Tori Collins, Washington, DC. Depression is real and doesn’t care about your race. If you’re African-American and female not only are you expected to be resilient enough to just take the hits and keep going, if you can’t due to emotional or mental illness, you’re considered to have an attitude, you’re a mean or a […]
Elizabeth Clair Winslow, Denver, CO. No one from my immediate family showed up when George and I were married. But when Olivia was born, all that changed. George was from Jamaica… a brown man. I was from Maryland; Mom said black Irish. Olivia teaches us about Intersectionality and Bias, twenty years later.
Joan Socorro Sullivan, Minneapolis, MN. I’m a quarter Mexican and over half Irish, I don’t attend church and I don’t drink. My hair is dark brown, my eyes are blue, I freckle like no one’s business; there’s the black Irish. My hips and bosom refuse to fit in anything smaller than a medium since I […]
Anonymous, USA. Grew up as the only little brown girl in class, always having to explain why my hair grew up to the skies when it rained and the humidity took control of my tresses, then drew tightly too my head. Never getting assistance from the PTA moms passing out red and black combs on […]
Jen Mahuet, Cincinnati, OH Everyone is a product of their genetic past, which is evidenced by their physical appearance. My grandparents came from Eastern Europe, poor and in search of a better life. I am proud of the culture I was born into and treasure our traditions. I like my hooded eyes, not considered beautiful […]
Christine Leach, San Francisco, CA. If the sun is intense enough, I can and have gotten sunburned in ten minutes, literally. I joke with my friend in Nigeria that I can’t visit him because it’d be too painful, physically. It’s a silly point, but one I’ve joked with friends about, who are black, hispanic, or […]
Laura De Mata Solorzano, Tracy, CA
Alice Fouts, Red Ldoge, MT
Shreya Andhole, Portland, OR
Alexandria Syth, Petoskey, MI NCMC
Eric D., Houston, TX. While my son was in elementary school, I asked what race dose he tells his schoolmates he was. He quickly responded, “White”. When I asked why, he said that his skin color wasn’t brown or black. As he grew older he learned about both his Spanish and African American heritage. Now […]
Nadia, Janesville, WI My stepdad is the only dad I know and he’s raised me so as far as iI’m concerned he is my real dad. Just because we aren’t blood doesn’t mean he’s not my dad.
Darius Tornes, Jackson, MS. Every time I go to the store people be keep on eye on me. They follow me around. I’m just trying to buy some now or laters. The people who work at the store tell me to take out my pockets to see if I’m trying to steal things. I even […]
Amanda Bergeron, Coatesville, PA Where you come from is important, but people are defined by what is on the inside. I think in the past people have assumed that just because I am a white American that I have no knowledge of my own heritages or any others for that matter. I try to learn […]
Dan Ellerman, Baltimore, MD. I was adopted from S. Korea at the age of 3 by a German/Irish couple. I grew up in a white household and neighborhood and went to predominantly African American schools in Baltimore city. The words I chose were told to me by my family and friends with the best intentions […]
Emerie Loftis, Glen Allen, VA
Shelby Files, Royersford, PA
Marcos Arman, Philadelphia, PA
Joshua K. NH Being on the Autism spectrum, I felt that I never fit in with the rest of my classmates because I would always have to have an aide or paraprofessional by my side to help me with subjects that I find difficult. Being white, most people automatically label us as racist because of […]
Aman Agah, Brooklyn, NY. I am Iranian, Irish, Azari, and German. Being Iranian means being called Arab. I am not Arab. Being Iranian means being part of a group of people that so many don’t know – even if I say “Persian” – and yet I am part of a group labeled terrorist. I am […]
Gerard Liston, New York, NY. The way I look confuses people. Most cant pin point my heritage. I am by birth Irish and Ecuadorian. Furthering my cultural heritage is my love of music. I love to play the drums and that love took me all the way to Africa. There I learned to play the […]
Tanya Adams, Durham, NC. Will my sons come to know a time when we are in a United State as Americans??? My heart grieves!
Taylor Norman, Norman, OK. White man. Black woman. Two babies that look in between. People never really think before they speak when they see my family together. For some reason they can’t deduce that my mother is married to my father and my sister and I are their two girls. Instead their eyes only see […]
Amber Duke, New Albany, IN. My bi-racial daughter has her father’s blond hair and fair skin. Soon after she was born, I was shocked when people would randomly ask, “Is she yours?” Once, in an airport, when I responded yes, a woman challenged me saying, “…but she has blond hair.” Due to a new upgrade […]
Natalie, Seattle, WA. My grandmother never got to pass for white. She was sent to indian boarding school. 50 years later, I grew up in white suburbia, where no one assumed I was Native or even mixed-race. I self-identify as Native, I speak Chahta, I participate as a tribal citizen, I carry on the family […]
Dan Hubbs, Queensbury, NY. Mixed race ancestry was a family mystery. When visiting Irish relatives in Ireland, all of whom were fair skinned, I knew there was something else in my background. It turns out my mother’s father’s family, who were quite adamant about their “English” heritage, were mixed race and from the British West […]
Khairah L. Walker, Montclair Heights, NJ. My hair is not my heritage. It’s been an issue my entire life, people define me because of it. People hate me for having it, curse me when cutting it. It is not ME. Yes it is my crown but I am my temple. I revel in my blackness, […]
Isabelle Roybal, Aurora, CO I’ve always grown up not being able to speak Spanish, yet I’ve always identified as a Hispanic. However, regardless of my cultural heritage, my Hispanic ‘friends’ had always made it clear that because I can only speak English, I’ll never be able to culturally identify with them. In their eyes, I’ll […]
Aubrey Armstrong, Aurora, CO These are the words that I hear from white kids my age who think they know what being black is. I raise the question to them; Just what does it mean to be black to you?
Abi, Aurora, CO I’ve grown up in the suburbs where the families all seem perfect and happy life the picket white fence families, Mine wasn’t lived that way, but I’m still counted as one.
Rita, Slidell, LA I chose a black married mother, who works because I am. A lot of people do not know what it is like to be married and be able to juggle a job while having kids. I am law-enforcement so that is a very stressful job. Not to mention I am in college […]
Kylee Stevens, Aurora, CO
Wally Longwell, USA I don’t think white people/racial majorities, including myself, truly grasp that they won’t ever feel how it feels to be a truly marginalized group. I’ve seen ignorant people say racial slurs in passing and justifying it by saying it wasn’t meant to be offensive. But that’s not the point. We cannot truly […]
Lucia Casares, San Antonio, TX I’m glad someone is doing this and Michele Norris is perfectly suited. I’ve been a long time fan of hers and NPR. Thank you.
Veijah Johnson, Dillard University Growing up, I’ve always seen different shades of African Americans. I sometimes wondered why I couldn’t have a lighter complexion, seeing how much attention those who do, get. Now, I know that regardless of the shade, I am beautiful as well as everyone else.
Melissa Orea, Houston, TX I always get asked if I am Indian. I am not sure why .
Erin O’Connell-Morse, Cleveland, OH As a white woman, I am genuinely disappointed in my fellow white people. Acknowledging the terrible history of oppression of other races by white people in the past (and systemically still) doesn’t mean that anyone today is a bad person. Continuing to fight to keep systems of oppression in place, not […]
Damone Wilson, Milwaukee, WI As a kid, I remember coming home from school & telling my grandmother about what I learned for black history month. That’s when she told me “boy you are not black you are Cherokee indian & creole”.. so I went to my mom and told her this new found info about […]
Sonia Loya, San Juan Capistrano, CA I’ve always been confused about my “race” when I see the question “what race are you” in almost every government form. Why does my race matter? What difference does it make if our society is a promoter of diversity? Why does government continue to ask this question? Why do […]
Kelsey, Bath, NY Being a single mom is tough on its own, but being a single, recovering addict, and a felon is tougher than you think. Many people judge me on a regular basis. I get told I don’t deserve my children because I’m just going to use drugs again and hurt them by going […]
Leroy Harding, New Orleans, LA I’m a black queer man who attends Southern University at New Orleans. Often times intersectionality seems nonexistent in the black community or that you can’t be black and (…)
Meleah Williams, New Orleans, LA Growing up I experienced police brutality three times before the age of 18. But that’s a black girl in a white world. Looking at a white man slam my mom into a police car as she tried to call my aunt while his partner pull a weapon because I ran […]
Liberty Cullen, Saint Ignace, MI My white skin and blue eyes do not change the native blood in my body.
Jan Landis, Portland, OR Our family raised a Black boy, along with our own 5 children. It always amused me when I cleaned the tub to see tiny black curls alongside all of our straight hairs:) We had a wonderful time getting to know him.
Matthew Huffman, North Wilkesboro, NC Please help, all they offer me is bacon.
Allison Patel, North Chesterfield, VA My boss’s boss’s boss asked me this question at a big event where I was introduced in a place of honor. He thought it strange that a white woman would have an Indian last name.
Geoffrey Wodell Wheat Ridge, CO Many years ago an African-American Country-Western singer, Charlie Pride, released a live album. After one of the cuts someone in the audience yelled out “Charlie, how can you look like them and sing like us?”. I have remembered that comment ever since and now, as a Norwegian-American Jew who sings […]
Ai Lee Blankenship, Lexington, NC I come from a home that consists of a Deaf mother and father. My father is Italian/white while my mother is Mexican. Instead of learning both English and Spanish, I have learned English and American Sign Language in order to effectively communicate with my parents. I have always heard the […]
Alessandro Lucci, United Kingdom (England). I’m brown mate
Mike Tracy, Oakland, CA. When I was 3 or 4 I asked my parents to put brown sugar on my oatmeal so I could grow up to be a running back like Jim Brown or Floyd Little.
Daryl Dar’rell Brown, Asheville, N.C Understanding is important. Health comes before hate. Also in some instances race. People will learn what life is actually about. I transferred to a predominantly White high school and most of my peers accepted me. People shouldn’t disturb the peace over race. People have to eat. Respect is important also. […]
Sharon Holley Columbus, OH Without the sacrifices of the Lovings, I may not have been able to marry the person I love.
Tanner Hueser, Sergeant Bluff, IA Just because my parents are perfect and want me to be this and that does not mean that is what I truly want in this world. I want to do what I love, not what my parents love.
Tracie Combs-Cantu Austin, TX I was born and raised in Kentucky from an Appalachian family. The stereotypes and the realities of being poor and from Appalachian decent always make you self-conscious of your speech, look and skills. Even when you don’t need to worry about any of it.
Heather Nardone, Athens, TX I have been the mother to many children over the years. It is hard to walk through the zoo and hear people say mean things about me being a white woman thinking I am better then everyone else, showing of with children of other races. I do not see color in […]
Matthew Jarbeau, Tewksbury, MA I grew up Latino, specifically Puerto Rican. I had Spanish speaking parents, the food, everything and they didn’t even know for sure if we were Hispanic. My paternal grandmother is Puerto Rican. My great-grandfather was pardos, which is a mix of black, Native American, and European. He came over from the […]
Julie Steele, Lenexa, KS. We are not blind, but we do believe that love will win. We will not lose our hope that in our home, in our community, in our schools, in our nation, love has to win.
Liza Frolkis, Nevada City, CA. I understand that because modern Jews are descended from multiple populations that ‘Judaism’ is not technically a race. But the truth is that as a student of history and with a serious soft-spot for little things like social justice, the innate right of all human beings to life, liberty and […]
Laurie Mitchell Dunn Taos, NM In my northern NM community, Native Americans have been here for over 1,000 years and Hispanics for 400 years. Anglos are both minorities and relative newcomers (first arriving about 150 years ago). Even native born Anglos aren’t really accepted as “locals”. The Hispanics here have a saying: “Just because your […]
Allana Horsey, Salisbury, MD. Don’t oppress my people because you are afraid of our elevation of education and desire to thrive. Your fear of equality in a land of the free and home of the brave feels more like I’m a prisoner of war! Free my people and let us LIVE! We matter we really […]
Meka Burnett-Gross, Virginia Beach, VA. Speaking correct English was a “must” growing up in my house but living in the south, I was often confronted by all races with “you don’t talk like other blacks, you sound white”. Speaking correct English obviously correlates to me trying to act like a different race too. Since when […]
Taylor Butts, Chesapeake, VA. I’m Black. Completely. I’ve tried to trace my ancestry but couldn’t get very far. I’m very light skinned and “talk white” aka speak proper english so I don’t always fit in with my fellow African Americans but my hair never matched the white girls. Needless to say, I had a hard […]
Taylor Danielle, Morris, MN. Being a “full” Native American is not defined by phenotypic gene expression. Yes, I am a blue-eyed, blonde Native American.
Austen Huls, Milwaukee, WI.
Celestial Holmes, Yulee, FL. It’s frustrating when whites are dismissive and argumentative about race issues and privilege in America.
Justin Walker, Bennington, VT. As a police officer I quite often get the “you only stopped me because I’m black” or some variant of that excuse. Well I work the nightshift and it is impossible for me to to who I’m pulling over until I get to the car. Until I get to the car […]
Judy Jessick Fresno, CA In the early 70s, agencies turned us down unless we wanted to adopt a son w/mental or physical disability or a minority child. We applied for a multi-racial child. People freely voiced their opinions (we are Caucasian), including the one above that we were not Dale Evans-Roy Rogers who could adopt […]
Marilyn Anne Kay Wimberley, TX The year was 1968. We were gathered in the formal dining hall of the sorority house, lit only by candles, for our sorority initiation. All white females dressed in matching white gowns. One of my sorority sisters commented, ‘we look just like the Klan.’ This was at the University of […]
Kayla G, Saint Louis, MO The majority of us, if not all, do not choose an apple by the color of its skin, but for what is on the inside–for apples it’s taste, for humans it’s personality.
Eliyahu Hakohen, Englewood, FL. Being Hebrew is no picnic, everyone uses us for their scapegoat when needed. Jews have been blamed for all the madness including the black plague. Is that why we are the Chosen People ?
Sylvia Jones, Virginia Beach, VA This is a thoughtful project to do. Everyone should give themselves a little time to think about themselves, positively.
Marilyn Sharp, San Francisco, CA
Leah Lee (now Leah Durst-Lee), Chicago, IL. Keeping cultural heritage is very important to me, so when I married my husband, Sihyun Lee, I wanted our kids to have a Korean surname. Our first year and a half of marriage, I took my husband’s name and became ‘Leah Lee.’ It was awful! Almost everyone I […]
J. Conway, USA My grandparents were against segregation until my parents school was desegregated in the 1960’s and suddenly it became a tribal battleground. Black kids didn’t want to go to school with whites regardless of what white uberliberals tried to claim. I’ve never heard blacks say they wish they had more diversity when it’s […]
Paula Trucks-Pape, Wisconsin Rapids, WI. What a fantastic and simple writing prompt, exercise for students, all around thought provoker! Thank you.
Marcia Lee, Savannah, GA When we were growing up we moved a lot, never really met very many relatives on dad’s side. Our widowed granny, dads Mom lived with us and we had finally settled down in a town in south Mississippi. We were teenagers then and it was in the sixties, not a good […]
Sophia Hill, Sarasota, FL The troubles of the world seem to be closing in on us, but I have faith in my fellow man, and I believe that one day we will be proud of the fight we put up now.
Gianna Crosetti Bickson, Honolulu, HI. “Hapa” is the Hawaiian work for mixed and usually refers to someone of mixed race who is at least part Asian or Pacific Islander. My husband is of Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino & Japanese ancestry and my family is Italian, Russian English. This makes our kids “Hapa Haole”. While slang, the […]
Yira Pineda, Anaheim, CA I am told that it is surprising that at my age, gender and Hispanic culture I do not have any children yet. I hear that by the age of 15 it is common for Hispanic girls to become pregnant and quit school but that was not my stereotypical. I am 27 […]
Charles Dibe, Lincoln, TX That was the me of my youth. (I’m now 81.) Almost totally oblivious. I read the news, but I didn’t understand, didn’t connect emotionally to the issue of racism. I now feel a sense of responsibility for the current state of affairs and for being part of a solution. I try […]
Pat McNees, Bethesda, MD Could be: Are we part of your tribe?
Ben Ament, Ocala, FL Dad claimed to not be racist. Sadly, comments like this were not unusual for him. Perhaps worse, my siblings defended him.
Shreya Venkayala, Worcester, MA Living in Massachusetts and being Indian, I have had the privilege of never having anything particularly bad happen to me because of my race. It was not until this incident that I realized that my race could have a major negative impact on my life. We were driving with the flow […]
Yamato Tajiri, Houghton, MI
Keona Logan, Houghton, MI People don’t know how to say my name.
Rodney Semaj Gill Jr, Louisville, KY
Margaret Lyons, Bellingham, WA Race? Ethnicity? Culture? My mom was from Chile; her parents’ families were Castilian-Basque (i.e. white) immigrants from Spain to Chile. I grew up speaking Spanish and eating Chilean foods, in St. Louis, MO, where my white American dad was from. In the 1970s/80s, demographic surveys were problematic – the only question […]
Anonymous, Montgomery, TX Diane Nappier was raised in Hartford Connecticut and came to the mostly white community of Suffield, Connecticut in 1974 to teach physical education and coach basketball and track and field. We, as her students, never thought of her as a black woman, we never really cared about her race. She coached us, […]
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, […]
Shuling Lin, MA All of the issues talked about in these race cards are a result of individuals stating facts about another. The world we live in exists as it does because humans created it that way.
Frederick Kiehl, Maysville, MO He was a 3rd generation German-American farmer in middle America. He had one son in Europe and another son in the Pacific. Missouri citizen since birth. Their neighbor, Mr. Orr, Said then come with me to sell war bonds and it’ll make a difference. It did make a difference. In this […]
Rafael Rosato, Berwyn, PA. This is my college graduation picture from 1988. I received a bachelor of arts degree from an Ivy League University and a short while later was traveling to New York to join a management training program at a prestigious Wall Street Bank. There were 34 of us in that class and […]
Haley Madison Gochnauer, Reisterstown, MD
Nichole Rogers, Albuquerque, NM We love to put people in categories and since I don’t visually fit easily into just one category I get asked this question all the time. I’ve been told I am racially ambiguous, which is “Someone that is racially ambiguous does not possess the stereotypical physical attributes of his or her […]
Daelyn Allen, Clarksville, TN
Catherine Hill, Fort Wayne, IN I have tremendous admiration for non-Caucasian Americans who swim upstream every day. I am now aware of the current I float along on and look for opportunities to deconstruct institutional racism.
Quoc Du, Houston, TX Being Asian American, there are certain expectations placed upon me. I’m expected to be smart, I’m expected to have good grades and excel in all my classes, I’m expected to acquire a career as a doctor or a dentist. I’m expected to do this and that, all because I am Asian. […]
“Anon Swagapino”, Spring, TX In the Philippines, it is not uncommon to hear your neighbors planning to go abroad. Persuaded by the stories of their fellow compatriots having better lives overseas or higher pay, it is difficult, especially when leaving family and friends behind. But success isn’t always the story; some will get exploited or […]
Mary Catherine Schmitz, Houston, TX I acknowledge that many white people tend to prevaricate over the issue of racism in our society. Some might even try to downplay or avoid talking about it in social settings. I realize that these kinds of behaviors might appear indicative of racist beliefs. However, most of the time, these […]
Anonymous, USA I was with my brother and sister in law and I´m white, my brother is half black and my sister in law is Mexican and I went to Costco with them and a white couple approached me and asked ¨Do you know them sweetheart?¨
Lauren Guan, Ann Arbor, MI People perceive me as someone who is supposed to sit there, agree, and never speak out. I am reprimanded by others for speaking up for myself in situations where others would be celebrated. So, when, I break the mold, people are caustic and afraid.
Jeff Chen, Canton, MI It’s always bothersome to hear despite hearing it so many times as if it in itself solely determines how others will perceive me.
Prakash Ketterhagen, Ypsilanti, MI
Jordan Huff, Athens, TX p>I am white, but I speak Spanish almost fluently. I love Mexican food, and entertainment primarily produced for Latinos, being that I understand it. But when I decided to name my pet turtles after ingredients commonly used in Latino cooking I got called racist, and told I was trying to become […]
Honey-Marie Braswell, Durham, NC I come from generations of mixed race and multi-ethnic people on both sides of my family. We come in all hues. Nobody has been authentically black, white or Native American since the late 19th Century on either side of my family. I’ve had people ask which of my parents is white. […]
Shaida Johnston, Falls Church, VA What is my nationality? I am American. I am as American as you are. Where am I from? Los Angeles, CA. What is my ethnicity? I know you are trying to get at something with your questions. It is your way of telling me that you noticed I am different, […]
Shari Miller Polk City, IA My junior year of college, I was studying abroad in Paris, France. I had joined a gym while over there, and one day as I was returning from the common shower area with just a small towel to cover me, a French woman said loudly to everyone around her: “Mon […]
Rachel Butler, Japan. I’m from Virginia, from a primarily white town. I went to a pretty white high school, but had a mixed group of friends all the same. I went to the University of Nebraska, which isn’t known for any great ethnic diversity, but it was welcoming to all. I was a collegiate track […]
Gabi, Holland, MI Just Because I am Dutch does not mean I have to Dutch Dance. People should not be forced to do or like something just because of their race.
Aida Verri, New Orleans, LA. You are not ugly, pretty, stupid, smart, strong, weak, violent or calm because of your “race”. Your skin color isn’t your race, isn’t your culture, isn’t your identity.
Andrew Nicholls, Australia. I’m from a small town in South Australia that has a very multicultural make-up (11.9% were born overseas, 25% are Australian Aboriginal, etc), and I’m sick to death of the racist shit I keep hearing.
Bill Lee, Simi Valley, CA. I was raised seeing the world through the rose colored veil of white privilege. I now know this. Spoiled and clueless white Americans need to wake up to a new reality where we are just another face in a multi cultural crowd.
Dougherty, Outside USA. I was adopted. My Dad is Irish, raised in Texas and then California. Mom is a retired nurse. I was raised around Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, and Jews. My friends in elementary school were white. Race was never an issue. Or if it was, I have long since forgot about it. I even […]
Brenna, France. When my brother was born, my mom told my sister and I that she hated the word “half.” She didn’t believe that the tiny little baby boy who looked like an Eskimo was half anything– he deserved our full love no matter what our relationship was. She didn’t like the idea of half […]
Claire Rainey, Los Alamitos, CA. I have a friend from Spain who I adore. He is gay, I am a Christian. One day we were road tripping with our mutual friend from France. She was telling us about her new found “love” Fernando who happens to be 100% Mexican. My Spanish friend condemned her for […]
Sandy Outside USA As an U.S. diplomat serving overseas, my job is to represent American society, with all of its varied nuances and complexities. However, I often find myself facing these very words in both my personal and professional spheres. Unfortunately, due to the nature of diplomacy, there’s often not much more I can do […]
James Tupko, New Milford, CT My grandfather came to Pennsylvania in 1907 to work in the coal mines. It had to be tough to be a Lithuanian in America.
Alyssa Banas, VA. Before I attended college, I was known as the “quiet girl” that sat in the back of the class. I loved meeting new people, but I just had a hard time communicating with people without being shy. My teachers always told me to participate in class because the ideas I wrote down […]
Daniel Cohen Stroudsburg, PA I am so grateful that you have this exhibit. The sixties and the political movements of that time were so exciting to be part of. We could sure use that passion and commitment today. In spite of King, would anything have happened without blood? Is that what it will take today?
Catherine Sullivan, Keene, NH I am a very white woman raised by two very Irish Catholics. As I move through this world and meet people from all backgrounds, I feel uneasy that I cannot empathize with the prejudices and hardships lots of people face simply due to the color of their skin. I am educated […]
Victor Vega, Los Angeles, CA. What troubles is on his mind? What’s he hiding from the camera? What’s in his jacket? That’s what I think when I see a picture of mine taken from several years back. If a white person was wearing street attire, one might think he’s cool, trendy, or might not even […]
Harlee Woods, Vernal, UT I have never really understood why the color of people’s skin would affect the way that they act. This summer I went to the Turks and Caicos Islands, most of the people on the island were black. Every employee at our resort was also black. Before I went to Turks this […]
Chad Howarth, Oceanside, CA We are each responsible, regardless of race, for making ourselves strong. The particular suffering that is in our blood, and imposed by accident of birth, are the weights we are given so that we might lift them and become strong. I am not particularly sensitive to popular race issues for this […]
Tyrek Johnson, Burlington, IA Not very many people know this but I am from Chicago, Illinois. My parents moved to Iowa because they found better jobs and thought that if we moved out of Chicago my brothers and I would have more opportunities than we would have in Chicago. Moving to Iowa was hard for […]
Thomas Paul Lachowsky, Topeka, KS. Where’s my affirmative action?
Grace Tiatune, Muscatine, IA
Erbayne W. Jarvis, Cottage Grove, MN. My six words came out of an experience I had when I went to a government agency deliver some document as part of my work on behalf of a client. I needed help in finding the person to whom I was to deliver the documents. One of the employees […]
Angel, Northridge, CA You should not hate people of Mexican origin because them, along with others should feel happy in their own skin. If a person is happy in their own skin they can be hard workers, be strong enough to get college degrees, and not want to commit crimes against societal bullies. Mexican children […]
Kelan E Holcomb-Jackson, Minneapolis, MN
Arely, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ Race comes from so many different reasons, usually from skin color but it can be reflected from hair type, hair color, size, or even eye color.That is something we can’t control and is something unique about what makes us, US. We live in different communities some better than […]
Jonathan Feldman, Rochester, NY. My high school was integrated, and we took such pride in this that Stevie Wonder found out: he made a surprise visit to our school in 1981 to promote the creation of the Martin Luther King Day holiday. I wish that all students could have the same experience that we did. […]
Elaine Gastelum, Calexico, CA. My name is Elaine Gastelum and I’ve been raised in a small town called Calexico. Calexico is right next to the border going to Mexico in a city called Mexicali. My town is full of Mexican-Americans that have been raised by Mexican and/or Mexican-American parents. We’ve been taught about our famous […]
Michael Lobaton, USA Nearly all my life I’ve heard the term “Pinoy Pride.” A term that I’ve used myself and many other filipinos/filipinas alike, essentially the term is the idea that we as community should be proud of the Phillippines and the culture we’ve created. “Developing and maintaining a nationally identity based largely shared characteristics […]
Jiawei Wang, Irvine, CA After more than ten years of reform and opening up, China is no longer what we were before. We changed the government and changed the policies, and people gradually broke through the country’s blockade and went out of the world. What you should do is to help us get rid of […]
Kimberly, Pittsfield, MA. My father, whom I don’t know, is black and my mother is white. I was raised in a White, Irish family. Growing up, no one in my family looked like me, but I never noticed until ‘Roots’ premiered on TV. I had my son with a white man, so he is one […]
Laura, Red bank, NJ. Let me just start by saying that racial forms are the death of me. I keep clicking back and forth between non Hispanic white and Latin American. Here’s the thing. My mom and her family are from Puerto Rico. The language and culture are very important to her but here is […]
Marilene de Ritis Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan
Kristen Ellerbe, Richmond, VA. As a mixed child, I have never felt at home with any culture. My mother was born in the Philippines and my father was an airman stationed there. They are wonderful parents who are absolutely in love with one another. I am one of three children, the middle child and only […]
Chihae Celine Chang, Republic of Korea I am still dreaming my future and doing my bests to be a wonderful person. I am just seating in my wheelchair, not frustrated or injured.
Susan Lanford, San Antonio, TX p>I grew up in southern Louisiana where racial slurs were normal yet one of my friends in High school lived in N bend and that was normal too. I’m fascinated with how African Americans out smarted the plantation owners using quilts via the Underground Railroad and so my quilt journey […]
Virginia Jones, Danville, VA. I’m a 54 year old white lady living back in the south after 15 years away from home. Its not the same everywhere. I’ve been an RN in central Phoenix, a wife of a Vietnam Veteran who was terribly discriminated by his own country and I’m a mother of a blonde […]
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.
Derrick Carter, Charlottesville, VA. Trying to understand and teach my biracial children and how they can make the future better for every race.
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 […]
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 […]
Melanie Vanderlipe Ramil, Sacramento, CA. Growing up, I wanted to be as “non-Filipino” as possible and felt great achievement whenever a friend said to me, “You seem so white!” During my middle school years, I claimed to not like rice (the staple for every night’s family dinner). My mom, after rushing home from work to […]
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 […]
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 […]
Alberta Jones, Juneau, AK. Alaska Natives and American Indians are often just an asterisk (*) in higher education and other data. We are collectively, trying to build our critical masses and be a voice that is often unheard.
Cecile Nguyen Austin, TX Alternative title could also be “I hate the Asian Guessing Game.” I really don’t mind people being curious about my ethnicity. What I do mind is how people go about finding out my ethnicity. “Are you Chinese? Japanese? Korean?…[list goes on]” Believe me, they’ll keep going until I stop them. And […]
Dionyves Martin, The United Kingdom Growing up mixed race is confusing. All too often you are expected to choose sides as if part of a childish game of goodies and baddies. The country you were born in and identify with comes second to the colour of your skin. ‘Where were your parents born then?’, is […]
Joelle Kanyana, TN. When people ask me where I’m from, my answer is always, “I’m Burundian.” However, there is often an identity crisis in my mind because I was born in Ghana and have spent most of my life in the United States. Furthermore, I never learned Kirundi, Burundi’s native language. But Burundi is the […]
Catherine Vance Agrella, Asheville, NC. I’m white, and by definition am associated with some of the worst perpetrators of racism. But I also come from deep Appalachian Scots-Irish roots and have a clear ethnic identity. I do know what it feels like to be mocked for my speech, or thought of as a dumb hillbilly, […]
Frank Pineda, Van Nuys, CA Empathy is truly a gift.
Susan Nickason, Penfield, NY. Listening to the news this evening about the Charleston shooting, I hear “what harms our neighbor, harms us” This speaks to me as it wasn’t even 2 months ago that I left Kemmerer, WY, under the cover of darkness because of the harassment and inexcusable behavior that seemed, well, normal. To […]
David Brady, Portland, OR. Travel to see new cultures and experiences? I do. But, we can experience the richness of culture here if we look past appearance. Listen, let others’ stories speak.
Rosa Friedman, Philadelphia, PA. My grandparents came to this country as children of Jewish families from eastern Europe. In order to become accepted as part of the racial elite and gain access to white privilege, they had to leave behind the things that distinguished them, their culture, language, and values. Now there is a hole […]
Stephanie Wichowski, Mount Olive, NJ,. I’m proud to be Polish and part Irish but because I’m white and a girl I automatically get grouped into other categories. I get told I can’t dance “because I’m white” and I’m told to prove that I can dance. (Mind you I’ve been training at a dance studio since […]
Jeannette Chavez Albuquerque, NM It was the early 70′s in the Texas panhandle. On a road trip we stopped at a diner to eat. He didn’t want us in there. He ruined our food. He put pickles in my pancakes. His action enraged me. Now it scares me.
Juan Dominguez, Sacramento, CA. Mexican people say I am a shame to our people with gauges in my ears, the clothes I am wearing, the fact I do not have an accent when I speak. It’s like I was raised in America but by Mexicans that eat tortillas with every meal celebrate mothers day the […]
James E Washington, Rochester, NY. The ego thrives on identification and separation. We seems to be a nation that thrives on dualism, having an “other” a “they or them” as a means to distinguish ourselves from. White, Black; Rich, Poor: Republican, Democrat; Christian, Jewish; Fat, Skinny; on and on. The problem appears to be “ego […]
Meghen, CA I’ve been babysitting for my current family for about a year and a half now, and I’ve heard of and been present for stories in that time on being Black in a predominantly white neighborhood. One of the first and better chats was my 10 year-old getting excited about moving as she would […]
Meryl Poku, Needham, MA. The most hurtful words said to me (white) about my biracial Jewish daughter.
Norma Torres Addis, Seattle, WA. The first time I heard this question, I thought it was funny. After hearing it a few times, it made me wonder. If my heritage is Mexican and I don’t know the first thing about making tortillas does that make me less of a Latina? So many times organizations I […]
Corazon Johnston New Orleans, LA Aspen X Beyond the fact that ink is pigment we use to write on paper, skin color creates circumstances of people’s lives. Some try to use other’s pigment count, like body count, the darker, the more criminal. Others who are the victims of such persecution make the best story or […]
Tamara G. Cincinnati, OH When thinking of which six words I would use for The Race Card Project I had to ponder for a bit. I automatically thought of the fact that I am Jewish. Being so, I often get questioned about what holidays I celebrate or why we do certain things. Going to BGSU […]
Lauryn Fleming, Richmond, VA p>I feel as a black community we lack being prideful of who we truly are due to society. The saying “black and proud” simply means to embrace your culture and not feel less than just because you are of a certain race, especially of African decent. There comes times where it […]
Meredith Christensen Katy, TX
Shania, USA. She is tired of all the cooking and cleaning. She just wants to be a normal girl and be free.
Alma Gill, Columbia, MD. When I travel to other countries, I find it fascinating when asked, are you American? I’ve never been asked or identified that way in my own country. I’m always flattered and proud to answer, why yes ~ I am American.
Alexandra Naski Ann Arbor, MI
Anonymous, TX. Said a well travelled Black American female veteran to her biracial, trilingual, and dual citizen son. Behind her, in full agreement, stood her Eastern European Jewish husband. As madly in love as was at first sight, their relationship was taboo, condemned by family and friends alike. Now years later they faced their resultant […]
Molly Lai, Milford, NH. I was terrified of travelling as a child because I hated people asking if I was adopted. Or the more frightening question: Is this woman really your mother, you can tell me the truth? I am half Chinese (and looked more Chinese than English as a child) with a red-haired, blue-eyed, […]
Melanie C. Canada But where are you really from? I am unfortunately and surprisingly all white. Ahem, according to 23 and Me: 33% Northern European, 45% Mediterranean, 22% Eastern European. But at first glance, I look anything but. That’s the funny thing about DNA. It plays by it’s own rules, and we have to accommodate […]
Carolyn Anderson Allentown, PA Why would anyone want to visit any state having the “stand your ground” law?
Shannon Muller, Plant City, FL Hillsborough Community College
Emery Nicoletti, Tucson, AZ. As a business owner, I voiced hundred of my own commercials and also had a weekend radio show. When I would meet listeners in person, I often heard either, “I pictured you so different,” or, ‘You sound so white on the radio.” I imagine they probably had no idea that some […]
Jerrell Bratcher, Baltimore, MD Why does the color of my skin offend you? I’m tired of “you are smart.” I’m tired of “you don’t sound black.” What makes it so difficult for you to see my ideas as my own? Oh, it’s because I’m black. Why must everything that I say, think, or do as […]
Shardae, USA Often times I switch up my hair up, whenever I show my natural curly kinky hair it gets so much attention. People think it is appropriate to touch. It is ok to look but Do Not touch! In the black community hair expressions is huge.
Jillien Jefferson, Baltimore City, MD I consider myself African American because that’s what I see in the mirror. but when I ask my grand mother she says I’m Native American
Luis Toro, Denver, CO. They try to tell us Hispanics are either white or black but my family’s ancestry is definitely Native American, we even know what tribes.
Raven Cincinnati, OH In parts of Eastern North Carolina the lines between black, bi-racial and Native American is blurry and sometimes nonexistent. I went to school with the great(x3) grandchildren of my family’s slaveholders. Our families share the same last name. Upon leaving I learned that my green eyes, light skin and curly hair were […]
Madilyn Hays, Holland, MI. Me and my siblings are from all different ethnic backgrounds. I’m blond haired, blue eyed and full white. While my brother and sister are both of African American background, their great grand father was actually Louis Armstrong. And then my last two brothers are Puerto Rican. We all have the same […]
Shelley Brown Santa Cruz, CA