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Ayesha Walker on 'Morning Edition'

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Living, Leaving, Dying, Staying: Richmond, Calif.

Where I Live Now

Living, Leaving, Dying, Staying: Richmond, Calif.

Ayesha Walker on 'Morning Edition'

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"My uncle Lindzy standing on the street where my family grew up." Photos by Ayesha Walker hide caption

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Photos by Ayesha Walker

Got this from Ayesha Walker, of Richmond, Calif., whose Youth Radio essay aired yesterday on Morning Edition. Walker's trying to figure out how to stay — or how to leave — the difficult place where she grew up. She writes:

Like in any other oppressed city in America, more often than not, urban temptations win over the mentality of Richmond's young people. Along with the media, we are brought up by our peers to believe that guns, drugs, and promiscuous women are the only accessible paths to success.

"Young people in Richmond where Seattle Mariners baseball caps to represent the south side of our city." hide caption

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I walk around my city every now and then, but most of the time I'm driving to the Richmond BART train station. I've had to find work in of other Bay Area cities like Oakland and Berkeley. There aren't too many jobs besides things like cashiering at Safeway or applying for the few administrative hours available at government jobs.

"My little cousin standing next to the freeway close to the port of Richmond." hide caption

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We don't have many resources in our neighborhoods. And there's a Chevron refinery close to where I live. We trade our healthy lungs for industrial paychecks.

"My friends Kristina and Kourtney having fun at the Richmond Marina." hide caption

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I've lived in Richmond my whole life, and because I've had to leave my city to find quality resources to help shape and motivate my mind, if I am to have kids later on, I'm not sure if I would want my kids growing up here. Our city is poisonous to our lives, our health, and our minds.

"My friends Kristina and Kourtney having fun at the Richmond Marina." hide caption

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