Race In My Community Essay

1678 words - 7 pages

I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in November of 1975, and I still reside here. Being adopted, I do not know much about my ethnic background. I know that when I look in the mirror I see a white face with blue eyes and light brown hair. I was raised by a white couple, neither of which is racist. However, racism is a huge issue in our community.We have many Caucasian people here. There are also very many African Americans who live here, many of which relocated to our area from New Orleans and other areas in the southern part of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina. Some stayed only long enough for the waters to recede and went back home. Many more are tired of living according to hurricane season and decided to make Shreveport and the surrounding areas their new home. There are also some Arab Americans or people of Middle Eastern decent. I see them mostly running convenience stores, and I see a few women in Wal-Mart occasionally. I recognize them from the head-dress they wear. I always wonder how these women manage to not have a heat stroke. We have 100 degree days here that are extremely humid and they are in long heavy attire with long sleeves and the head wrap. There are a few Asian Americans here as well. I do not see them very much but I remember a family from Korea that used to live across the street from my grandmother when I was a teenager. I befriended the daughter of this family and was invited over for dinner one night. All I can remember is I never understood a word that was said, they sat on the floor to eat, and I left hungry because I could never figure out how to use the chopsticks. There are Hispanics here, too. More of them everyday as they come here from Texas. All in all, we have a culturally diverse community and a whole lot of racist people.Racism here has mostly been in the Caucasian and African American groups. I can remember hearing about it in school and seeing what that kind of hatred can cause. I first understood how big a difference skin color makes to people when I was in the third grade. I made a friend in school. Her name was Yolanda Washington and she was Black. We got along very well and soon became very close friends on the playground. One weekend we decided to see if I could spend the night at her house. Her mother told me that I needed to go hang out with my kind of people. Yolanda and I were devastated. The following Monday morning she would not even talk to me.Calvin Martinson, Jr. is a White neighbor of mine and his daughter and mine are best friends. I was talking with him one day and he mentioned a form of racism at his workplace. He works in construction and is a supervisor over about 10 men, both White and Black. One of the Black workers under him began complaining that he felt like slave labor because the White men on the crew ran the machinery and the Black men did the manual labor of digging and clearing. The other black men on the crew do not complain because they are well paid for the job that they...

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