I grew up in a union household on the South End of Peoria, my mom was a stay at home mom and my step-dad worked construction. I moved a lot. I have lived in 17 different places in Peoria. Instability is a direct result of poverty.
When I was 14 I was sent to the boarding academy. What we thought would be a better, safer school option opened my eyes to a completely different type of overt racism. Being only one of 10 black students out of the school’s 250 population. I had to work two jobs too. Most of the poorer children, like me, worked in the factories and cafeteria or other labor-intensive jobs.
The opportunities and available resources to children in boarding academy didn’t exist for children in low-income communities back home.