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ReEntry Stories: Raising A Multiracial Family In The Era Of Coronavirus And Black Lives Matter

courtesy of Tara Casto

Tara Casto has been out of prison for three years and is raising a multiracial family. As she told ReEntry Stories producer Mary Evans, the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement is having a big impact on her life.

Transcript: (edited lightly for length and clarity)

Tara Casto You know, you worry about your kid all day while they're in daycare. Whether somebody is sick or has come in contact with anybody that has COVID-19. It's really stressful financially. It's stressful spiritually trying to raise a child like, them wondering like what's going on? Why does Mommy have to wear a mask to drop you off at daycare?

Mary Evans Moving forward with the protests and with the police tension and during this pandemic, how do you see that returned citizens could be, you know, vital to the turning point? Like, how can we help change some of these things?

Tara Casto We definitely need to come together in some aspect of where, like, all lives can't matter until Black lives matter.

I have a biracial daughter, so like they treat me like I'm a suspect. Like I might be carrying some drugs for a Black man. They stereotype me just as well as they do everybody else. And I don't know what it's going to take for that to end. I support Black lives. I support us reforming America, like, whatever we have to do to do it, I'm down for it. I mean, we got to get this country back together. Like, I have three children that come from a prior relationship with a white man. My three boys are growing up in that era of thinking like there's a different between Black and white. And now they have a biracial sister, and I have to be harsh with them. Children are taught to be racist, they're not born racist.

Mary Evans You did eight years at the Ohio Reformatory For Women in Marysville. Now, I know even with an outdate, you probably think, oh my gosh, I'm never getting out of this place. But going back to where you were then and where you are now, what do you think's been the greatest moment or the greatest thing that you think you've accomplished?

Tara Casto My biggest accomplishment is the fact that everything that I do now is or try to do is to make an effort every day to be better than what I was yesterday. So like maintaining the lifestyle that I want to live in now, I have my first job ever. I've been there three years. I've been employed. I have my own house. I have three vehicles. You know, I work every single day. I'm humbled. And I feel accomplished by the fact that, like, I've earned, I worked for that. That's nothing that nobody, no prison, no cop, no police, no whoever can take from me. I work for everything that I have.

Mary Evans Well, thank you, Tara. I appreciate you.

ReEntry Stories is created at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.

Copyright 2021 WYSO. To see more, visit WYSO.

Mary Evans