Growing up in Raytown was probably similar to a lot of your experiences in your home towns. Raytown has about 30,000 residents. It is squooshed between Kansas City (in fact, my house was in Kansas City), Independence, Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, and possibly a few other suburbs. It's about 30 minutes to down town Kansas city. According to websites, whites are the majority with abut 11% black people. I do not believe that for one second. I think my high school was about half and half.
I have to say, growing up around black people had quite an effect on me. In high school I was nicknamed Freak-a-Leak (my maiden name) after a rap song. Trust me, I was not freaky.When I hung around with my friends, we listened to rap. I have majorly white-a-fied since moving to Utah. Most school dances included a giant glob of freak dancing with me standing on the outskirts kinds of not knowing what to do. Gross.
In elementary school, all the kids got along. We all ate "hot fries" aka spicy Cheetos (these are still a guilty pleasure of mine). One day, in 5th grade I was listening to my discman on the bus. I was listening to a Dixie Chick cd, this little black kid named EJ asked what I was listening to. When I told him, he made fun of me. For a long time. I think I stopped listening to country then.
When my oldest friend Melanie turned 16, it was big news. We were so excited to take her moms mini van and "cruise Noland"-- Noland road that is. It was definitely the cool place to go. It was a busy street, crammed full of fast food restaurants and the occasional clothing store (can't forget Sheridan's frozen Yogurt.. THE place to go). Looking back, it is sad to think about all the lame 20+ year olds that we met there. Can you say YUCK? Anyway, we would always look to meet boys, and we even made a few lasting friends from Noland. However, when I think back to this activity, it is SOOOO pointless and dumb. No one good was there. No one interesting or cool was there. Except us of course.
We would also drive to 39th street (another main drag that the Mall is on) late at night and play in the sprinklers. It was seriously so fun.
Throughout middle and high school, I saw my fair share of fights. In a good week, we'd have one or more a day. It was kind of a problem. I even saw quite a few of my friends come close to getting in a fight. I, however, never even came close. Until my graduation, that is.
I was innocently sitting in my blue cap and gown, watching friends and acquaintances cross the stage. I had spent hours getting ready, given the welcome speech, and sung the songs. Now was the moment. But it was ruined, as most good things in Raytown are. A girl names Jasmine was sitting behind me with her noisy friends. As every person crossed the stage, she had something negative to say about them. I was getting tired of it. I turned about and asked her quietly to be quiet. The flood gates opened. She called me every name in the book, threatened to beat me up.. and my friends too. It was ridiculous, I just had to laugh. Here I was, my last night of association with my high school... and I was being threatened.
That night we went to Project grad, an all night celebration with fun and games for the graduates. It was amazing, but once I got back to the school to drive home, reality hit. My car has been egged. Yes, for real. Egged.
And that's all I care to recall for now. Maybe I will think of more details i feel you HAVE to know.