They Many Faces This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      Some people call it the ghetto and refer to its residents as poor, lazy good-for-nothings. I call this place home, and I call its people caring, loving family. In this place, visitors lock their car doors while driving through in fear of what could be out there, without really understanding what is out there.

This place is South Phoenix, the so-called cancer of Arizona. Some outsiders are fearful because they hear it is swarming with druggies, convicts, and streetwalkers. I have lived here my whole life and never encountered any of these. People make jokes and I sometimes laugh, but what people don’t realize is that South Phoenix is like any other part of the world - it is full of people just trying to have a good life and be happy. Sure, it has its share of society’s outcasts, but what place doesn’t?

Everywhere you go, people are the same, and they all want the same things. I don’t think it is fair, though, to judge a place just because the majority of its population is Hispanic, or African American, or whatever.

Some who live in South Phoenix are wealthy, and others aren’t. That doesn’t change the fact that they are all part of the human race, they shouldn’t be treated any differently or stereotyped. I will never forget my roots because of the love I have for South Phoenix.

My great-grandparents have built and established a life here, a life created through hard work, a love of the area, and their desire for something better than what they had growing up. In my opinion, they succeeded - I have everything I need and want, and I am truly happy where I live.

For anyone to say that South Phoenix is dangerous shows how ignorant they are as to what is really out there and how beautiful South Phoenix is when you actually visit it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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