Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fruitvale: Diversity

By Daniela, Laura, Yesenia and Brian

Fruitvale is a place that we are used to. The majority of the students here have to drive pass it everyday when going to school, or even live there. When asking to interview people, we did get different types of reactions -- reactions that were unexpected.

In Walnut Creek, we thought that people were giving us bad reactions because we are a group of non-white minorities in their town, but now we don’t think that was the case. In Fruitvale, we were receiving rejection after rejection -- in our own hometown! We asked ourselves why. We blend in perfectly in that environment, so why were people not willing to talk to us? We realized that people have different reasons. Some were too busy working, others were scared of their boss and didn't want to take time to talk to us, others were afraid of getting deportated, and others just didn’t want to to be recorded. Although we did feel more comfortable at Fruitvale, we were getting similar reactions as we did in Walnut Creek. So we understood more about people in Walnut Creek, but we still felt more respected at Fruitvale.

On our way to Fruitvale we saw a lot of Latinos waiting in there usual corners to see if they could get hired as day laborers, maybe for construction. Most of them are always there in corners, close to the Goodwill store, waiting for cars to pull over and offer them a job for the day. They don't have work documents, so they can't get work except this way.

Walking a couple streets down we saw a group of African Americans outside of a shoe store. When we finally got to Fruitvale we saw a lot of Hispanics and African Americans, few Asians, and about three white people. The people who mainly worked in the Fruitvale area were Latinos and Asians. The people who worked in liquor stores and smoke shops were Arabs.

Before we started this project, we didn't pay attention about diversity in Fruitvale. Our opinion of diversity actually changed. Before, we assumed it was diverse because most of the people weren't white. But when we really took a look around the area, we saw that the majority were Hispanics, and that's not diverse. Through this project, we changed our minds and decided that diversity means about an equal amount of every race. At first, if we saw our own race, and no whites, then that was diverse to us. Our definition of diversity changed by simply walking down our own neighborhood.

The food diversity at Fruitvale is very different compared to our visit to Walnut Creek. Fruitvale is a community where there are more Mexican restaurants as well as some fast food places like Subway. On almost every corner, you see people selling Ice cream, fruit or things like that in order to earn some money for themselves or their family. In Walnut Creek, you don't see that kind of stuff. In Walnut Creek, you would hardly see restaurants that would sell Mexican food, or even people out in the streets trying to sell some kind of food. Here, at Fruitvale you will also see liquor stores, and at Walnut Creek you would hardy see liquor stores. Although the majority of places at Fruitvale would sale Mexican food, you will at least see one other place in where you would find other types of food.

Another thing that was very common in Fruitvale was that we saw alot of Latinos selling ice cream and fruit on thestreets at Fruitvale. This is normal to us, but we realized that this is something that you will never see in Walnut Creek. This also shows that there is not a lot of diversity in economical class in Fruitvale. Most are lowor maybe middle class, when in Walnut Creek everyone was wearing expensive suites and riding new cars. In comparison to Walnut Creek, there’s a big difference in Fruitvale not only in the diversity of race, but in diversity of economical circumstances, culture, environment, and much more. In Fruitvale there was not diversity in the type of jobs. Most of the jobs are in local stores, and small restaurants while in Walnut Creek you see industries ranging from Indian Food to Wine shops. Yes, wine!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You all are working SO hard to be deeply reflective about each experience you are living, day-by-day. I applaud that! I think most people underestimate the power young people have to really see the world around them, break it up, and analyze. Make sure you share your thoughts with other students and adults, it's the most important thing you can do as a result of your work. Great job!