Brownsville native Elaine Del Valle first garnered critical acclaim in 2011 with her autobiographical, Off-Broadway stage play, “Brownsville Bred,” a true-to-life celebration of a young person with a remarkable spirit who triumphs over a life of crime, addiction, AIDS and poverty.
Not only did the play win her an HOLA award for excellence in playwriting, she was later featured in the PBS documentary “Beating The Odds,” alongside Michelle Obama and was named “Trendsetter” at the Annual Multi-Cultural Media Forum.
Del Valle went on to create and write her first web series, Reasons Y I’m Single (alongside long time friend and colleague Holie Barker), which Elaine also produced and directed. With her second web series, alongside Director William D. Caballero, Elaine became the first person to ever license an interstitial series to the HBO Network (Gran’pa Knows Best).
As a director, Elaine has garnered several awards on the festival circuit, including for Best Director and Best Film. Her short film, ME 3.769 was supported by a grant from the Sundance Institute and went on to be licensed and premiere on the HBO network (2019).
Del Valle most recently adapted the play into a young adult fiction novel, entitled, Brownsville Bred: Dreaming Out Loud. Similar to the play, the book chronicles her true Latinx coming-of-age in Brownsville Brooklyn: A series of vignettes—some funny, some heartbreaking, some harrowing— that tells one girl’s journey growing up in the toughest project in Brownsville in the toughest neighborhood in New York.
A Puerto Rican in an almost exclusively African-American neighborhood, Elaine was a minority within a minority. But her story refuses to be ghettoized. It bursts with the details of life to create a truly remarkable read that chronicles a young altruistic Latina’s journey to forgiveness and self worth.
“In the end I believe the book is about being able to let go…It’s about not making excuses that can hold us back and turning devastation into motivation” says Del Valle.
Brownsville Bred:Dreaming Out Loud is now available on Kindle as an ebook and in paperback on Amazon and wherever books are sold