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The Work is Hard and Not Done: Being Black in the Valley

This story is about your friends, your neighbors and your community. It's about history and the present and this moment in time.

PHOENIX — We're at a critical moment in American and Valley history. According to polls, there is a wider awareness of race and injustice in the country than there has been for decades.

We see it on the streets, we see it on television.

But what's past is often prologue and the events of yesterday can connect to today's. That's what The Work is Hard and Not Done: Being Black in the Valley is about: Yesterday and today. 12 News wanted to start a conversation and we talked to historians, neighbors and community leaders for that conversation.

We also talked to Bruce Cooper, Caribe Devine and Rachel McNeill and asked them to share their stories -- to connect their histories to the larger narrative.

You can watch the full documentary here:

Here's Caribe Devine explaining the conversation we're trying to have:

Bruce Cooper

"Coop" grew up in Mesa and graduated from ASU.  Here, he talks about having "The Talk" with his children about what to do when stopped by a police officer. And about being having guns drawn on him by police while leaving a convenience store. 

Caribe Devine

12 News evening anchor Caribe Devine grew up in East Texas and then El Paso. She's bi-racial, which brought its own difficulties. Here, she talks about looking different from the other kids and the burden that can be. She also talks about raising her children in the historic moment we're in.

Rachel McNeill

12 News morning anchor Rachel McNeill was born in Jamaica and grew up in Houston, Texas. She has two energetic sons -- and talks about "The Talk" she has with them and how we can move forward when it comes to race.

RELATED: Bruce Cooper's retirement celebration starts this month

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