'Not a lot of movement'
I think that St. Louis is one of those Midwestern towns where people are kind of comfortable with the way that things are. There’s not a lot of movement.
It seems to me that St. Louis is one of those areas where there’ s not a high percentage of minorities living say, out in Frontenac [wealthy suburb in west St. Louis County], and then say in my school district Ladue, you’ll have a lot of white students coming from really wealthy areas.
Then all down Olive [Street] you’ll see minorities coming from those specific areas. I think that’s something that no one really likes to mention but I see it on the school bus everyday.
On President Obama's election
It was really interesting for me during the election and then afterwards when Barack Obama was inaugurated because I take African-American studies at school.
I had heard a lot of students saying that if Barack Obama won, [what if] something happened? I heard students talking about things like race riots which is a completely foreign topic to me.
We read a poem by Langston Hughes that said something like, “I know I can’t be president.” And then our teacher just looked at us and said that poem is no longer true.
St. Louis feeling the recession
There’s not many days that go by that I don’t hear about a small business closing - something small like a sewing shop or a waffle house or little places that always seemed to survive in the past.
Immediately after the announcement of the recession these businesses in St. Louis have just kind of been closing down. My grandmother used to visit a knitting shop and it’s gone now.
I think that a lot of people in St. Louis though are not feeling the recession because at my school, a lot of these kids, their parents aren’t losing their jobs.
Huge buildings - I mean the mall is still open - stores aren’t closing there. So I think that a lot of kids aren’t really aware of the situation or being affected by it.