Danielle Santiago's Little Ghetto Girl: A Harlem Story was an Essence magazine #1 bestseller, a compelling portrayal of the challenges young women face in ghettos across America. Now Santiago's putting it down again, better than ever, moving on from the little girl to the grown woman in Grindin', the second in her trilogy of Harlem Stories.
Holding the story down in Grindin' is Kennedy Sanchez, a twenty-two-year-old beautiful, talented, street-smart single mom with a heart of gold. After partying and "grindin'" in Las Vegas, and clearing more than $100,000 and a bag of diamonds by robbing rich, white gamblers, Kennedy and her cousin Nina fly back home to New York. Later that night, Kennedy gets a call informing her that Nina is being beaten up by her boyfriend -- and it's worse than any time before. Kennedy rushes over to help, but it's too late: Nina dies in Kennedy's arms after making her promise to take care of her children.
Kennedy steps up to the plate, now becoming the mother of three more kids and moving them into a brownstone in Harlem. She knows she needs to refocus. Her opportunity to do so comes in the form of Chaz, a successful hip-hop artist who sees star quality written all over her.
She's offered a chance to become a rapper and leaves the streets behind -- or at least shifts to another kind of grind. Once she's in the music world, she realizes that the setting may have changed, but the hustle remains the same.
Danielle Santiago is the author of Grindin' and founder of Mischievous Girl Foundation, which is dedicated to helping battered women and innercity girls. She lives in Harlem, New York, and Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and son.