2 North Louisiana women have a say in Washington Post essay
(KSLA) - When seven Washington Post photographers set out to learn what it means to be an American, their search led them to North Louisiana.
They interviewed 102 people in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
The resulting interactive essay was posted earlier this month on the Post's website.
And the two women chosen to represent Louisiana both hail from the northern end of the state.
"The common value that we all have is freedom, ultimately," Miss Grambling State University Jimmitriv "Jimmi" Roberson told the interviewers.
At 21 years old, the Arcadia resident who was born five years to the day before 9/11 is one of the youngest to participate in the Post's project.
The essay describes her as a senior biology major who wants to be a family physician.
"Because with religious values, they're not all the same. Love and hate, division," Roberson's comments continue.
Roberson, who is the third generation of her family to attend Grambling State, also told interviewers that "her Baptist faith is central to her life," The Washington Post reports.
"We don't all believe in the same thing," her comments conclude. "We have our right to do whatever we want to do in the NFL, with kneeling and everything."
Also representing Louisiana in the essay is a 17-year-old "dreamer" from West Monroe.
"Being an American brings a lot of benefits," Raina Escobedo tells the Post's interviewers.
The United States "forces you to go to school, and that is actually good," she says.
Escobedo is pregnant, no longer lives at home and is studying to earnher General Equivalency Diploma, the Post reports.
The father of her baby is helping take care of her.
"After everything, I am grateful because I was taught how to be strong and how to survive in this life."
The Post reports that her mother has a new husband and her father is in jail.
Escobedo reportedly fought to study dance and music and won her Pentecostal mother's support.
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