Editor’s note: Downtown Short Pump is proud to announce our newest contributor, Sharyn Mann. Sharyn’s new column, “Through Ebony Eyes,” will examine Short Pump from the African American perspective and feature interviews with the owners of local minority-owned businesses, offering a fresh perspective on the Far West End and furthering our goal of breaking down […]
Editor’s note: Downtown Short Pump is proud to announce our newest contributor, Sharyn Mann. Sharyn’s new column, “Through Ebony Eyes,” will examine Short Pump from the African American perspective and feature interviews with the owners of local minority-owned businesses, offering a fresh perspective on the Far West End and furthering our goal of breaking down the many stereotypes that Richmonders often associate with Short Pump. Please join us in welcoming her to the Downtown Short Pump staff!
My name is Sharyn Mann, and I have been given an opportunity to present another perspective of short Pump. It seems that there are people of the opinion that African-Americans do not live in Short Pump. I say that because since I have been here I have heard that many times.
I am originally from New Jersey, but moved to Alexandria and then Hampton with my employer at the time. I was given a promotional opportunity in Richmond and decided to accept it about 15 years ago.
People asked me, “Why Short Pump? Black people don’t live in short Pump.” Well you see, I didn’t know much about the Richmond area at the time, except that the company I was transferring with had an office in Innsbrook. So I started there and found myself exploring the Far West End.
I found a model home and went in to explore. I was ready to buy on the spot. The neighborhood was beautiful. I passed pastures of cows and there was a horse farm directly behind our development. My daughter and I would sit on the porch and watch them walk the horses through the neighborhood. Alas, all that is gone now. When my family came to visit the first time they expected me to be living amongst tall buildings and lots of traffic and based on the growth we have experience, and we are on our way there.
I live in a neighborhood that has people of all races and backgrounds. It is very diverse. My daughter has been afforded a good education from elementary school through high school, which prepared her to successfully obtain her undergraduate degree from Penn State. She is now pursuing her Masters Degree at Virginia State University and hopes to become a Psychology professor.
Although the growth of Short Pump has changed the scenery, I have enjoyed the new businesses and friends it has bought. I was raised in a predominantly African-American neighborhood and city and I learned a lot from that experience, but a greater lesson that my family taught me was to learn that with hard work I can live wherever I want and be successful as I want as long as I work hard.
The only thing I want is to give my family the best things in life and moving to Short Pump and buying our first brand new home has been one of the best things that has happened to us. I don’t snub my nose at those who chose not to live here, so please don’t judge me because I live in Short Pump. I am not alone.
My goal is to bring you more local stories about businesses that have predominantly African-American clientele and views from other residents in the area. I thank you for allowing me to introduce myself.