to share my first story at Grown Folks Stories, I no doubt would have, in one form or another, died in the Spring of 2010.  Storytelling saved my life. 
Oral storytelling has radically changed the way I look at my experiences, both good and bad. Stories I was once ashamed of and afraid to share have become powerful vehicles of truth and vulnerability that give my life purpose and remind me that I deserve to be here. 

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I share stories that let the world know that you can indeed be a poor brown woman and still live your life the best that you can. I am looking for all the Lily Be's of the world who don't realize how much power owning your story can have in changing the course of their life. I’m on a mission to help people like me discover their stories and maybe find purpose in them and their lives. At the very least, I’m here to help in any way I can and in everything I do.