“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.”

America

Learning English was important to me .I had to learn and learn fast cause it’s a lot going on around boynton. I came to America when I was 17 and things was different.
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Keep to self

Growing up I was always a quite person never liked to talk to any one but when I met this one person. He told me that I should hang out with him at this time I was in high school I went on all type of dangerous places somewhere I wouldn’t want young men’s going or ladies. Many may say that’s what I chose but. If I can time travel I would.
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Thinking I’m somebody who I’m not

I remember I walked into the lock corner store and the clerk was staring at me the whole time. He was following me for no reason. I went to purchase my goods and looked surprised that I was going to pay. It’s a shame what people think of you.
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Growing up (Story #90)

Growing up in boynton beach times was hard. My family didn’t really have it but we made it happen. I played sports but all my friends was in the streets. I got in trouble when I was about 17 and that was the end of my career.
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Break in-Rickia

I remember one night returning home and my mom looked puzzled when I looked out the window I seen this someone was breaking into my dad’s truck my dad immediately got out of the car and begin to taste the person about the person got away and the police took
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Give support when needed

I remember a school shooting happened. It didn’t happened my neighborhood. But the local high school in Boynton was supporting them. The had a moment of silence and was supporting the families.
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My community (Story #315)

Living in my community is when you see two people fighting and another person is just recording it or “hyping” it up .People in this community don’t see things until they know when to stop.people use phones to control their life instead of books .back than when slavery was still happening,they would try to run away to learn how to read .
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Friends are supportive

I remember my mother died. She was a well known woman around the neighborhood. The day of her funeral there was atleast 200-250 people arrived. I was so shocked. This shows how supportive the people in Boynton are.
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Important moment interview

Live in Jefferson manor and grand parents owned store in Delray. 4th generation and moved into grandparents old home. Loss job recently but thank God was able to keep the house, worked and traveled a lot professionally.
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Work together

You have probably gotten this story a hundred times already but the 2 shootings that had happened this year. Our young men are dying for no reason. They didn’t get to live their life. This is not good. The community needs to work together to prevent this.
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The life of cano

Violence different things happening people getting shot and drug deals basically the typical hood
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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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Snitches get stitches

In my neighborhood there has been many killings, fights all of that. My son was recently killed at a house party. The saddest thing about it was no one seen anything which I don’t believe this community needs to let go of the whole idea “snitches get stitches”
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More for us

The family orientated community , everyone works together in order to promote a better community. But the city might be on a economically.
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School Daze

Once when I was walking to school an early morning I immediately noticed that there was police cars swarming the school I later found out that the police were there because someone had gotten shot it was especially a traumatic experience for me because i simply was never introduced to violence such as so
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The break in -Rickia

Well when i was younger our house would always get broken into we would come home and our house would be trashed we spent all night trying to clean it and the police never really did anything about it they always came late
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Buying a house- Devonte white

Important moment in my life was buying a house. I saved all my money and worked two jobs to get my own house. I did not want to live with my mom anymore
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Still Growing

All parents were the mother of all of the children when I was growing up
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Come and See For Yourself

I was born in Everglade Experimentation station, 3 mi east of bell glade. Born in 1944. Mom was babysitter. Being in bell glades is what you make out of it. Went to school here. Need to be cautious and need to remember god is in control, especially at this time of year. With the weather. Went to school for childhood development. We have situations here, but they are like a family. We have situations , but what family doesn’t. I am 74, but this is the greatest places to live. Only left for 15 years, when she went to Pompano …
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My neighborhood (Story #550)

An important moment in my life is when you aren’t feeling safe in your own neighborhood.you can see yourself being scared to come outside because of the killing and drugs people are doing in my neighborhood.people just watch as others use it and watch them ruin their life .
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Belle glade is the number 1 place to come live.

I have been in belle glade for 37 years. I am a farm worker. Whenever i have problems there is always coming to help in belle glade. If i am sick my neighbors will be there for me because it is small community. I went to the hospital and they took care of me in the hospital. This is a good place to live.
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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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Rehab-Devonte white

Getting off drugs changed my life. I was on drugs bad and i had to realize who i was. I went to rehab to get my life together and things been good ever sense.
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Give god the glory-billy penn

Living in this neighborhood is not about the drugs and the alcohol I was born in 1947 in Delray Beach hoping kids don’t follow in my foot steps if I got a problem I don’t do drugs but around people that do good and bad in my childhood never went to school
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Ms.T my Second Mother

When my mother kicked me out of the house I spent nights sleeping in a park while trying to finish high school. I had no bed, no shower,and no food.I went back to my old neighborhood and knocked on the door of Ms.T she was a well known lady kind of like the mother of my neighborhood.All I wanted was something to eat. But Ms.T didn’t just give me a meal. She took me into her home, where he had warm food and a roof over his head she treated me like her very own son. She also brought …
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Hard on your own

When I graduate from high school and went to college. I. Was the first in my family go off to school. My family was poor so he will work and different jobs he had to ask for loans. It was very hard.
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Good and Bad

Growing up round violence. Family Orientation around the community and motivation.
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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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I’m a Nice Guy

I’ve been a teacher for over 10 years. I will never forget at my young early stages of teaching about 20 years old. A young black male came up to me and said “your a nice guy”. I smiled and said,”Thank you” he replied with “your the first nice white man I have ever met, I was always told that white people are bad and mean.” I look at him and smiled I said “well yes there are many bad white people just like many bad black people. never judge someone off there skin tone.”
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Work for it

Buying my first house was a important moment in my life. Everything I got I had to work for it.nobody won’t give you anything around here.
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Good. Luck comes sometimes

I’m Boynton Beach I didn’t have work I had to pick up things people threw out that they didn’t want any more So I used to take it to the Junk yard to get paid because I couldn’t get a real job because the people I was gonna work with didn’t like the colored folks .
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All together as one

An important time in my life was when my whole neighborhood came together as one it felt great to see us all come together. Through all the pain , suffrage killings and all we still was able to come together as a black community as we should. It was important for me because in my time it wasn’t like this it was different i wasn’t able to swing on that purple swing right there i wasn’t able to drink from that water fountain but now my grandkids can my nephews my kids kids everyone all together are able to be …
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Where’s the respect-Rickia

I remember back in the day we could never speak back to an adult when they said what they say that’s what it was now days you can’t say anything to these kids they always have something to say back. in my neighborhood the kids are very disrespectful they knock on your door and Run they play and throw rocks around people cars.
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a loving village

an important moment in the interviwees life was a time when she was home and there was a fire next door and the whole commu ity came togheter to help the victims rebuild and get back to where they were.
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Love your moms

Moving out my mom house was important to me.Things can get hard around Boynton so I had to make a way. Even though I moved out my mom still had to help me.
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Different but normal- Kene

I help everybody. Help out the less fortunate with whatever I can. Teach kids not to smoke, would trade my life to save a child’s. When I’m rich, I’d like to give kids little puppies, teach them responsibility. No exaggeration!
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Changes from the past to present

From the past to right now the family values have changed. Back then the community raised us. People used to watch the kids. Athletics have decreased.
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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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My Grandmother’s Death

I like to think of my neighborhood as a union. When my grandmother died my whole neighborhood prayed for my family. For her funeral they collectively put money together to fund her funeral. It was the most generous thing I have ever seen. They are the most caring people.
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a great send off!

an important moment in my life was the time when all my neighbors and i came toghter andheld a big part for all the graduates in my neighborhood.we all brought them gifts and even put money towards his college experience.
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Gangs-Rickia

I grew up in a time that gangs became our family and they saved my life. When family couldn’t do for me they did. My mom was on drugs when i was in my early 20s i had a son so i had to get out of it we Destruction peace in my neighborhood
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Living in boynton beach

We’re I grew up you know a place like it: It’s segregated by race, and associated with poverty, crime, and violence .derogatively called “the ghetto” or “the ‘hood.” It’s the part of town that you have been cautioned to avoid.
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Helpful neighbors- Kene

About a month after moving into my house, it flooded. So at one point we lost our kitchen so our neighbors were nice and fortunate enough to bring us meals.
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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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Living in Belle Glade

This is a very diverse community. A lot of different nationalities. When I came here, I was raised in a community in South Carolina where there wasn’t such a diversity. When I came here, I saw how … a lot of times in a place like this you have to live it to understand it. It’s a community where people get along but I don’t think people are as close as they should be because of their upbringing. It’s very complicated. My brother drove 18 wheelers, filled vegetables from the field and brought them to the plants. I would ride …
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