Black lesbian CPA, it’s really me.

Andrea Hyson, San Francisco, CA. About two months ago, I finally met a new employee in another department. This woman and I had numerous phone conversations but hadn’t yet met. I decided to stop by her office to introduce myself. Another employee was at her door as I approached. As I turned into her office, […]

Darnella “with an A” thank you.

Darnella Rozzelle. USA I was named after my father, who’s name is Darnell. I did not know this until kindergarten in Frankfurt, Germany. Because I was named after my father, my family called me “Gwinn” (my middle name) up to that point. The first day of kindergarten, all of the children stood up against a […]

I will burn the house down.

Eric Chesapeake Beach, MD 1974, I was 14 years old; my dad was in the Army, we were moving to Ohio from Weaver, Alabama. The house we lived in we rented. The owner was selling the house and the realtor was in the driveway talking to my dad one day. The neighbor came over to […]

Difference between Phillando and me? Nothing.

Barry, MN. As a black man, who – though I hate the phrase, acts very “white”, I feel as though you have act a certain way to fit into society and get less harassed. I don’t act white on purpose, it’s just who I am; how I was raised. Nonetheless, this “act” shouldn’t have to […]

This country belongs to Native Americans.

Lewis Hernandez, Milwaukee, WI. White people, raped, murdered and stole this country from the American Indian. Now it’s one America. One white. One Black. One rich. One poor. Separate and unequal. Separate and unjust. The American Indian has been fighting terrorism since 1491 when Caucasians first came to their country.

Ready to listen to your story

Karen Orellana, Suwanee, GA. Last year I joined a group that focused on finding civil ways to improve the polarization in this country. We work on asking questions and listening first before sharing our own stories. I know there is a lot to learn about other people’s experiences, especially about race. So my goal going […]

They asked why I wasn’t working…

Martín De Greiff, Winchester, MA. Just because I am hispanic, does not mean I should be working on your lawn… I was walking one day early in the morning after a run and I noticed some hispanic guys working on a lawn on a house with an odd machine. So I stopped and asked what […]

Multi-Racial means having a fluid Identity

Jesse Ponnambalam, Bolingbrook, IL. When I see most of the people I know; they all somewhat fit into a specific group. Some may identify as a “skater”, a “Anime Nerd”, a Brony, a “Jock” a “set specific identity here” kind of mold. Now I know that people have more than one Identity, But I never […]

No new White friends since 2008.

Anonymous USA The internet really makes me dislike white people more than I ever have. It’s gotten worse since Obama became president. I dream of a day when black people of means decide to create our own communities/cities/states away from white people, but I know it won’t happen. And I’d rather my kids be gay […]

Every Hispanic Isn’t Always Hispanic Okay?

Mathew Rayne, Houston, TX. Once in awhile you go for a drive and see the people around you enjoying what there doing. Everyone is their own person! Sometimes your expected to do something that… you just rather not do? It’s my family line? In my blood? Just because I’m Hispanic doesn’t mean i wanted to […]

Successful, Black, Gay, a family’s shame…

Karim Ali, Columbus, OH. I suppose I have been pondering my Race Card (TM) entry for a few months. When I read the comments of Michael Sam’s father (Michael Sam Sr.) about his disappointment in his son for being gay, I was nearly in tears, as it reminded me of my own coming out with […]

You graduated in four years? Really?

Michael Tackie, Pittsburgh, PA. Upon graduation from college with a B.S.in Chemical Engineering, I got this from someone I had known for three years, someone I regarded as a friend. He was white, and majored in History or English, I forget which. I was initially amused, not understanding the subtext to what he was saying. […]

Name of cemetery doesn’t change history

Lonna Jo Bowen-AlMoctar, Louisville, KY. I am from a clan of hillbillies in Eastern Kentucky. My family has a swath of land, called Bowen Farms, near Red River Gorge. As long as I can remember, the old cemetery on my family’s land has been called the “slave cemetery”. My Uncle has always kept up with […]

When it hurts to be different

Aretha, Toledo, OH Not all differences are embraced and celebrated. There has been times I have felt uncomfortable in situations and circumstances for being different, especially being around others who were different than me. I’m certain that there were also times I made others feel uncomfortable for being who I am around them. How often […]

Oh, I expected a Black woman.

Jamila Wolters, Portland, OR I am a White-passing, Mexican woman with an Arabic name and have heard this statement from people of all races. The difference is the looks on the faces of the people who say this to me, their own race always and prejudice is always written right there. I am a proud […]

They won’t listen, They won’t learn

Lexie Hunter, Acworth, GA p>People don’t like to listen and learn. In June the black lives matter protests hit an all-time high, and many people simply dismissed the issue because it wasn’t happening to them or the people they care about. They say it is unnecessary, but they do not take the time to learn […]

I am NOT who they are

Lorali Nelms, Jefferson, GA It’s no secret, racism exists. With recent attacks on Asian-Americans and African Americans, more white people are becoming aware of the racism other races experience. I feel like I experienced a sheltered childhood and I thought racism was a thing of the past. However, as I’ve grown up I’ve seen that […]

Sports need to be equally accessible

Chaucer Countryman, The Blake School, Deephaven, MN I chose these 6 words because I feel like everyone no matter their race should be able to try multiple sports. I have been one of the lucky ones who have had many opportunities with many different sports. It makes sad when I realize that some people aren’t […]

Latina proud, I can’t speak Spanish!

Victoria Jolly, LAS VEGAS, Nevada, . My dad was an immigrant when we were younger and only wanted English spoken in the house so he could learn. Even though he left us when I was 5 years old we never picked it up. Just because I cant speak Spanish doesn’t change my love and honor […]

Loving and Hating being Asian

Vivian Li San Jose, CA I deeply appreciate my heritage as a Chinese-American. It has taught me about a complex culture, thousands-of-years-old ideology, and a strong sense of identity. I am proud of the country my ancestors hail from and its incredibly rich and its understudied history. It has given me beautiful looks, and the […]

Racist parents from shame springs motivation

Ingrid Irigoyen, Bethesda, MD For the first decade of my life I lived with biological parents who were avowed racists. That experience was scarring because even as a young child my little gut instinct told me that they were wrong. Even though I didn’t fully understand it, the hate made me feel ill in the […]

Being Black and southern, educated engineer

Kristen Ellerbe, Richmond, VA. Calling me an Oreo or not really black, or basically a white girl means that you define some part of my personality, attitude, preferences, or demeanor as being owned and attributed solely to white people. Is it my intelligence, my sense of style, or how I speak? Is it because I’m […]

I am Hispanic enough for you!

Ian Diaz, Norfolk, VA Intersectionality exists. Too long have I been told that I’m not Hispanic enough, not white enough, and not black enough to exist in certain spaces. But I am enough. Others cannot dictate my existence. I am who I am and I am a proud, mixed gay man.

Kids’ mother tongue isn’t their mother’s

Elise DuBord, Cedar Falls, IA. Growing up in the Midwest, I started studying Spanish as a second language in high school, fascinated with learning about other cultures and enchanted with the idea of traveling to or even living in a new country. As a middle-class white kid, I was completely unaware of the privilege I […]

Undocumented immigrants need representation in court

Marty Rosenbluth Hillsborough, NC It is a little known fact, but people in deportation proceedings are not entitled to an attorney if they can’t afford one. Spend a day in any immigration court in the country and you can see the effects. Even though the consequences are very serious, in that people can be deported, […]

I never thought you’d like this.

Asia Smith, Kansas City, MO This has been said to me many times throughout my life. I am a black girl who goes to a majority white school. I love my own culture but growing up in Missouri around a lot of non-black people like Hispanics, Filipinos, Japanese, Indian and Middle Eastern has helped me […]

I am more than religion requires

Hannah Drillings, Chester, NY I am ethically an Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jew, but have always felt disconnected from my religion. growing up in an orthodox synagogue, the women were separated from the men, and shunted to the back of the room. I never felt seen or heard as a person. as an adult, I want […]

Why does my name perplex you?

Rohini Harvey, Amherst, MA I get so many questions about my last name- wondering how someone who looks like me came to have the last name Harvey, if it is my married name, why it doesn’t seem to match my first name. This is the name I was born into, though.

Without a paddle and a boat

Joseph Ludwig, Las Vegas, NV Being a guy that has grown up in a “Community” of whites, blacks, Asians, Natives, Latinos and other subgroups in the city of Las Vegas; and not to mention growing up in a multi-racial household (Yes I have done the research and confirmed that I am mixed with almost every […]

Whites are not a monolith either.

Elias Miller, Richmond, VA This is a variation of the famous Shirley Chisholm quote. I feel like so much of the corporate training in diversity, equity, and inclusion has the wrong focus: it teaches us to make generalizations about racial or ethnic groups and to remember those generalizations when we interact with others. The intention […]

“Okay, but where are you from?

Skylar Blechner, Mineola, NY When people ask me the question “where are you from”, I usually respond that I am a 5th generation Jewish New Yorker. Then I get the follow up question of “Okay, but where are you from? Like your ancestors.” I answer the same way and usually get weird looks, but in […]

“You don’t look Jamaican or Cuban”

Michael A. Caldas, Miami, FL I’m a Cuban and Jamaican descent mix. Most people when they look at me think that I am either Cape Verdean, Polynesian, or Middle Eastern. When I was at Tuskegee, on the road there, we stopped at gas station to make a rest-stop and when one of the older white […]

My Skin Color Poses a Threat

Mia Woodard, Dallas, TX Because of my skin color, when I’m out in public I am looked at with disgust and spoken to rudely. Because of my skin color, I am not always afforded the same opportunities as the next. Because of my skin color, the Asian cashier in the beauty store follows and watches […]

People label me white. Thank goodness.

Jeremiah Friedman, Durham, NH As a young man of Polish heritage from both sides of my family, I have many of the physical characteristics that Jews of Eastern Europe share: olive skin, a bumped nose, and curly brown hair. One hundred years ago, my physical characteristics would have placed me in a class of people […]

Black and Beautiful with Breathtaking Strength

Sidni Sera Goodman, Wayne State, Eastpointe, MI Being black in America is more than just challenging. There are so many highs and so many lows. I dealt with one day feeling black and proud, seeing how other cultures love my culture, style, flair, music, etc., then other days, I see how my black brothers and […]

Stop acting like blacks are saints

Jimmy, New York, NY Obviously 400 years of segregation is the cause of today’s black society. And obviously, there is a tremendous amount of white trash, idiots who think Trump is a good businessman, great man, knows what he’s doing, and a class act. There are so many white pedophiles, liars, cheaters, thieves, senseless bigots, […]

They won’t listen, they won’t believe

Merritt Campbell Burton, Lewiston, ID I considered myself color-blind until I learned that wasn’t helping. I was one of those hippy-dippy people who would say “we need to just move past it.” We don’t; not yet. We need to acknowledge and talk about it. Long conversations, uncomfortable conversations. My first experience with racism was as […]

Difference between staying alive or dying

Isaiah Borders, Kannapolis, NC p>Race in America can be a life or death situation during some occasions. Racial injustice is 100% real and there’s a chance you could get racially profiled from the color of your skin. I chose to say “Difference between staying alive or dying” because, depending on what race you are is […]

Afraid for my Native American children.

Jarret Cummings, Rockville, MD My wife and children are members of the Cherokee Nation, but we have the good fortune to live in an area where they are unlikely to face discrimination. I worry about what may happen if my children ultimately go someplace where racial discrimination is still prevalent and how I should prepare […]

Have you found a man, yet?

Kaitlyn Brumbaugh, Mount Holly Springs, PA As a woman, my family makes it seem like my entire future depends on if I am in a relationship and get married. However, I am worth more than my relationship status.

White, privellged, and aware of it.

Grant Peters, Orange, CA I come from a wealthy suburb of the Bay Area in CA. I grew up in a bubble of sorts that lacked much-needed diversity to open myself up to other viewpoints. It wasn’t until my parents got divorced, and my mother had to move to a much lower socio-economic area that […]

I don’t think I’m Mexican enough

Sam, Orange, CA Growing up as mixed race being both Mexican and white, I’ve struggled with my identity as a Mexican person feeling that I wasn’t “Mexican enough”. Even though it is the ethnicity I most identify with, I often feel that I do not do enough culturally for it to “count”.

Utopia is a nonexistent colorblind world

V. Anne Spence, Powhatan, VA. Would I have been called a “N****” if my skin were white”? Growing up in El Barrio and the Bronx in New York City was I called the “N” word by a redheaded transit cop at 12. The last incident occurred in a store in here Virginia. I was in […]

I am striving to be anti-racist

Tara Corallino, Midlothian, VA, . I have called myself an ally for several years, but I am learning (and continuing to learn) that just not being racist is not enough. Being anti-racist mean challenging others, speaking out, and actively supporting others, especially when it is hard. As I have been making this shift, it has […]

Growing up white and being oblivious

Sydney Fitzgerald, Annville, PA Growing up, I went to a private/catholic school that was predominantly white. Along with that, I was raised by two white parents and no knowledge of any other race. My neighborhood had maybe two black families and I only had friends who were white. Because I grew up this way, I […]

“She’s so pretty for being Black”

Morgan Cooper, Stockton, CA. In 2007, when my ex husband and I were expecting our baby girl, we jokingly called her “Blackanese”, a term I still use endearingly. Most simply put, I am half Black and half White and my ex husband is half Japanese and half White. Never in our wildest dreams did we […]

Am I Asian enough for you?

Emily P, Long Beach, CA I am an Asian American that fell along the lines of a “model minority.” I was a straight-A student in high school and was in the orchestra for 8 years. Though people still assumed I was “whitewashed” or too “American.” I always thought about what it was that made me […]

Breaking news: I am not rich

Brooke Evans, Santa Barbara, CA I am white with blonde hair and blue eyes and I grew up in Santa Barbara, which is a fairly wealthy town. Because of how I look and where I am from, people assume I am very wealthy, which is not the case. My family has always struggled with money […]

I’m rich because I’m from here

Madi, Scottsdale, AZ Actually, this is the opposite of what is true, but what everyone assumes. I’m from Scottsdale, Arizona where there are many extremely wealthy neighborhoods and fancy resorts. It is also a predominantly white city, which my family is as well. Growing up my parents really struggled with making money after the market […]

My Dad’s a cop, Am I Racist?

William McCullough, Opelika, AL Especially now in today’s world police get labeled with racists. Why is this? I believe that it’s because of the actions of a few. There are very many racist police in America and they do act upon their so-called beliefs. But because of their actions, all police get labeled as racist. […]

Latine is Geography, Hispanic is Language

Itzel Moncayo, CA I am Mexican-American which means my ethnic identity lies in being both Latine and Hispanic. My physical appearance resembles the stereotypical appearance of someone of this nationality, regardless, I often get asked where I am from. Where I’m ~really~ from. This question does get frustrating but so do the misconceptions within my […]

Engish only, you’re not really Mexican.

Matthew Montoya, Orange, CA I understand Spanish but I can speak fluently. I get embarrassed because fluent Spanish speakers are no help to teach, they laugh if I mispronounce a word. My experience trying to learn was not good and made me shut down from ever trying to. This made those who are fluent speakers […]

No really what are you?

Mia, Honolulu, HI I grew up in Hawaii which was a very diverse place. Coming to the mainland I had a lot of people ask me what I was. When I would answer with “Japanese” they wouldn’t believe me. I admit my skin tone is darker than the average Asian person but no matter how […]

You’re lucky; you have good hair

Aminah Columbia, SC Being a light-skinned African-American has afforded me the ability to kind of live on multiple sides of the race coin in terms of my superficial assets. Many people assume that I’m mixed; I’m not. Many people assume that I lucky because, since I’m fully black, I have good hair. Man, if one […]

Rooted in Hatred, Risen in Audacity

Ellis Clark, Spain. As a seventeen-year-old black male, my view to race has been cushioned by growing up in a comfortable, yet politically aware household. While I knew racism existed, it rarely touched me growing up, and when it did, it was the microagressive type. Real issues with race didn’t begin to pop up for […]

I am not a single story

Geovanni Herrera, Dallas, TX p>I chose these six words after being extremely inspired by a Ted talk called “The dangers of a single story” years ago. Where Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an African American born in Eastern Nigeria faced countless amounts of misinterpretations in her home town before realizing the truth about Americans and their norms. […]

Have BOTH parents in my life.

Maliek Chambers, Long Island, NY People assume that you don’t have both parents in your life if you are black and especially not ones that are happily married. I am black and have both parents in my life and they are happily married and both have careers.

I am Micronesian. So like Hawaiian?

Aliyah, Kansas City, MO As a Pacific Islander (specifically Micronesian), a lot of the islands aren’t very known. I understand not many people are knowledgeable about my ethnicity but whenever I mention Pacific Islands it’s always, so you’re like Hawaiian. I have love for all Pacific Islands but Hawaii isn’t the only island that exists. […]

More Than Just a White Male

Rylan A Brooks, Mount Joy, PA I have never been discriminated against in my life, based on my skin color and my gender. I have seen discrimination first hand on many occasions, once towards one of my best friends. The level of anger I felt was indescribable. I was raised in a household where everyone […]

A black girl’s dilemma in America

Selena JP, Empowering Youth Towards Excellence (EYTE) Program, Elizabeth, NJ There is a great irony regarding my 6 words story- from both society and ourselves. As black women in America, in particular, we are held at a higher standard but we’re constantly at the bottom of the barrel. We are the ones who are blatantly […]

Where are you from? No, really

Michael Kenji Yamasaki, Rio Rancho, NM. OBSERVATIONS – Where are you from? No really … Where are you from? I can relate to Mr. Marc Quarles (African-American, with a German wife and two biracial children). There were times when I too have been asked, “Where are you from? No really where are you from?” However, […]

Race is a Matter of Mind

John Stephens, New Market, VA. Many years ago, when I was a young man, I went to see the movie The Defiant Ones with Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. The film was about two convicts who were both strident racists. They escaped from prison but they could not escape each other because they were shackled […]

Not overcooked or underdone. Just right.

Lei-Anna Bertelsen, Bozeman, MT. I’ve grappled with this question all my life. My dad told me a story when I was a second grader after a boy called me names based on my skin color. My dad explained that when God made people, it took three tries to bake us to just the right color. […]

Why am I still called ‘exotic’?

Scarlett Van Damme, AZ. I’m an American, as were my parents and their parents and so on. My sister is blonde haired and blue-eyed, just like my grandma and my uncles. My cousins are various shades of white, brown, and black. My skin color, eye color, and hair color are not too dissimilar from my […]

Why do people steal from us?

Peter Chin Washington, DC That was the question that my daughter asked me when our house was broken into a second time in three years. As a Korean-American living and working in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, I was tempted to answer her question by telling her about the long-standing hostilities between the two groups. But […]

I don’t know what privilege is

Charles Sackman, Mansfield, OH I’m told my skin tone has granted me great privilege. It’s easy to make assumptions based on appearances….folks tend to forget that the heart of all racism is in making these assumptions.

Your hair color doesn’t define you

Madison Wells, Bettendorf, IA As a kid growing up I have always been told especially in school that I have no soul because of the color of my hair. When I would get an attitude people would say “it’s the hair talking”. The color of someone’s hair should not define them as a person. You […]

I’m A Human, Not A Fruit

Gabrielle Guzman San Diego, CA Yes, I am Mexican. Yes, I know I apparently hold the same facial features as someone who would be considered Asian. No, I did not just cross the border. No, I do not speak Spanish, although I can understand it fluently and am taking classes to learn it. I am […]

I am not defined by society

Justina Adarkwah Christchurch, VA I’ve always had a problem with identity, but ironically I realized it was me that thought I had a problem, it was society, my community, everyone else who had an opinion about ‘what’ I was and who I should be. I’m not sorry to let everyone one know that its not […]

Two languages, Three dialects, Three cultures

Vincent Lei, San Ramon, CA. Grew up in Macau, China. Mainly speak Cantonese there. Moved to America four years ago and started to speak English and Mandarin. I made some friends from mainland China and also some American friends. I learnt about the difference between Mainland China and Macau. School system were different. Most mainland […]

Sometimes race isn’t enough; need language

Mary K. Coseo NY I am a Korean adoptee and was raised in the United States. I was reunited with my Korean birth family about 12 years ago. Although I am the same race as other Koreans and my birth family, what I really need to transcend the barriers is the ability to speak the […]

Being Sicilian explains who I am.

Annaleisle Gingher Peachtree City, GA Understanding my ethnicity has explained so much and helped me understand who I am. I may be classified in a box as “white” but I am a second generation Sicilian with dark skin and dark hair. I’ve always identified with other races. Only to understand we are all the same […]

Me llamo Lora y hablo español.

Lora McManus, Altadena, CA. Being transracially adopted (by Caucasian parents) comes with a plethora of advantages and challenges. One of the most common misconceptions that I face on a daily basis is the assumption that I was raised in an Chinese family and speak Mandarin, when actually neither of those are true. Stereotypes are one […]

“I didn’t expect to see you”

Mensah Cone Livingston, NJ I’m the owner of a start-up Mandarin school. After completing a presentation of my school’s offerings to a principal in an urban school, the principal said, “Mensah, that was a fantastic presentation”. She expressed sincere interest in the program for her students. While packing my materials, she said, “I didn’t expect […]

My skin is not my culture.

Rachel Brinson, Centennial, CO. People always want to put me in a box and assume what I find offensive, what I find familiar, and how I choose to see myself and others. No one chooses to see human first, identity second. I will forever be explaining that the body given to me is arbitrary, and […]

In my blood, not my face

Lauren Via “Visualizing Change at “PROOF” – The National Geographic Blog about Photography and Culture To me it’s not about race, it’s about culture. I am 1/4 Japanese, and don’t look the least bit Asian (though my brother does). I grew up in America, but with my mom growing up in Japan, she passed down […]

I’m not that A+ Aisan student.

Yia Yang, Saint Paul, MN. I’m a student, just any regular student who listen and do their work. I don’t always get good grade or the grade everyone expect me to have. I’m Asian but it doesn’t mean I’ll be a A+ student because of all these rumors or post on social media saying “Asian […]

Uniquely Made, The American Girl Today

Christina Rains, Riverside, CA. French, Indian, Mexican, Dutch, but American? It is quite clear that you cannot judge individuals by their color. Race in reality just identifies where your family has lived and what part of the world you are from. Throughout my life, I have been called “white girl” but in reality, this categorization […]

America is not Black and White

Anonymous, NY And every Asian, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American people are living in it. We need to understand why being an anti-racist is not just pro-Black, and Black people need to understand that most don’t see the world like they do. We have different cultures and experiences, but understanding that most of us don’t live […]

I never think of you as Asian.

Virginia, Cambridge, MA. I’m half Filipina. And I’ve always thought of myself as half. But one day at a faculty meeting a colleague told me I “passed” as white. It’s bothered me ever since.

Image portrayed, impression made. It DOES matter.

P. Contreras, Benicia, CA. How you choose to dress gives an impression about you. Whether that impression is accurate or not no one will know unless they get to know you. But, they won’t get to know you if your image repels them. Example. Teenage Boy (black, Hispanic, Asian, white) in your neighborhood in jeans […]

Why can’t I simply be me?

Jessica Seargeant, Bellevue, WA. I am half Japanese and half Caucasian. I’ve been told I’m not Asian enough by Asians and not “white” enough by Caucasians. I’ve been accused of choosing between my races when it suits me and advised to just say I’m “white.” Why can’t I just be both?

I don’t care if I’m good

Ricky Vang, Saint Paul, MN. Being Asian, you were never really praised by others in sports unless you’re really good at it. It just sucked growing up nobody to help keep you motivated because everyone always bashed on “Asians can’t ball” but now its okay. I got to a point where I don’t care, I […]

“Are they yours? Are you sure?”

Adam Conner Washington, DC My sister and I are both adopted from South Korea. Our parents are white. One of my memories from childhood is being at the grocery store and constantly having people ask my mom “Are they yours?” point to my sister and me. I remember one time someone then adding “Are you […]

Are your feelings and thoughts yours?

Peter Torres, Fredericksburg,VA My father is Puerto Rican, my mother is Italian. I grew up predominately with my mother’s family. Despite not having much growing up, it was bestowed upon my brother, sisters, and I that people are individuals. I joined the service because I wanted more, I left all I know and all I […]

White Jewish girl in a bubble

Emily Einhorn, Beachwood, OH. Whenever there is talk about racism, a part of me feels guilty. I have lived in a small suburb my entire life. In this town, people joke you’re either black, Jewish, or Asian. I have never witnessed a racist act and I feel as if I’ve missed out on being a […]

How did you get a boy?

Claire Wallick Moy, Maplewood, NJ. This is what I was asked in 1998 when I moved to NJ. Our 3 children look much more like their father than me. so many girls have been adopted from China in this generation, but not boys. A white Jewish woman with an Asian looking boy is outside of […]

Speak Spanish Poorly? Then Don’t Speak.

Robb Pérez, San Clemente, CA. My mother didn’t speak Spanish to us when we were growing up in the Bronx, but I took enough Spanish in school to develop a decent accent. By now, however, I have what could be considered a six-year-old child’s vocabulary. Hence, it’s easier to tell people that I don’t speak […]

China, Yellow, hardworking, dream, versatile, active

Yilan Miao, Selinsgrove, PA. Maybe we should improved the inaccurate term “racism” with the much more accurate and potentially productive term “stereotype”. As American people always think, I am really good at math and this is the beginning of the third month for me to study in a small town of America. As you can […]

I hate being called a “white boy”

Anonymous, USA. “White boy”, , , . What I don’t understand is why there has always had to be a race at the bottom. No one seems to be able to get the freaking idea of racial equality through the six inches between their ears. First it was Africans. Then Jews, Asians, Latinos, Middle Eastern […]

We are not all HIV positive.

Rocky Coley, Richmond, VA, . I believe once people find out you are gay, the first thing that comes to there mind is are they HIV positive. Let someone have health issues and they really will think you are.

Troopers Said You’re The Wrong Color

Matthew Curtze, Buffalo, NY 1985, with a degree and a dream took the NYS Trooper exam and placed on the eligible list. Waited and waited until a recruiter advised me I was the wrong color. The 1980’s were the beginning of the Judge Curtin Ruling which mandated that all state and city police and fire […]

Asians challenge the Black-White racial binary.

Jason Fong, Los Angeles, CA. Asian Americans have been in the U.S. for hundreds of years and yet we are routinely excluded from discussions about race relations in America. I’m in the 11th grade and I learn nothing about Asian Americans and our long history in America in my U.S. history class. I don’t think […]

You have the right skin color

Erin Fischer, Boulder, CO. This is actually the end of a quote from Abraham Verghese’s novel, Cutting for Stone. The whole quote says “Accent be damned in Africa, as long as it’s foreign and you have the right skin color.” It is referencing how a person who was low class and not well educated in […]

Our boys died for your kind

Deborah Halperin, Bloomington, IL A man said this to me while we were in line at the post office. I was 18 and had just moved from Hawaii to Iowa for college. I am part Chinese and Filipino. I look Asian. He must have thought I was Vietnamese? Korean? I was caught off guard. I […]

I can’t help but not belong

Allie Reese, Washington, DC. I’m a mixed white/Southeast Asian TCK: In the US, I’m some kind of Asian (but in Indonesia I’m ‘bule’, or a white foreigner). My childhood took place in neither of these countries. I don’t seem to have a place here, let alone anywhere.

Deliberately deviant to preserve white privilege

Marcos Cu, Seattle, WA. I would prefer to write about diversity instead of someone else’s prejudices. For example the Mayan’s mathematical wonders architectures. The Kwakwa ka’wakw Pacific Northwest Coast people, totem poles monumental sculptures, the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s literature thus we talk about what matters not what put us down.

I was bussed. I was scarred.

Andrea Stewart, Brooklyn, NY. When I was in third grade I was bussed from the predominantly white side of town to the predominantly black side of town for elementary school. I had had black friends in my former school, but the new school was mostly black and I had a black teacher. For once I […]

I’m White, I say I’m Filipino

Mia Inez, Rochester Hills, MI My parents tell me and my sister to call ourselves Caucasian if anyone asks are a nationality. My mom is white and my dad is 50% Filipino. I look like him. When I say I’m Caucasian I get weird looks and people don’t believe me. It’s just easier to say […]

I Will Not Be Silent Anymore

Yiming Fang, Hopkinton, MA I remember once in fifth grade, a friend and I were talking, and she was trying to figure out how many hours she slept for some reason. My dad had taught me a trick about that, so I was able to tell her really quickly. She asked me how I knew […]

I wasn’t Asian. I became one.

Kasumi H University Park, PA I came to the USA to attend Penn State as an undergraduate student in 2010. I was born in Saitama, Japan and grew up in Shanghai, China. When I arrived, it felt like I was turned into a spokesperson for all Asians. Before, I was just a person, a girl, […]

You’re not Mexican, You’re Mexican-American

Vanessa Ayala, Fountain Valley, CA. I was 17 when I first realized how important it was for others for me to be politically correct about my race. I was at work one day and an older gentleman stopped me to “compliment” me, he said I looked like a beautiful Aztec princess I just smiled and […]

My ignorance has made me weak.

Langley B., Siloam Springs, AR. I am a 21-year-old white female. Currently, I am taking a class at my university in which we discuss race and all the weight that it carries in our world. It was not until now that I realized how long it took me to step outside of my ignorance. The […]

God created race people created racism

Eric Evans, Tarboro, NC. Our God-given differences are meant to be appreciated not to keep us separated. As a Native American man I live in a world that doesn’t know what to think of me outside of a reservation or the pages of a history book.

I’m Karen, not the Karen meme

Pru Moo, Utica, NY p>I’m not Korean, and no, I’m not the Karen meme neither. I’m from Karen State, Myanmar, in Southeast Asia. I am Karen, and I speak the Karen language. My ethnicity is not your meme.

Holding a grudge is like drinking…

Lisa Hill, Perth, Western Australia …poison and waiting for the other person to die Name me a person who doesn’t fit into some discriminated against group – I for one am white female and middle-class – very privileged you might think. Scratch beneath the surface and you find that my father beat up my mother, […]

First generation immigrant; you’d never know.

Choua Yang, Green Bay, WI. I was one of the lucky to escape Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War conflict. It was 1980 and I was only a baby when I came to the United States. As I progressed through school, I was immersed in western culture everywhere but my home; and it frustrated me […]

Oceanic? I’ve NEVER heard of that.

Lee, Saipan, MP. Oceania is the proper geographical name of a defined region, as are North America, Europe, Asia, etc. People are Native American, European, Asian… I am, among other things, Oceanic or Oceanian; a person descended from ancestors from Oceania. Specifically, Micronesia. The term “pacific islander” as a racial category is an oddity that […]

“Hey, Geisha Girl!” What? Who, me?

Jennifer Luberecki Hagerstown, MD Being Korean-born and adopted at 3 by Caucasian parents, I grew up with my adopted parents culture (which is Polish and Scottish) and feel thoroughly American. Which is why it feels like a shock, and sometimes a slap in the face, when other people make assumptions about who I am. The […]

Trying to Navigate, Willing to Fight

Donna Scott, Seattle, WA. I’m passionate about social justice, but I sense the amount of space that I take up, as a white person. I noticed race early on (I’m thinking I noticed it in Kindergarten, I was one of two white kids at my school of ~300) and I’ve been trying my best to […]

Multi does not equal NO race.

Erin Yarbrough, Norman, OK. My husband is half black and half Korean. I’m white. Our son is three races, but I hear and fear that others don’t see him as any race. Multi-racial is sometimes a hard way to identify.

Where did you GET her from?

Beth Watson, Tacoma, WA. In ‘post-racial’ ( I use this term sarcastically) America, living in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t believe how many times I have been asked outright, “where did you get her from?” in response to seeing me and my bi-racial daughter in public. This question, of course, comes at the end of […]

I learned I was Black in kindergarten.

Shakira, Phoenix, AZ. One day after our teacher snapped photos of our class she developed them in black and white and scattered them out on a table and told us to find ourselves. I got frustrated because I could not find my photo; that day my mother was volunteering as class mother and she pointed […]

Why do I have to pick?

Lisa Pearce, La Marque, TX Being mixed race has brought on everything from “oh, you look like you speak Spanish” to “don’t be so white”. Wanting to hold on to a culture but feeling like a fraud because I’m only “half” has been a challenge throughout my life. It has taken years to realize that […]

Dominican/Mexican White California Surfer Boy

Alfredo Zavala, Paso Robles, CA. Grew up in Southern California to a Mexican father and a Dominican mother in a bi-lingual home. I am the product of many cultures. Mexican, Dominican, American, Californian, Surfer/skater/ punk, Catholic, Evangelical and Latino White boy in east LA and Orange County. Caribbean music is part of my DNA as […]

I’m amazed at Lillian Smith’s courage.

Bob Thomas, Rabun Gap, GA. I have been working on a web site for the Lillian E. Smith Foundation located in Rabun County, Georgia. In doing research for the project I’m learning more and more about a remarkable woman who as a Southerner spoke out frankly and with unflinching certainty against segregation. As an author […]

Using my race and womanhood as leverage!

Jade D. Lee, Syracuse, NY. I HATE feeling like I SHOULD feel less than because I am a black woman. I believe that I can do anything, and I CAN surpass any social construct that challenges this belief. EVERY black woman has the capacity to exhibit an abundance of adequacy and value.

The Uncertainty My Blackness Brings Me

Ashlei, Knoxville, TN Being a black woman sometimes feels like I will always have unjust obstacles in my life. I will learn to deal with them and not let them anger me the way they probably should. But I wonder if I will ever truly feel like I belong in a space. At the age […]

Curly hair, yes I am fully black.

Codi Fillmore, Houston, TX You do not have to be mixed to have curly hair. Black people’s hair isn’t “nappy”. We several different skin tones and several different textures of hair. Still black. Dillard University

One sixteenth Irish, are you serious?

Roberto Contreras. Mexico. I’m a redheaded Mexican-american. I self identify as Mexican, having grown up in Mexico, but whenever I say my heritage is Mexican the next question is always “Are you sure you are not half-spanish or something?”. No, parents are Mexican, grandparents are Mexican, so it’s interesting to see specific heritage being such […]

Racism is also prevalent in Canada

Emma Seawright, Knoxville, TN I am from Canada and the news covers USA news very often so during the summer when there were protests occurring in support of BLM the Canadian news was covering it. Many people might think that this would start a conversation about race in Canada but it did not, instead, many […]

Too Loud, Yet Still Not Heard

Siera Adams, Conyers, GA I live in a country that stereotypes black women, like myself, as “loud”. If I laugh, it’s too loud. If I talk, I’m too loud. If I express any form of joy, I’m too loud. People want to silence, arrest, and kill us for the noise we make. However, when I […]

I will never be black enough.

Janeen Irving, San Leandro, CA. For the first 12 years of my life I was clueless to my own color (or lack thereof) growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the next 20 years I tried to prove I was black. To no avail. Now I’ve come to the conclusion I’m an amazing […]

“White” papers over identity and background.

Catherine Kehl, Cleveland Heights, OH. When we divide ourselves into “us” and “other” we don’t only lose the other, we lose ourselves. I was twenty-seven before I realized that my mother sometimes spoke to me in Spanish not because she’d picked some up in college before travelling in South America in her twenties, but because […]

It’s more about class, than race

Craig Woolmington-Smith, Orinda, CA. I was raised in a military family where discrimination was everywhere and a highly respected way of life, but the discrimination was based on one’s rank and nothing else. This was true up and down the ladder from Privates to Generals and was my first introduction to meritocracy, although we didn’t […]

You’re not white, What are you?

Sheena Biggerstaff Atlanta, GA I get this statement/question combo all the time. It’s amazing how many different races I’ve been grouped into by people trying to find an answer. The conversation always ends the same. Sorry, I don’t know, I was adopted.

Privilege is real. I get it.

Eric Moore, Anchorage, AK. “I get it” cuts three ways. First, I understand this is true. Second, I am in most ways the example of a person who is privileged and this has brought me opportunities, second chances and more. But Third can be an exasperated “I get it” because no matter the advantages I’ve […]

Friend James Green Jackson State Dead

Andy Shores Starkville, MS A track star, nicknamed ‘winged feet’ for his prowess in his chosen sport — he worked in a small grocery store near Jackson State — I knew him from there –we were both high school athletes but at different schools. His death was a turning point in how I viewed the […]

Why do you have hazel eyes?

Jonscott Williams, Gilbert, AZ. This is the question either asked, or thought but unasked, by people both Black and White. This is connected to the assumption that one of my parents is White … neither is, though an early ancestor was. Some Black people have questioned whether I was “Black enough” … some Whites have […]

Grandfather’s poker gift a hanging invitation

Carol Zachary, Washington, D.C.–and Montana. Somehow I kept blocking on three things: A) the six words. . . grandfather, poker, three hangings, an invitation lost for almost 60 years, and my changed perceptions; B ) the fact that I’ve felt I should know exactly what evidence was presented against the men who were hanged; and […]

They only see the Asian half.

Katelyn Tsukada Northampton, MA My mother is of Irish and Italian heritage; my father of Japanese descent. Both of my parents were born in the United States as were their parents before them. Both consider themselves to be American as documented by their passports, drivers licenses and birth certificates. My mother and father speak English […]

Now 82, lynching, at 3

Florence L. Tate Sarasota, FL When I was three years old I sat with my grandparents around the fireplace and listened to my father reading the Chicago defender about the details of my cousin’s lynching .

Passing off white, hearing the truth

Anonymous, USA   I am a light-skinned Hispanic woman. I straddle between the white world and the brown world. White people don’t realize I’m brown, and brown people don’t realize I’m not white. I “pass.” I have freckles, and I don’t speak Spanish. My accent is a Long Island one. I grew up in predominantly […]

The model minority myth blinds Asians

Dylan Ha, Milpitas, CA The model minority myth is the idea that Asians are the “perfect” minority. They don’t retaliate against the majority, conform to societal standards, and assimilate into American culture. This myth is used to create a divide between the minorities in America. The myth blinds Asians into thinking that they are not […]

Too brown for the fancy restaurant.

Jane Medina Orange, CA My daughter Annie had just turned 21. So she, my husband, my son, and I put on our cocktail party clothes and went to the fanciest restaurant in Orange, California to buy Annie her first drink. As our car climbed the steep hill where the restaurant sat like a crown above […]

One Mirror With Many Different Reflections.

Keith R. Barnes, Colorado Springs, CO. I hear people talking about being a part of a pure race. Race is a distinction placed upon one’s physical and genetic traits most notably skin color. Race is a social construct created to make one category seemingly superior over another. Biologists and anthropologists have discovered race mixing throughout […]

Redefining the south’s reputation for racism.

Lanthe Keller, Knoxville, TN I grew up in a small suburb outside of Seattle, WA. I played with and had friends in my class who looked nothing like me and only when moving to the south did I realize I had never seen so many white children. The south has a reputation for racism, it’s […]

Which side do you identify most with?

Gentry Hopkins, Nashville, TN Being biracial presently gives an interesting viewpoint on many social aspects. I often get the questions “are you more white or more black?” or “I’d say you act more white”, but what if I were just wanting to be biracial. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Sociology 110.

White and Quite Oblivious Growing Up

Anna Fox, Goldsboro, NC I am a white women, and growing up, I did not really realize how much privilege I had. I went to a small private Christian school starting in seventh grade and eventually graduating as a senior in high school there. The whole time I attended this school, I think there were […]

Jenny has made you a pie

Trey Willy Seale, AL I was small and white. Jenny was old and black. She took care of me when I was little when my great aunts that I lived with were away at work. I played with her grandchildren at our home there in the country. Together we would climb the high magnolias, explore […]

Linda Ronstadt, I have missed you!

Christine Bunker, Riverside, CA. It is almost that time of year when the weather changes and the tamale pot gets taken out of storage. It is the one time of year when the sound of Linda singing, “Canciones De Mi Padre,” fills our home and our hearts. We feel close to her because she sings […]

No one wants to hear your heritage

Macy Willett, Knoxville, TN Yes, I do have a heritage. Yes, I am also white. While I celebrate the unique backgrounds of my friends and coworkers, I often feel as though I have no identity or culture to grasp onto. No one wants to hear your “percentages” and what comes along with you if the […]