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Published: 2021-06-29 06:55:27
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Race and Your Community

As a young member of this community, I had not identified myself with any specific ethnic group because most everyone I dealt with was of Mexican American heritage, but were influenced by Anglo culture; this changed when my parents settled in Arizona and the interaction with a variety of different races and cultures became more common. I have been a resident of Tucson, Arizona since I was a young child. We moved here in 1974 after living in Phoenix and El Paso, Texas. When I attended school in El Paso, back in the late 60's, it was rare to see children of other races; such as African Americans or Asian Americans in that community. However things changed when my family and I moved to Phoenix and in that community there were different ethnic groups that attended the elementary school that I went to. In that environment I was introduced to Asian Americans and African Americans and there was a larger amount of Hispanics, both American born and immigrants in the community. I enjoyed attending a school that had such a diverse group of children. While attending elementary in Phoenix, I meet a girl that was of African American descent and we became very good friends and spent most of time together. My family decided to move to Tucson were the community was a little bit different, and African Americans were rarely seen on the North side of town. The town was largely segregated by ethnic groups. The Anglos were largely the ranchers and lived around the surrounding area while the other ethnic groups lived and worked mostly in the urban areas. As the community has grown there has been much more expansion into those areas by the African, Asian, and Mexican Americans. Also, there are a growing number of interracial marriages which is providing a variety of economic challenges and opportunities for many of the minorities. This is evident with the growth of the Native American industries, the casinos, and other services that are being provided to many of the retirees. This has created a larger amount of Hispanic American and multi-cultural groups interested in this community. Over the years the north side of town has become more diverse in the growing number of different ethnic groups: such as African American, Asian Americans, and Native Americans. This was a comfort in knowing that many people were moving out of the segregated areas that were known for only housing Hispanic Americans or African Americans. As for the Asian Americans they were better able to adjust to the environment or community and not be segregated to only one area in the city. This has helped produce a natural progression in the cultural growth of the community.

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