Melting Pot of Diversity and Culture
Thesis Statement: Blackwood, NJ is a melting pot of: culture, race and religion. I currently live in Blackwood New Jersey. This is a small town in New Jersey with a population of 4547 people in 2010. The community is composed of many cultures, races and religions. I find this to be one of the perks of living here is being accepted for my customs and race. I am African American, and even though my race only makes up a small percentage. The majority of the town is Caucasian, but African Americans make up the largest minority.
Members of my close community look similar to me. There are a lot of mixed race people also in my close community. The ways that my neighbors differ from me are that some of the Caucasian and some are Asian. I live in a small development in the town. Most of my first neighbors are older and have lived there for many years. In recent years, three to be exact, new homes were built in my neighborhood and younger families move in. now there are only five original families living there including mine. The leaders in my community are very similar to the overall demographics.
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There are six Caucasian, one Hispanic and one African American, as elected officials in Blackwood. The African American leader is also a woman, which is an added plus for me. The members of my community treat me just like they do everyone else. Most of the members accept the differences of races in the community. There have been only a few time I can remember when I have personally been discriminated against. Once in middle school, my first year in school here, a girl called me a very discriminatory name. This situation hurt my feelings very badly.
Also, last summer at the Wal-Mart near my house a Caucasian boy got on the loud speaker and made some racist remarks. This situation made it to the news paper and to the news. Situations like this have helped me be happy to accept the fact that I am African American, and overall my community is a great place to live. I was a little taken a back when I first started school here. The main reason was that there were only three minority teachers out of 18 main teachers; this did not include the aids and other staff. There was also no other heritage celebrated except for the traditional celebrations.
Most of the African American students I met had not been born and raised in Blackwood, and those who did, did not know much about our heritage. I previously lived in Camden, NJ. I was use to having elaborate African American history Month activities, and I was use to learning about my culture during class. Here this was not the case. My eight grade class established the first Black history Month celebration. The textbooks in Blackwood schools had very little to deal with the African American experience in this country.
The only time that anything close to our history was addressed was during February, for black History Month. Our local news stations are based in Philadelphia, PA. Unfortunately because of the criminal activity in Philadelphia, PA, and Camden, NJ, African Americans are not very well represented. The new mostly runs stories about the bad things that has happened, shooting, robberies, rapes, the usual discriminating stories. I do not understand why it is necessary for the public to only portray the negative things going on in the communities where minorities are represented.
There are plenty of us doing good and trying to change our communities for the better. Overall my community is a good place to live. The main topics addressed in the text that relate to my community are Assimilation, Family life, education and the economic status. Even after hundreds of years America is still trying to assimilate minorities of all types. Instead of welcoming every one for their individual talents, they are trying to make, I guess they would say “a more unified America. ” Family life for my race has been an issue for many years.
Today the main issues are single family parents, children being raised by their grandparents instead of their parents, AIDs in the community, and so many more. The strong bonds that use to hold the African American family together is no longer important. Education is another issue, with the declining economy there is trouble for even the smartest minorities to further there education. The economy is a main focus for everyone living in America today. But in a country where differences are sometimes rejected African Americans face more hardship than their Caucasian counterparts.