Being Black in Arizona

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In this final episode, learn about the different stories of Black Arizonans who became successful entrepreneurs, doctors, artists and community leaders, but not without hardship. From culture shock to a sense of community, we discuss what it truly means to be Black in Arizona.

Navigation is key for Black Arizonans according to Lesley Ford, M.Ed. Ford explains how important it is to keep her culture alive while living in a predominantly White state. Even when working with others, she does not want to lose herself. But Alyx Porter, M.D., believes being Black in Arizona is all about being a pioneer. Dr. Porter says there are countless opportunities for growth and creativity in the Valley but mentions it can be isolating if people have not tapped into the Black community here. 

For some, like Bruce Nelson, there are pros and cons for being Black in Arizona, and it depends where and when you grew up. As someone who grew up during segregation, Nelson explains it’s important to remember there is Black history in Arizona that is full of vibrant stories and people. Clottee Hammons adds Black history has been a vital part of the many facets that make up Arizona. 

Arizona is flourishing, and as Chandler councilmember Christine Ellis says, “It’s the best time to be Black and in this moment and this time in Arizona.”

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