“We Are Here” Story Collection

Residents were asked, “Please tell us about an important moment in your life that would help someone understand what it’s like living in your neighborhood.” Explore 50 responses below, selected at random. Which stories capture your attention? (Some responses were transcribed by youth volunteers.) To learn more about the storyteller and how they interpreted their response, click “Zoom In.”

Basketball

Basketball really save my life. If I wasn’t at the basketball courts I would of been selling drugs.Not that many options around here.
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Growing up (Story #361)

Growing up in the ghetto is rough. I managed to get out and I’m never going back, but the lessons I learned about human nature will stay with me forever
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The Day at the Store

I Remember as a young adult about 18-20 when me and my mother were at a local store and I was referred to as “boy” by a white man. My mother didn’t react calmly at all to this she yelled at the man for his disrespectful attitude and words. At first I had no clue why my mother would react like that.As time passed by and I grew older I realized she felt him calling me a “boy”was degrading. Because our past during segregation she explained how that reference would always be degrading no mater what.
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My community (Story #553)

Living in a poor neighborhood can change everything , Among the younger generation, the same number of black children continued to grow up in the very poorest neighborhoodsNothing had changed.Many people live in a bad neighborhood to save money but many people live in bad neighborhoods because they don’t want to let go of the past yet
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Dead Delray (Story #0)

The world is just corrupted. This is crazy the direction we’re going right now, I can’t say nothing good. They want to fight, they want to hurt each other. Not Delray, Boca, Boynton, no good is left around anymore. People don’t help each other anymore, everyone is like crabs.
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Giving back to the community- Kene

In my community right now in boynton, I’m a deacon at church of God in boynton, we try to help the community in any way we can, bring people closer to Christ. We have street services around the community to try to strengthen their connection with God. I try to be as helpful as I can cause not everyone is as fortunate.
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Don’t be that one

Time is something that she’ll not be wasted by anyone. I was always told that I wouldn’t be nothing in life by my siblings but. I took it to far when I was hanging with the gang bangers in my neighbor hood I went on licks Went to steal cars, did a robbery
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Family and friends

If you ever pass by the Hester you’ll always see kids playing around. The Hester center is the spot to be for kids. That shows how kids today are not always in competition but they are family.
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College

Important moment in my life was going to college.My grandpa used to always tell me the world is bigger than boynton. There’s nothing really around the city but drugs and violence so that changed me.
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Forever Service

Growing UP and being reared by my grandmother. She exposed us to numerous things.
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Accident-Devonte white

I got into a accident when i was walking across the street. Almost caused it my life i been in sharps pains every since. I always think about the situation
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Accused for nothing

I was driving to the corner store and came across a police scene. I walk inside and asked what’s going on. The clerk says that it’s nothing they just came outta do nowhere and started bothering the folks outside. No violence or disruptions going on but they were being harassed.
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My community is a a blessing

My community is a blessing and is so nice. When you are down, someone will help you up. I’ve lived here my whole life and my children want me to move to WPB or Wellington but I don’t want to. It’s so nice growing up here. My children came last week and took me out to eat for my birthday. My sister lives nearby and we see each other often.
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Don’t take that other path

Many People in the past wouldn’t understand the life I was going through my mother didn’t care for me , my farther didn’t care for me I was a problem child in and out of the detention center . I dropped out of school at the age 16 and became something these Young’s kids shouldn’t become in this world you only get one mother and one farther even if they Are not here with you. Just learn to love those who are .
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Don’t Give Up Hope

Growing up in a poor community. Pakhoke was a large work camp. The community raised the children. My mother did farm work. There was no violence. We were taught principles to work for what we want and … We were raised in the church. We love Pahokee, but now it’s sad to see what Pahokee has become as the jobs have moved out. There are broken families, not enough food to eat, not enough guidance for the younger generation. We need to work to enjoy life and earn what we get. There are few kids to have the opportunity to …
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Something out of nothing

Boynton Beach high schools prom walk through was cancelled. I remember my Bruce being upset about it. Then she got the news that one of the students told everybody that it was at his house. So they all came together to make it a real walk through. This shows how you can make something out of nothing.
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Youth Growing up in The Heart of Boynton

Growing up in the heart of Boynton Beach and a young man was challenging for me. I grew up in a home with no positive male figures and no positive role models. I was raised by a single parent and it was no easy task. My mother did the best she could with the limited resources she had.
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What’s like living terribly

Outsiders often criticized Eastside residents for not taking care of their own community, or not doing enough to stymie the drug trafficking. This victim-blaming ignored the roots of the drug problem—the lack of opportunity, racism, and economic forces outside of residents’ control—and it ignored the role that outsiders played.
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Grandparents- Rickia

Growing up in my neighborhood was fun we had lots of fun but segregation was not too far over. So my grandparents still didn’t let me go outside with them and i didn’t live with my mother i saw no wrong with the white kids but she believed that they looked down on us.
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A family community.

The neighborhood was a family, every child was each other’s, whenever there were needs, the others would help. My mother died in 1977, my neighbor had 4 girls but made sure we had decent clothes to wear. Born one of thirteen children, dad worked on the farm, woke up at 3 am and came home late. Mom was authority figure, caring for one another. Did not have much but made sure we had enough. We didn’t see ourselves as being poor. If someone was sick, we helped each other.
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My community (Story #317)

Living in my neighborhood is repeated racism and violence all over again .When you’re old and worthless you can’t control the people you want to control, kids are dying slowly because skin color and many hate themselves because of people treating them like they deserve to be treated like that .my community is nothing perfect when it comes from living in the ghetto.
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Getting My House Back

I have lived in my house for 35 years. When my husband passed away about 20 years ago,my income was to low and I lost the house. I eventually ran into money problems and stop paying the mortgage. The lender foreclosed the property, and the house was sold, leaving Me without a home.My neighbor/friend from a few doors down, Shelley, couldn’t stand the thought of me living in a hotel room, so she and a few other members from my neighborhood put down $167,450 to buy the house back for me.
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We’re Doing Good

It’s nice living here, but the past… you don’t want to know. Now it’s nice. No break ins, no stealing… everyone gets along.
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My neighborhood-Rickia

I loved my neighborhood minus the violence it has the today the kids are different but there’s always a handful that comes and sit and talk to me. They are sweethearts. Then the others won’t even help themselves.
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Moslead

Well growing up in my neighborhood i had a sister and brother and my mother didn’t take care of me. Her mother did but there was a lot of that going on back then where mothers didn’t raise there children and i feel like that’s a major issues that’s why we have so many mislead children in the current generation
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Don’t become

Growing was odd for me I was thinking that if I do this I’ll become better but me doing it didn’t make me come better it made me. A threat to the system now I can’t get the job I want all because I seen the. Grown ups doing things
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Elizabeth Alice Green story

Back than many people didn’t know what to think because their was so many different things going around in our community and we didn’t know what to do so many people just hope that it would make our community great and some bad .slavery back than would be the caused for all what bad things in our community that is still today .our community didn’t changed .
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LOVE (Story #632)

GROWING UP WAS EVERYTHING I HAD THE NICEST HELPFUL PARENTS THEY GAVE AND HELP ME
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Helpless

Once I seen somebody fall out. many walked by but it was one group that stopped to help.
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Changebis needed

Being stopped by the police all the time because of what I look like. Police love stopping and asking questions. Not matter what the age. But it does matter what the color. That needs to change.
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The House Fire

In my neighborhood we view each other as a big family. I remember when my close friend that also lives in my neighborhood house caught on fire. The church and community as a whole decide to help her and her whole family get back on their feet.
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We gotta do better

This did not happen in my life but it affected me. A young boy was shot and killed in Boynton Beach. Now I didn’t know him but I miss him. What if that was my son or nephew. We gotta do better.
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Live for today enjoy yours plans for tomorrow

I love to dance, I love art and I love my community. I am a retired reading teacher and a Sunday school teacher. I raised 6 kids and have been married for 36 years. I have lived in my community for around 39 years and would not move for anything.
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Finally Home

The important moment was when I moved here 2010 from WPB. I was homeless. I had income but it was not enough to find somewhere to live. I was living with several peopele in a room but it didn’t work out and I was kicked out. So then I went to another place, paid my rent and then 3 days he lights went out. And the place was in debt and it was freezing cold and no electricity. I was so distraught, asking my lord to take me. And then I read a newsletter, call and spoke with a woman …
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Tour de Oakmont

My son learned how to bike recently. They Tour de France was taking place, which motivated him to try once again. We live at the end of a cul de sac and I ran around with him, holding his bike seat, as he peddled and worked to find his balance. Without planning it, he took off down the street, unassisted with me running behind him. That afternoon, we probably covered close to three miles – he peddled and navigated the street to the main road and down to the park while I ran along side or way behind yelling for …
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Safety first (Story #481)

I remember one night I was at home. Next thing you know I hear gunshots. I thought nothing of it until I went to watch the news the next day and seen somebody was shot and killed by my house. It worried me about my safety.
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Working for the US Sugar Co-Operation

Born in 1947, started working when I was 15 years old. Most important thing I experienced coming up is due to workforce-the sugar cane. I got older, getting a job with us sugar-I worked for 35 years. It was hard, very hard work but you had to make a living somehow. I also picked spring beans but the harvesters took the work away. I grew up in lake harbor and they bussed us to school. Quiet waters used to be lake shore high school and we were bussed from the camps in lake …
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The Neighborhood Full of Crime

There has been many fights for many years, Loud rowdy fights. The police is constantly coming to our neighborhood to break a fight up or arrest someone for a crime. It’s been like this for years and it should honestly stop. My grandson was recently arrested because he was linked to a shooting. It needs to change and I hope and pray one day it does.
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Protection-Rickia

See me i was the man of the house my father wasn’t there he was a coward and we are from boynton but we moved to the other side this was a little bit less than what i had expected and i would do things a man supposed to do in the house to make sure my mom and my sisters were ok and in around the 90s i started selling drugs i had my own house by this time but not to far from my mom and sisters. I remember her calling me late at night saying they were …
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Situations

Living in my neighborhood was hell. My mom worked so hard for us to sell have less than it was a tough situation man we was always put out my sisters was acting up and it just wasn’t good for us
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Never give up-Rickia

My hood was very poor with too much pride. I was determined to make it a better place. I ended up with a scholarship to college and different outlook on life. I returned to my hood a made it a better place
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Dance- Rickia Petty

I was raised in a time that war was all too comfortable and it seemed everyone around me was in a frinzy. I learned how to dance with the songs in my head to help me get through those times.
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Sports (Story #452)

Getting into sports was important in my life. It’s wasn’t that many options for me because I didn’t want to be a doctor or anything. So I played sports to keep me off the streets.
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Good of bad

Growing up in Boynton Beach my family and i were close he had a nice relationship because my grandma would never allow anything else we stuck together and it was all love. We lived on “the hill” and there was a lot going on fighting. Violence. But there was also good times.
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Difference in the city- Rickia Petty

Growing up out west of boynton made me looked at definitely than i would look if i was to live east i know this because i had family who lived further east and i notice when i went over. There was fights and everything on the east side also more African Americans when i came to my side there were more white people.
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