LeBlanc: [Angie] and her oldest son Devandre, who’s 13 now, came back to America about six years ago to apply for citizenship. The daily wage there is almost impossible to feed yourself on, even with a good job like television production.
LeBlanc: So when Angie [came back to America,] she was hustling trying to find something to do in television; it’s really hard to break in.
LeBlanc: And one day I was like, you could sub! So she tried it, and she really liked it and the kids really liked her, and so all last year she subbed when she could. And this year they offered her the full time in-house sub.
LeBlanc: So she’s here every day, and now she coaches junior high track too. And so she’s a really valuable part of our affinity group, whenever she can she comes to eat lunch with the affinity students.
Hanson: I am a part of the affinity group; I try to have a good relationship with the members of the affinity group. Because, you know, in reality, people of color––I don’t like that word at all, but you know, it’s used in the American culture––people of color here at BSM, it’s a very small group. So we have to support each other. There are things that make us feel uncomfortable at times. As an adult, I am more experienced in handling situations like that, but for the younger ones, myself giving them support is for the betterment of their state here at BSM. I’m just glad to be a part of it to help them.
Hanson: They did not have an affinity group [when I went to BSM]. But I can tell you that, comparing the cultural environment now to when I was at BSM, it’s a major improvement. The people of color ratio is much higher than when I went to BSM.
Hanson: With my own experience…I did meet a lot of friends here, you know…a lot of friends who are African, other Caribbean nationalities, Indian. And they are brilliant people, in a lot of ways, whether in academics or brilliant in some type of technical field. And I see that [in] the culture here, they welcome you because you can be beneficial to the society with your talent, however they don’t appreciate you when your back is against the wall.
Hanson: [For example,] say I’m at a workplace doing well, and then some racial thing flares up. I find it that our employers would be hesitant in defending us… You claim that I am one of your best employees, but now that I need your help, in this crucial moment, you’re backing away. So, I do find that things of that nature do happen.
Hanson: So when we see that, I find that a lot of people are under the impression that everybody wants to come to America and all the immigrants want to take over America, but it’s not the case. In reality… we’re from countries that don’t offer that many resources. So of course you’re going to gravitate towards the higher monetary rate so that you can be able to support yourself and family. So that’s one of the main reasons people will immigrate to America… because of economic opportunities.