““Freedom, Justice and Equality for All, Love of God and Our Fellow Man; Doing All the Good We Can for Our Community," Andrew J. Smitherman (1883-1961). The Purpose of the Buffalo Empire Star is to keep the African-American community informed about past, current and future events to continue onward in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality in the spirt of the underground railroad pioneers.

Black and white, is everything…black and white? by Corrie E. Allen

Corrie E. Allen

Black and white, is everything in the world black and white? Is there right or wrong, short or big, rich or poor? It seems that there is no in between. Why does everything have to be one way or another? Why can’t I just hang out in the gray area? I like the gray area; it’s where I get my best material! Gray is good. I can be sweet as pie or bad as I want to be. In the area of gray I don’t have to make any apologies or considerations. I’m able to stay true to myself in the land of gray.

Recently, I was told that I see things as black and white in terms of race. I will give you some background on myself first before I defend my case. I am black in race and my ethnicity is Puerto Rican.   I grew up in what most people would call the ghetto but I call it my childhood home. If you saw me today you would think I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood all my life. I only moved to a middle-class neighborhood in high school. Most People  who meet me are surprised to hear that I spent  most of my childhood growing up on Buffalo’s East side.  I should just carry documentation with me ever time I tell someone I grew up on the east side because the look of disbelief on people’s faces amazes me.

Ok ,so I have to admit I guess the reason I didn’t grow up to be “so hood” is because my parents were really educated people. They both went to college and knew a lot of big words like my dad, the late Carl R. Allen (1955-1999) who wrote for the Buffalo News paper for twenty years.

There is a Memorial Carl R. Allen Scholarship established in his name for an aspiring African-American journalist. The Buffalo Association of Black Journalist sponsors the yearly scholarship fund drive. Before going to the Buffalo News he worked at the Challenger newspaper.

And my mom was born in Puerto Rico and created seven blogs listed on a post about me and the work I’m doing with the Educational Pledge with President Alberto O. Cappas and CEO/Co-Founder Miguel A. Montes in the  Especially for Women in Buffalo, New York blog.

My parents always wanted the best for me and sent me to the best summer programs like hoity-toity art programs in tony Northeastern neighborhoods like Putney School in Vermont or Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut. I attended summer high school college programs at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Syracuse University. And they made sure I had the best education that public school could offer.

Don’t get it twisted folks my ass was sent to public school. Oh, public school how I loved the diversity of it. The moments that stuck in my head besides all the good times were the time when bestowed the title of the white girl stuck in a black girl’s body. I guess being well spoken was a no-no in public school. Learn to get your Ebonics on or get out. This title came from my dear friends. Love them to pieces back then but what were they thinking! I even had a white girl tell me how white I was (yeah I know!).

Now that you know my back ground here is my case. Let me be bold because I have no time to spout bullshit. My life has not just been black or white and sometimes not even gray. It’s been a very colorful one. I have met people from all around. I have met people of many races, sexes and religions. I have many friends past and present who encompass all these qualities. Yes when it comes to dating,  I do have a racial preferences but who doesn’t everyone has preferences whether they be physical or mental.

Over the past couple of months I have consider expanding those boundaries because I don’t want to live with too many limits on my life. One day I aspire to be limitless. Let me make one thing clear if you think one thing about me and refuse to hear my side of the story or what makes me tick then you live in a black and white world because you refuse to see the many shades that lie underneath. That is why I say Yeah ok……


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