“They’ve never heard of us before”

Lucy Moua, Fresno, CA. My name is Lucy and I am Hmong. “Hmong” some may question and say as most people are not aware of this particular ethnicity. Growing up, I’ve always thought my ethnicity was well known and familiar to people as I grew in a community where people embraced the Hmong culture even […]

Groveland four pardon. It’s a start.

Todd Gore, Clermont, FL I’m a 57 year old white man living in Lake County Florida, just a few miles from Groveland and I’ve spent most of my life in the central Florida area. I think that it is important to acknowledge how much better things are now, compared to 1949. At the same time, […]

Cut normal white people some slack.

Aimee Castro-DiGiovanni, Scottsdale, AZ. It’s disappointing to know the color of my skin, in the eyes of others, seems to define me. It doesn’t. My core being isn’t my skin tone. My heart, soul, empathy, and many other things make me who I am. I am very self-aware. Margaret Schneider doesn’t need to give advice […]

Her black smile I fondly remember

Harry Dapron I was a white, nerdy, shy, socially invisible teenager in senior high school. She was a beautiful, black classmate with a lovely, engaging smile that I would see when she turned around in her seat in Latin class to talk to me! I liked her and she seemed to care about and maybe […]

I Want To Know You, Too

Deirdre Stoelzle, Casper, WY. In Rwanda there were times that I was the first white person some Rwandans had ever seen. Mostly people wanted to touch my skin, my hair, but at one prison there were two little girls with their mother, bringing food to their imprisoned father. They saw me and screamed in horror. […]

Better to offend than not discuss

Joe Mallahan Seattle, WA As a white man raised in the United States, I have, by no choice of my own, indelible racist perspectives ingrained in me. While my logic and my civic values reject this racism, it doesn’t change the fact that my brain clicks to a different place when I’m interacting with an […]

“Daddy must’ve gotten that for you”

Megan, Keithville, LA. I am a white female and I do have nice things. People always assume that my dad gets me everything. Little do they know, I’ve had a job since I was 15 to be able to buy myself nice things. I pay for my gas, I pay for anything extra I want, […]

Henry is seen, Enrique is invisible

Enrique Marquez, Philadelpia, PA. I changed my name on my resume to Henry after rarely getting responses when I would write my actualy name, Enrique. Henry is the English version of Enrique. Henry received many more callbacks in one week than Enrique did in months. Nothing else was different.

Faces: University, Prisons. Not the same.

Anonymous, Lincoln, NE. I teach Native Studies (among other things) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and I volunteer with the Native groups in the state prison system. Walking across the quad I see mostly white faces– walking across the yard not so much. Makes me sad. And mad. Also wanted to comment on your “South […]

I’m not babysitting, they’re my children

Lisa Adams, Canada I am a single mother to five children of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Strangers tend to assume I’m running a daycare. If they realize the kids are all mine, the next assumption is about my sexual history. Actually, three of the kids are adopted and one of the others is the […]

I’m not Bohunk, I am Czech.

Kim E Hudecek, Rochester, MN Since I’ve been a child I have been referred to as a Bohunk; a meaning that is a reference of a rough or uncivilized person. Granted the people who referred to me and everyone in my family referenced it in positive way as if I belonged in a special club.” […]

My child’s not your Learning Experience.

Beth Curren, Bethesda, MD We are a bi-racial family and have experienced the comments of others since the day we brought our child home from the hospital. Most comments and questions have been kind, or at least well-intentioned; many others have not: people have been rude, intrusive, scornful, misinformed and self-righteous. Often the hardest moments […]

White female, eager learner, poor listener

Terry Tringali Killoran, Sterling Heights, MI I had black friends growing up. I thought I did. We played together at school and after school at their house, or ours, in the driveway. Little did I know that’s because my parents wouldn’t let them come inside our house, and vice versa. And I remember once I […]

I bet you darken in sun.

Olivia Devereux, Silver Spring, MD I’m white. Light skinned white. Black people think I’m passing. I was raised by a Black woman and come across that way even though I am really white. It makes me uncomfortable, like cultural appropriation.

My brother doesn’t look like me

Caroline Foster, Brooklyn, NY I’m white, my younger brother was adopted from South Korea when I was five. I forget that we don’t look related because although I remember picking him up from the airport with my family, we’ve been siblings since before I understood that his experience being adopted by a white family in […]

The race card has been overplayed.

Stephen M. King, Parkville, MD Race baiters know there is a LOT of money to be made by keeping people at each other’s throats. The military-industrial complex has been doing the same thing for 150 years. I don’t care what color you identify with. If you aren’t a good, kind, and decent person, I have […]

Denial. Not just an African River!

Bruce B. Rush, Philadelphia, PA I slightly modified my initial essay to make sure it was unequivocally 6 words, without any claimed exception or exemption to the word count. It doesn’t flow quite like the original expression, but it is what it is. Teach our children Purpose, Determination & Focus (PDF).

It caught up to me eventually.

Ray, Libby, MT Growing up white in a “middle class” community of a nearly all-white population, like most of the surrounding area for hundreds of miles in all directions, I thought little about the subject until much later, and especially in the last several years and how profound an effect our own, and that of […]

I wish “white” wasn’t a race.

Eirann Betka, Grand Rapids, MI. I wish white wasn’t a race. Because where does that mean I come from? I am given five options of classifications to choose from. Five checkboxes. None of which correctly identify my origin, and of all of them, white seems vague and without a home. Where is white? How can […]

A culture lost. Lost within me?

Leah Pepion, Kaysville, UT. Slowly, generation by generation my Blackfeet culture is being lost, stolen, given up, handed over. Will the Native American culture be buried beneath the earth, beneath the rivers, lost in the sea of suburbs and tv? Can I fill my bones, skin and body up with enough of my delicate culture […]

Your bar is down the street.

Ronald Zeigler, North Brunswick, NJ. I was stationed at Parris Island going to Personnel school. I was from New York and with my three New Jersey (also Black) friends went into Beaufort, SC. We walked into a bar and my friend said “three beers, please”. I was at the jukebox looking for Motown and finding […]

They assume my wife’s the nanny.

Sean Robertson, Kensington, MD. People impressed with how my wife handles our children have stopped her on the street to ask what agency she was hired through. I suppose it’s an improvement from the Dominican Republic where hotel security tried to prevent me from “bringing in a local prostitute.”

“Color Blind” is not the solution

Danielle Hammond, Plaistow, NH For a long time, people argue that they can’t be racist because they have a black friend or that they are “color blind”. However, having a “token black” in your circle doesn’t mean you’re not racist and saying that you “don’t see color” isn’t really helping anyone either. Instead, we should […]

Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong Being a Factory Rat.

Diane Payne, Monticello, AR. I grew up in Holland, Michigan, a town where most everyone considered themselves quite lucky to have a job in a factory. Just about all my relatives worked in a factory. I remember the first time I visited General Motors for a family day, and I was continuously on the lookout […]

Aussie, but forced to be white

Daniel Earl, Australia. Raised in a diverse suburb and school, as a kid I was just another “Aussie” with no real racial consciousnesses. Sure, my father’s family were free settlers who arrived from Northern Ireland in the mid-1800s and my mother was born in England, but in my mind, I was just another Aussie, no […]

Jewish white woman wanting different perspective

Natalie Sabes, Minneapolis, MN I chose to include three words about my identity (Jewish, white, woman) because they affect every action I take and every thought people have about me whether I acknowledge it or not. My next three words demonstrate how I tend to think that I am not directly affected by extreme racism, […]

I don’t speak Spanish, just Russian

Michelle Del Pin, Brooklyn, NY. I can’t even tell you how many times people have come up to me and started speaking Spanish. Sometimes it even goes as far as telling me that it’s sad I don’t speak my native language. Yes my skin is brown and my hair is black. So? There are other […]

The plantation haunts my gay marriage.

Erik Shawn Frampton, Charlotte, NC. I am the descendant of a line of plantation owners in South Carolina. As a gay man, my upcoming marriage will finally occur on our 20th anniversary together. My larger southern family struggles to see my identity as sacred, just as they struggle still to see minority life as sacred. […]

Ain’t much if you ain’t Dutch

Adam Minkema, Hamden, CT My father always taught me to be proud of my roots. As a young boy, I was susceptible to getting picked on because I was very pale and had long blonde hair. He explained to me that my ancestral make-up of genes was to blame for my unique complexion, but it […]

My Mind Isn’t Inferior To Yours

Jonah Payne, St. Louis, MI. Many people feel that a Black person isn’t capable of what others are, and I find that to be false. I feel that, as a young Black male, I am accomplishing things better than most of the majority. We are all equally capable of what we want to be come […]

I always think “don’t be threatening”.

Kevin Moses, Logan, UT. As a 6’3″, young, Black man, at all times I am painfully aware of my presence in a room and the constant strain of worrying about being perceived as threatening is exhausting. I’m incredibly friendly, and the dissonance that comes from people assuming otherwise hurts.

Being White and Black is interesting.

Lola Grover, The University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ Being biracial has often sparked a lot of conversations with so many different people. When I was younger I struggled a bit with it because I just couldn’t identify myself. I found myself stuck in this gray area between white and black. As I matured, I realized […]

With kids, I’m dad, alone….thug!

Marc A Quarles, Pacific Grove, CA. Pacific Grove, I’m African-American my wife is German we have two children a son 15 and a daughter 13. We live in a predominately white affluent area on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Every summer my wife and children go to Germany to visit her parents and other friends […]

“Are you Asian? Are you Caucasian?”

Santana O., Philadelphia, PA. I’m asked by new people commonly, “Wow, you look so Asian! Are you Asian?” I’m also asked, “You’re really pale, are you Caucasian? Are you sure you’re black? WOW! You’re Puerto Rican & black. That explains it.”

I myself, am not an oreo

Natalie Ngong, Louisville, KY. Sometimes in this world not having the voice that is expected of you as the race you are, creates a need for insults. In some people’s minds you are not truly the race you appear to be you act like another race simply due to the way you converse. This should […]

I Am Shattered Pieces Scattered Black

Lauren Anderson Kansas City, MO I’m not sure what I would consider myself. The only thing that I know is that I am brown-skinned, but light-skinned. Many believe I am mixed with another race or other race(s), but my parents are both Black. I’m not really sure what it means to be Black or where […]

Not White Enough, Not Hispanic Enough

Eliana Rodriguez, Winston Salem, NC. I hate the feeling of rejection from the Caucasians I grew up with and the Hispanics that come from my culture. Ive always felt alienated from the white students in my schools but it hurt even more to find out that people from my own culture didn’t accept me cause […]

“Where are you from?” – “Boston.” -” Liar!”

Lex, Syracuse, NY. I’m originated from Shanghai, China, currently doing a PhD at Syracuse University. Unavoidably, I have been welcomed with the question “where are you from” on a daily basis. It seems that not many people actually cares about the real answer: Shanghai — people generally don’t care about that corner of the globe […]

White and some kind of Asian

Miles Foltynowicz, Edwardsville, IL. I’ve dealt with racial ambiguity most of life. It is not uncommon for someone to ask me, “What are you?” in reference to my race/ethnicity without explicitly saying so. Others play the Asian guessing game: Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean et cetera. If you are hoping I will reveal my proud ethnic heritage […]

Two Black Lesbian Daughters. Say What?!

Shelley Ferrand, USA. After the initial shock of their coming out, I realized that THEY are the long search for fruits of my 1960’s labor and radicalism. So, when I see the economic travesties in our community, after I pledged on campus 40 years ago to give it my all to help end my people’s […]

Hispanic doctor. It’s not an oxymoron.

Lynette M. Silva, Dallas, TX. My ethnicity apparently changes depending on the immediate environment. I get followed in stores here in Texas, and asked questions like, “Where are your people from?” But when I go to work–I’m a Ph.D.–I am told, “You’re Hispanic? I just don’t see it.”

We have so far to go.

Bonnie Shoultz, Syracuse, NY. I was a young person during the 1960s, and dreamed that this country would overcome its terrible history of oppression and enslavement of whole groups of people based on their race, culture, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and class. We have made many changes, but oppression and murder of people who are […]

Is it because I am black?

Renee Yates, Evanston, IL. Being black in America means that every time you feel slighted or unfairly treated in the larger society you have to wonder “Is it because I am black?” It’s demoralizing and exhausting.

A member of the fogotten race

Anna Fraley, Jena, LA. Do people realize that Native Americans still exist? WHY are our struggles for equality not brought to thr forefront like those of the African Americans, Muslim Americans, and Latinos? We are the forgotten.

I Am Not All Asian People!

Shirin Akhter, Philadelphia, PA. When I tell other that I am Asian, they don’t believe me because they think my skin color is a little dark or my eye shape or the way I talk. I am west asian, i am from the west side of asia. All asians don’t look alike, we don’t have […]

Straight White Males, press blames us.

Joe, Washington, DC. Don’t believe the hype. The press baits everyone. Stirring the pot gets more clicks which makes money. The pols benefit from a nation divided too. Realize the vast majority of America is somewhere in the middle of these extremes.

But, you are not really Chinese

Lianna Thomas, Congers, NY. I am a Chinese adoptee. Ive lived in NY practically my entire life (since I was 7 months old). My family is entirely white and I was brought up in a western culture with western traditions. I celebrate my eastern culture as well through holidays like chinese new year, I study […]

Yo, dumbass white honky mother f*****

Rudy Owens, Portland, OR. So, you want six words? Here are six I heard so many times I can’t even count them. They came in various themes on being a “honky” or “f*****” or “dumba**.” They weren’t intended to provoke, to share hatred, and to demonstrate power. They were repetitively used by many people, my […]

I ask myself what’s my part.

Patricia Merten, Atascocita, TX I am white and walk around oblivious to these issues. I live with a black man. I am frustrated with how far I thought we had come and how racist we are. Women’s rights follow race rights. What is my role? What is my part? And how do I help others […]

Black doll for Chirstmas. “Shes Perfect.”

Kia Goodell, Hopkinton, MA. Both my parents are white, my mother being an earthy-crunchy liberal, and my father a stereotypical red-neck. Racist comments by him were frequent, and my mother, wanting to make sure I didn’t catch onto that gave me a black baby doll for Christmas when I was two. I opened the present […]

Send the light skinned cousin in.

Gym Rati, Pasadena, CA. We were on a road trip and in Colorado a restaurant displayed a sign that Mexicans were not allowed. We sent in our light skinned cousin for takeout. The hamburger felt like sand in my mouth. I was 10 years old.

Haitian Cuban fusion. Proud legacy continues.

Suzette Chaumette, San Leandro, CA. We speak of ourselves as a Caribbean family. We teach our girls about the significance of the drum, Haitian Revolution, Toussaint Louverture, Alexandre Petion, Hatuey, Anacaona, Jose Marti, and more. We love celebrating our respective cultures, which are unique, but also our similar backgrounds as Taino, Arawak, African, French and […]

Family talks, and I get mad

Tasha Thompson, Coon Rapids, MN. I’m a 19 year old white female, and my grandma was born in the 40s. She is very old fashioned and when she talks about my mom’s work in a majority black community where the accept EBT, she starts to sneer and act like it’s the worse thing that could […]

Love within this one race.

Patricia Duhalde, Aurora, CO This man is my soulmate. Didn’t know much about his experience on this planet until I fell in love with him. He said that we are two humans who found love with each other. The rest is a learning process for us both.

Gifted Black Girl’s Road Less Traveled

Giji Mischel Dennard, Burtonsville, MD While my cross-culture world view likely has been shaped by my early exposure to people with ethnicities different from my own, I can’t help but believe that by divine design I was wired for this often “road less traveled” life journey. As far back as 3rd grade, other Black kids […]

The concept of “race” is racist

Jay D, USA Race, amongst other “identity” labels, is a tool used to separate human beings, by pseudo-scientists, politicians, pundits, & marketers. The only way to disrupt the concept, and to emphasize unity through a shared identity, either American or human being. Those who cling to it, will forever be doomed to its tempting embrace. […]

Migrants in dinghies aren’t our enemies

Emily Jones, UK People in the UK can have the most horrendous attitude to migrants and refugees fleeing problems OUR COUNTRY CREATED in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. People phone the police and coastguard whenever they see a non-white person in a dinghy. “I think they might be a migrant.” Why do you think […]

Do y’all have the same father

Darrell Langley Jr., Dallas, TX My brothers and I have been asked this question several times, or too many to count growing up. My twin brother and I are a lighter shade than our little brother, but yes we all have the same father.

Omg! Is that all of your hair?

Brejanae Malone, Los Angeles, CA As a black woman we are known to express ourselves through our hairstyle. It’s a sense of togetherness and pride, especially when being asked is my hair mine. To be judged for my race alone is already enough but now my hair is questioned too. My answer to those who […]

Define race. Ha I thought so!

Nicole, Irvine, CA Who can give a clear definition of race? Does that definition “A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct within a given society” sound familiar?-most of us don’t even know our ancestry until we take DNA tests so can we […]

They think I am a girl

Roxie Tenequer, Lawton, OK My son begged me for two years to cut his hair. Kids at his school constantly teased him and told him he looked like a girl. I told him to ignore them and explained that not all people teach their children about different cultures. Things didn’t change and my son started […]

Whites Have Most of the Deck

Mia, Washington, DC, District of Columbia I have been repeatedly shocked for decades of my adult life at the way in which our system works so effectively for white people at the expense of a wide range of black, brown, and indigenous peoples. This white supremacist system simultaneously allows them to pretend these huge advantages […]

Black 365 days of the year.

Marquez Jones, Houston, TX I chose “Black 365 Days of the Year” because in my heart and in the manner that I live my life, I live unapologetically as myself. The identity that I most identify with is my race and although I know that I experience prejudice, racism, and biases, I am proud of […]

White woman regrets black friend opportunity.

Jill Crusey, San Diego, CA Grew up on the south side of Chicago as a white girl who went to a high school where black students entered through one door and white students entered through another. Did not know how to bridge the divide in my heart and move toward my fellow black students even […]

One half Australian and love Vegemite

Luke Edney, Hays, KS My father is an Australian native who moved to the USA twenty-one years ago. My mother’s family has lived in America too long to call something else. my father still calls football rugby and soccer football. But we both still love the taste of vegemite.

“Don’t act your color”? We’re radiant!

Avis Danette Matthews, Glenarden, MD “Don’t act your color.” I recall hearing that phrase a lot while growing up in the ’60s in Prince George’s County, Md., a Washington, D.C., suburb. On a 5th-grade field trip, as the school desegregation debate boiled on medium, one of my beloved black teachers gave us that instruction as […]

Sometimes we should just listen quietly.

Lucas Sullivan, Christiansburg, VA Michele’s presentation on the Race Card Project had me in a tizzy for days thinking of what I could say. What could my impact be? As a white cishet male in America I have loads of built in privileges. If the only voice that gets heard is mine I will be […]

Race mattered then. It matters now.

Phyll, Fort Worth, TX. At 62 years old, I am a child of thw Civil Rights struggles. When my son was born in 1971, I was committed to raising him without the excess baggage of race. It didn’t take but one sleepover for his Pee Wee Football team that the White boys weren’t allow to […]

Our Outer Appearance Does Not Matter

I grew up in a very divided household when it comes down to the words race and racism. When I 7 my parents divorced, I moved in with my mother and she began dating, 9 months rolls around and she is pregnant by her then-boyfriend, now husband. This man was your very stereotypical redneck Kentuckian, […]

Small Ohio Town: Color Didn’t Matter

Debbie Spragg Brisentine Plain City, OH I was born in 1954, lived in Mt. Pleasant Ohio, pop. approx. 500. Attended school from 1959-1972. Had both white and black friends but, to me, they were all just friends – no difference! I never knew anything about racial issues until maybe 1969, 1970. It was an idyllic […]

My children don’t look like me.

Ava Nanjung, San Diego, CA As an Indian/White mother to my three biological children of color, strangers find no issue asking me or them if they are adopted. Not one inherited my white skin. I wish one of them looked more white. If they did, I wouldn’t have to worry about them simply existing in […]

Always felt different. All are unique.

Nona Lynn Simons Orangevale, CA My Six Words: Have you ever felt different from everybody else? I have and sometimes I still do! In the fifth grade, I was different because I was part Jewish and my classmates weren’t. They went to church and I didn’t. During the last week of school, one of my […]

You are all the same but different

Malan Hadizadeh, San Francisco, CA I was driving my then three year old son to preschool the Friday before Mother’s Day and asked him, “Who’s the best mom?” thinking that he would say me. His response was “You’re all the same but different.” I was hurt and proud, all at the same time. To this […]

I hope your mom gets deported

Josie Westmiller, Corning, NY Hello! My name is Josie and I am a student at Corning Community College. I chose these six words for my race card because these are words that have been said to me many times throughout my life, especially when I was in high school due to the fact that my […]

It is pronounced marinara, not “merinera”

Frank Landrio, Winchester, VA Being an Italian-American in Virginia, I’m no stranger to Americanized Italian food accompanied by cringy pronunciations. Growing up in an Italian-American household, there are a few things you pick up on. The first is that no one makes marinara as good as your family, and the second is that a lot […]

Blonde hair, green eyed, white girl

Devinne, USA I lived and worked in the inner city of Milwaukee Wisconsin as an EMT and with the number of times I heard that phrase, it’s stuck. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the words themselves, but the way they would be spoken. I didn’t “know anything” I wasn’t “there to help” and i […]

I hope he’ll look “American” enough.

Katrina Nye San Jose, CA I am full Asian and my husband is a quarter Japanese. Once our son was born I asked my husband which one of us will have the responsibility to give him “the talk” about dealing with racism. My husband replied that it had to be me, because even though he […]

I reflect my culture, not color.

Connie Mortara Tewksbury, MA Growing up I didn’t “know” I was Mexican American (we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us). It wasn’t until I moved east that I discovered that I am so very very Mexican. But its not my color that speaks to my background — it is so much deeper. Family, […]

More colors more stories more gratitude

Penny Shaff Altman, Portland, ME. My father told me stories drawn from his childhood in the Ukraine. My mother told me stories about her life growing up as a Jewish immigrant. I told stories to my children. I tell them to my grandchildren. My youngest grandson’s great grandmother is famous for her stories of Gullah […]

Just what do you people eat?

Judith A Harper, Pikesville, MD. Years ago our family integrated a Predominantly Jewish neighborhood in New Haven, Connecticut. I am African-American. While walking our German shepherd, I was approached by an elderly woman who asked if she could ask a ‘personal’ question. It was the question submitted. For a moment, I was speechless, but then […]

I’m too light, yet too dark!

Lucia Osei Anim, Manassas, VA I am Lucia, I live at Manassas Virginia. I chose those six words because I come from Ghana, West Africa, and I am considered too dark in America but too light in Ghana. The main idea of choosing these six words is that in United States when white people see […]

Yes, I’m Hispanic no hablo espanol.

Joshua, Warrenton, VA My mom lived in Columbian until she was adopted at 9 y/o by a white midwestern family who doesn’t speak Spanish. My dad is an average white male from the midwest who also doesn’t speak Spanish. Because of the way I look and y skin color people assume I speak Spanish all […]

Because I’m balck I’m a threat

Zuanisha Jones, Winchester, VA I’m Zuanisha. I am from NJ currently in Winchester VA and attending Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown VA. I am a black woman and when I go onto a retail store or any store I feel like I am watched and followed. I am there to shop I am not […]

Just another small-town white girl

Addie, Warrenton, VA I mean, those six words sum me up in a very basic way, but they are true. Growing up majority-white smallish town in Virginia didn’t give me much of an outlook on other people, how they lived, and how their experiences differed from mine. I just lived in my middle-class bubble, full […]

Cute , Can I touch your hair?

Daizjha Hills, Spring Valley, NY As a little kid, people other than my race will always come up to me asking to touch my natural hair, I guess it’s not something people are used to, thick kinky hair, nice natural afro. Rockland Community College

Joy is the armor of truth

Judith Angelo Cleveland Heights, OH I began with six words from Alice Walker’s novel about FGM, Possessing the Secret of Joy : “The secret of joy is resistance.” I’m a white radical lesbian feminist, and I associate them with my primary teachers about race in America: Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider) and Derrick Bell (Faces at […]

I am not a MAIL-IN-BRIDE

Kristal Vanessa Baradi, Milpitas, CA …or Domestic Helper. I am a Filipino- American, I was born in Hawaii. My husband is white, we meet in the Army (yes, I served for 8 years Active Duty). Everywhere we go people ask me where I was from of how long did it take for my husband to […]

Grown through, what I’ve been through

Mackenzie McLean, Addison, NY Through every obstacle I’ve faced, big or small I always remember that it won’t last forever, and in the end I want to come out on the up side to whatever the issue is. My mom has always said to me “grow through what you go through” every decision I make […]

Don’t think I’m like you, I’m not

JP, Harrisburg, NC As a 50-year-old man from the South living in the south I frequently find myself in situations where only men from the South are around (barbershop, hardware store, etc.) It is apparent that this mono-population loosens the tongues of those who think they are now free to say what they want in […]

I know that I’m white passing.

Anonymous, Burleson, TX My mom is white and my father is Hispanic, so I am mixed. I am told that I’m White-passing a lot and it irks me for some reason. I know that I live in a society where White people have privilege, so I should be glad that I am Wiite-passing. However, when […]

I am not who you think

Stella, Fredericksburg, VA White woman here. I grew up in a town that was mostly white with a small percent of Latin Americans. Black people were a rare site—I would see one maybe once a year. We had TV, but I didn’t watch much. I had no experience with black people. I didn’t, and still […]

There is only one Human Race.

Jason Argent, United Kingdom As a white male, living in a predominantly white neighbourhood, working in a predominantly white workplace and profession, it is easy for me to say that everyone is the same. But it is also hard to think of ways to increase diversity while treating everyone truly equally. As a biologist, I […]

Homecoming with best friend. You dating?

Jaden Miskowiec, Memphis, TN. I went to homecoming with my best friend, who happens to be black. One woman asked my mother if we were dating because she was concerned about our relationship. First time I experienced racial discrimination (though not the first time I had seen it).

I’m not white, but I’m white.

Kelsee Jensen, Jonesboro, AR I am from Alaska and have a lot of Alaskan native family members. Growing up, I did not think of myself as white. My family members told me that I was Athabaskan or Alaskan Native, but not white. When I moved to Missouri at the age of 8 I was told […]

DNA 99.9% same. Humans are dumb.

Lars Olsen, Honolulu, HI I am white, Viking white… yet I have experienced racism. We humans are strange creatures. It’s great that we all want to express our individuality, our uniqueness. It’s also great that we want to belong, to something, some group. What I find sad is that in doing this great things, somehow, […]

Had to always prove myself better.

Mitchell Frank Reynolds Powell, Pemberton, NJ I started my work life at 17 years old, in the US Airforce and retired the first time 24 years later. My responsibilities as a crew member were awesome and called for attention to detail without error. Becoming a flight examiner was the high point of my military career. […]

Cleaning myself to look like her

Matthew Garcia, Salinas, CA. I’m African-American, my mother would have my stay at my baby sitters house after school while she was working. One day my mom picked me up from my baby sitters house but before we left my mom and the babysitter were having conversation. I was playing in the living room when […]

You look less…exotic…than expected.

Varshana Trudgian, Great Britain I’m white and have typical Celtic colouring of pale skin, dark hair and blue eyes. But, my parents were Hare Krishnas and I have a Sanskrit Indian name. I am never sure whether getting in touch with certain elements of my childhood are seen as cultural appropriation or not.

Playing by everyone’s rules is exhausting

Anonymous, Madison, WI. To Fred down the street I’m half-Asian; to Nick the bus driver I’m from southern France; Veronica thinks I’m obviously Native; McKayla says I’m White; to Esme I look like one of those pochos who thinks he’s too good to be associated with “them.” Sometimes it’s okay for me to talk about […]

Riding on a train crying, mommy braiding.

Donna Monroe, Indianapolis, IN. It was the summer of 1957. I was riding on a train with my mother when I saw another little girl who was having her hair braided. She was crying. My heart went out to her because I cried when my mom tried to comb the tangles out of my hair.

She’s nice for a black woman!

Barry Watkins, Santa Rosa, CA. My mother took me back when she told me that. She was loving & guileless. She drove off the road when I told her I had Black roommates in SF, though I grew up in Beaumont, TX. I never thought of my roommates as “Black”, they were individuals – Ron […]

Where did you get them from?

Alli Minch, Veneta, OR. When we still lived in California and my biracial twins were very young, a woman stopped me in the store to comment on how cute they were, and asked me where I got them from, since she was interested in adopting. They’re my children, not a designer handbag you can order […]

I’m brown but, I’m not hispanic.

Vaniza Bailey, Wilkes Community College, Wilkesboro, NC Don’t Assume, Get acquainted! Not all brown people with dark hair are Hispanics, they could be Filipino, that girl beside me is Hispanic and she’s my best friend. Yes, we seem to look alike its because Filipinos were colonized by Spain for a long time, long enough to […]

My great-grandparents fled pogroms in Ukraine.

Britt Trachtenberg, Long Island, NY p>I think part of my story is about how I ended up being born with privilege in an affluent community in Long Island, while my great-grandparents immigrated from Russian-controlled areas of the Ukraine in the early 1900s. My great-grandparents sought to leave because of instances of religion-based violence– called “pogroms” […]

Am I black, white? Can’t decide.

Jessica Christian, Winchester, VA I am a human who comes from a mixed family. I have always felt stuck in between to choose what ethnicity I want to be. When school or any form I fill out would ask what my race was I couldn’t decide. My skin is fair but I was raised with […]

I’m too light, yet too dark

Jessica Tolentino, Winchester, VA I chose those six words because I am considered too dark in America but too white in Mexico. In the United States, when white people see me, the first question they ask is, “Where are you from?” I respond, “I was born in Winchester, Virginia,” and the next thing that comes out […]

White people don’t season their chicken

Carter Stoecker, Warrenton, VA It may horrify some, but sometimes I eat unseasoned chicken. I wear khaki shorts often, as well as hawaian shirts. I wear big white Reebok shoes. I do all these “white people” things, and I know people make fun of it. I don’t care if I fit the stereotype of a […]

Marching while white doesn’t declare solidarity.

Katie Moss, Winchester, VA I own a t-shirt that lists famous African American leaders on it in bold white lettering from Harriet Tubman to Ibram X. Kendi. I recently wore it while marching at a Black Lives Matter event in my local town in response to the horrific killings of unarmed black people at the […]

Intelligent despite assumptions, Yes I can!

Brianna Jenkins, Fauquier LFCC, VA People were often confused by my large vocabulary especially when I was younger. It was almost like a brown skin black girl was not capable of greatness! I’m proven those who doubted my intelligence and my excellence wrong! They ask can you really do that I reply, Yes, yes I […]

The Past Doesn’t Determine Our Future

Zoe White, Jonesboro, AR I am an Arkansas State University and this is my first year at the university. In my past experiences, I’ve decided it’s best if I don’t let my past determine my future. Sometimes we let our past hold us back from reaching our hopes and dreams.

White, female, and scared to speak

Shealyn Chestnut, Havana, AR A young, female student at Arkansas State University and I am always scared to open my mouth and voice my opinion. There are so many moments where I fear speaking my opinion because I fear confrontation. I have let things happen to me and I have let others say things about […]

Stealth lesbian: not what you expected.

Janice Vassar, Champlin, MN I often get comments like “You don’t look lesbian/gay”. My response is that I’m a “stealth lesbian”. People assume that I’m heterosexual. I make it a point to be very out at work. The thing about coming out is that it is endless; I have to come out to people all […]

Why is everything always about race?

Jessica, Harlan, IA p>Why does everything always boil down to race? Why does everything have to be racially charged? Why is it always black or white? Why can’t we all just get along? Why are people so mean to each other? Why is there so much learned hate?

“Basic white girl”, who’s not white.

Betsy F, Minneapolis, MN p>I grew up wishing I was white. I was raised to hate my culture, my eyes, my language, and my background. In middle school, I was known for being the most “basic white girl” who wasn’t actually white. I did what every other girl did, wore, and ate. I bought bath […]