Little White Girl from the ‘Hood’

Caitlin Zembruski,
Manassas, VA

The town I grew up in is a very diverse community. There are specific areas that vary racially and ethnically, as well as class. My family lives in the lower-working class, living paycheck to paycheck. I lived in a neighborhood where there was not many other white kids and many of my friends were of a different color than me. Although, I found this very enriching that I was able to discover and experience new cultures all in my hometown. I had gained perspectives that I would have never been able to understand if it weren’t for my experience. However, I feel that because of my experiences, I have a weird/hard time fitting in. Let me explain; growing up in the ‘hood’, I had a different relationship with things, like money or neighborhood violence for instance, that my privileged white counterparts cannot relate too. On the flip side, I feel that certain times I’m assumed to be just like those privileged counterparts and stereotypes just because of my color (or the lack there of). Overall, I feel that my upbringing in the diverse community helped me gain a beautiful perspective on the wide range of cultures; I only wish that I could be seen individually for all that I believe and have become.


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