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A taste of the American melting pot

Emily Stone finds diversity in Chicago (E. Stone).
Emily Stone finds diversity in Chicago (E. Stone).

It was Nov. 1. She sat between the window and her mother, dazed; everything had moved so quickly.

Outside, she could hear a group of rowdy teenage boys and a screaming 1 year old, presumably on his first flight. But inside her, it still felt as though she were on a vacation.

For Emily Stone, the prospect of life in America seemed unlikely. And yet, there she sat on Virgin Airline’s 3 a.m. connecting flight to America. Her plane took to the sky, and without notice, everything vanished. Her life in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire was no more.

England now appeared far too distant to be real.

The friends she knew as family now seemed like a fantasy. Packed between British and Americans, Emily Stone would forever straddle two worlds.

On Nov. 11, at 10 a.m., she smelled peppermint and spiced apple with undertones of petrol and cigarette smoke. For Stone, the Chicago streets felt massive. Yet it was not as crowded as she had envisioned.

In the middle of Santa’s Village, she and her family were surrounded by 150-story skyscrapers that appeared as if the lively city winds would topple them over at any moment.

They found the only British pub nearby, Elephant and Castle, and indulged in the British tips and tea.

While it did not taste quite like the good beef, Yorkshire pudding, and fish and chips from her hometown, she cherished the fact that it came close. And for that split second, she forgot just how massive everything is and treasured her taste of England.

The wonders of America never fail to excite Stone. Up until she arrived in America, she had never had friends like she does now – Puerto Rican, black, bisexual, and openly gay,

Not until she walked the streets of Chicago did she truly breathe diversity and tolerance. 


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Franca Onyibor, Author

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