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Old 03-26-2007, 07:12 PM
 
10 posts, read 34,449 times
Reputation: 11

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Dear residents of the Charleston area,

I am a worried mommy of soon to be 5 year old biracial girl. My husband who is AA has been offered a position in Charleston that is a career dream, and to top it off, the office here in Illinois has closed, so the choices are not many but there are a few. We are considering moving, and except for our daughters education and socialization it sounds really nice. He's been there to visit and he thinks the people are very nice. I'm from Southern Illinois right next to Western KY, rural, coal mining area, he is from Chicago. I like the idea of raising my daughter wtih the beauty of the countryside and not the blare of the city. I am terrified of raising my daughter in a town that might be like the one I was raised in for blacks. I had a great childhood, the biracial kids in my town didn't (1970's). I am wondering, have things changed? Are there suburbs recommended? Can we find diversity without finding crime? Will my daughter be accepted by blacks? By Whites?
Will she be able to date normally in high school? Will she have equal opportunity? I am intrigued by the history of the state. I know that there are no guarantees and that these answers will vary on a persons experience, but I'd like to open a dialogue to help me think.

We have about a month to decide.

In Chicago these problems don't exist for us. Chicago is expensive however, and we have no job opportunities here right now.

School systems? Where is better? Also, my husband doesn't speak dialect, sometimes his family members are put off by this. He sounds like the average White chicago guy. He went to private schools and his mother taught he to speak "properly" but she died. He and his siblings take a lot of flack for it. I wonder, will we find ourselves alone and in limbo?

I need honest answers. It is such a huge responsibility to raise a child. I never thought we'd be moving out of Illinois.

Help.

Worried mommy
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:44 PM
 
180 posts, read 911,534 times
Reputation: 172
I am going to be honest with you. It's a very racist area. However, the people are generally very nice and once they get to know you they are even better!
I found myself constantly in a conversation against racism in every social gathering. I am white and native american. There where occasions when I found those that thought I was going to be very different because of my heritage.

They will not in all likelyhood, seek you out to oppress you but I am sure you will have moments that may be uncomfortable. But the world is changeing everyday and people are becoming more educated about racial differences. Just socialize and show them what a wonderful person you, your husband and child is and I am sure you will make some very loyal friends.
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:48 PM
 
10 posts, read 34,449 times
Reputation: 11
Default Thanks for responding

Thanks for responding, it seems I"m being ignored. I hope more people will have something to say that from their experiences. Thank you for telling me yours.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:18 PM
 
206 posts, read 887,249 times
Reputation: 100
Worriedmommy,
I understand your concern. Maybe people are just uncomfortable admitting racism is still an issue today, I don't know. We are considering relocating to WV this summer and my 2nd grader is also biracial, so I'm curious to read the responses to your question. I'm hoping this isn't an issue in Charleston or Huntington, the two cities we're considering. I wish you well in your upcoming move.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Elkins, WV
1,981 posts, read 5,521,134 times
Reputation: 813
I'm not sure how well community wise how much racism you'd find. I really can't see it being too much. I am gay, and I attend college in Marshall. My boy friend and I have only enountered one such situation where some people decided to share some hate, so we shared it back with our middle finger. But we normally can walk around and hold hands and it not be a major problem. Charleston, Huntington, and Morgantown, would be the easiest places to kind of mesh in. Charleston and Huntington have the highest racially diverse populations, and Morgantown is full of college kids from all over the US and world. But I am a student teacher and from my observations at Huntington High School. The students intermingle and most do not even take note that someone is AA or white or asain, or indian, or anything. From what I've seen the students don't look at race as a big deal, which is the way it should be. Hope I was helpful
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:21 PM
 
206 posts, read 887,249 times
Reputation: 100
Thanks Gotta, I always appreciate your WV wisdom
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:55 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,809 times
Reputation: 12
Here is my opinion of the 3 yrs I've lived in Charleston. Racism may exist in the rural areas, but I have not experienced hatred. Plus, there's no reason to goto those areas, nothings there. I have seen more Biracial couples in Charleston, than I have ever seen anywhere (except Seattle). Crime...non existent. Remember, I'm from Baltimore "The Wire". There are more homocides in an afternoon in Balt than the entire 3yrs I've been in Charleston (11 to be exact). I believe 92% of the people you encounter are civil and want to be friendly. The Good;
Quiet and peaceful
7 area Hospitals
Schools, like everywhere, you pay for better facilities and peace of mind. My 4y/o attends school $550/mo.
Good public schools are good in good neighborhoods, South Hills, Teays Valley,
Good housing starts at $140000 and actually you can live Great on $60000/yr
income.
Perfect weather.
Excellent parks/playgrounds
Theatre, movies, cozt downtown and a river runs through it.
Restaurants, good times.
Many Biracial children, you gonna get tired of people telling you how beautiful your baby is.
The Bad.
really I can't think of anything right now. maybe the main library is adequate not inspiring, but they're building a new art of the state library soon. Price of living is good. Jobs are available, you have to be lucky, but there are jobs here. Employee turnover is why getting a job can be difficult. People don"t quit. And ,they are hard worki'n loyal dedicated people here, they love America, and that ain't bad. Oh yeah I forgot to mention the Casino (if you like to gamble) you can do alot worse than Charleston, and you won't get hurt here, if you miss the city, there's Columbus 2hrs away, Pittsburgh 5 hr, Charlotte 3 hr. Charleston is lovely. You will like it here
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:09 PM
 
1,229 posts, read 3,220,708 times
Reputation: 286
If you think people will dislike you, they will, I Have learned this the hard all my life, and finally it took me half a lifetime to learn that you really can be your own worst enemy. Talk nice to people, give them time to respond and sit back and let them come to you, the nice ones will and the mean people will ignore you, doesn't matter what color you are, you have to give people time to get to know you, and you have to not have a chip on your shoulder, good luck...I would even be a bit worried to live in WVA, just a little as I am a yankee, but hey, thats life, we move on or we don't.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Elkins, WV
1,981 posts, read 5,521,134 times
Reputation: 813
Its said that West Virginia is to south to be yankee and to north for dixie
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:17 PM
 
10 posts, read 34,449 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks to everyone for responding, great information!

Last edited by Worriedmommy; 03-31-2007 at 09:27 PM.. Reason: posted in wrong location
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