Final revised - Race and Your Community 1 Race and Your...

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Race and Your Community 1 Race and Your Community ETH/125 March 20, 2011 Ryan O'Kelly
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Race and Your Community 2 Race and Your Community Growing up in a small town of Coopersville Michigan I was not exposed to many different races in my community. Living in a trailer park was a community within itself holding many different families. Sure there were your average white traditional families and an African American or Hispanic family here and there, but it was very seldom because my community was mainly a white populated community. As I became older I was able to venture outside of my proverbial (at least what was expected of a small town) community. This gave me the experience to recognize many different races other than my own. Grand Rapids is a major city within Michigan filled with variant types of races and cultures. The city is primarily made up of White Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans. Depending on what street you drive down or what part of town you travel to will determine what culture you will enter. Being in Grand Rapids opened my eyes to the vast cultural differences that exist; it was a little bit of a culture shock for me compared to the culture I was brought up in as a small town girl. Granted, Grand Rapids was the marker in the beginning of my conscientious awareness in the evaluation of cultural differences, and the relations between different ethnic groups. Grand Rapids was not the only city that I have ever lived in. The current city that I call home is Allendale which resides in Michigan. Allendale is a small town that homes Grand Valley State University. The majority of this town is made up of White Americans, but there is a small portion of African and Hispanic Americans. The members of my community do look like me, except for certain physical characteristics which are expected since not everyone is identical to their neighbor. The seldom few who do not look like me are those of different race. According to U.S Census Bureau (2011) 17,004 whites alone reside in Allendale, and only 449 African Americans reside in the small town.
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Race and Your Community 3 During my high school years I became really close to Chuck Bailey who at the time was just an English instructor. The school I attended is not your everyday school. This school was
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Final revised - Race and Your Community 1 Race and Your...

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