No surprise here: Colorado Springs is exceedingly white. What's the local view like for people of color?
- Harriet Landrum
Hood: Downtown Waitress
What are the most important issues you face as an African American? Understanding what I need to do in order to do what I want to do. I want to be more than a waitress.
What minority would you pick to be mayor? A black dude who's been raised by Hispanic people, or a white dude who's been raised by black people. Or maybe a mulatto. Someone who can see both sides of the fence.
Are people of color better off than they were 30 years ago? Blacks were angry about everything back then. Some still blame everything on whites, but I think there's a lot of prejudice on both sides we need to let go of.
Who is your hero? Malcolm X. Also, Charles Bukowski, the poet laureate of the barroom. They frame my view of society. They went to the edge and lived fully in their worlds.
- Delana Smith
Hood: Downtown Massage therapy student
What are the most important issues you face as an African American? Everything in Colorado Springs is white. My neighborhood is white. My friends are white. I listen to Goth and rock, not R&B or rap. In Florida, where I grew up, it's much more multi-cultural.
What person of color would you choose for president? It's unrealistic to think that anyone black, Asian or Hispanic could become president. Let's face it; whites would never allow it.
Are minorities better off today than 30 years ago? Most of the change for the better has been with young people -- especially how they come together in music. White youth listen to black artists, and they dance and dress like them. With people 30 and above, not a whole lot has changed. We want to believe it has, but it hasn't.
Who is your hero? Ronald Reagan. I was a little kid when he was president, so I can't say I know a whole lot about him or what he did. But he seems bright, caring and inspirational.
- Eli Torrez
Hood: Garden of the Gods area Waiter
What are the most important issues you face as a Hispanic? Precisely because I'm Hispanic, people have a negative preconception about how intelligent I am or how I'd do on a job.
What minority person would you choose for president? I wouldn't necessarily choose a minority. I'd choose someone who has been places, seen things, lived in different cultures among a diversity of people. Someone who has lived outside his or her single-culture neighborhood for more than a month, and Cancun doesn't count.
Who is your hero? My dad. He raised me by himself. He came from a poor family. When I was in elementary school, he put himself through college without help from anyone. He's always been there for me as a friend and teacher, setting a good example. I can talk to him on any level.