JC Ousley Houston, TX In 1998 I bought a new red corvette despite my mother’s plea, she said the car was trouble for a black man. On the day the car was delivered, I was driving to my parent’s home to show off my new vette when I was pulled over by three Chicago police […]
Yesenia Frausto, Ontario, CA. Everyone is unique in their own ways. Whether it being race, religion, or personal qualities. That is what makes our world an interesting place, thus I believe the key to making our world a better place would start with oneself. It is important to accept who you are and finding happiness […]
Merlin Gentry Atlanta, GA Blacks can learn from Jews.You get your revenge by getting rich and making hiring decisions. When you’re collectively wealthy, you can influence local policies to your advantage. That’s just how the world works. How do you get rich? By owning your own businesses, not by working for others. How do you […]
Robert Hernandez, Riverside, CA. I do not speak Spanish because my father did not want me to be scrutinized growing up.
Brent Sprute, Vancouver, WA.
Shaun Donovan, Wales. I hear people still talking about the past, still thinking like the past as if it were today . Everything we know and think is because of the social construct of what life should be.Isn’t it time for a new way of thinking and a new way of living.
Jemmie Valencia, San Francisco, CA. Proudly that they are Cherokee and they know this because their great great grandmother had long black hair- was a Cherokee Princess, even!, when they find out that I am in fact from the Yurok Tribe of Northern California. With as many white folks out there wearing wolf, eagle, & […]
Kevin Simpson, Chicago, IL. Powerful activity
Elizabeth, USA. In the novel Invisible Man, a black man in 1930s America struggles to find his identity. He starts out as hopeful and naive, believing that his hard work, determination, and intelligence will lead to eventual success and happiness. He does not realize, until the end of the novel, that the white characters and […]
Kasey Nichols, Clemmons, NC. I’ve known I’ve been adopted since I can remember and never questioned my ethnicity until I reached middle school age because we had to fill out cards with “check yes if Latino, African American, white or other.” Biologically I’m Mexican and Italian, but I was raised white with my dad being […]
Julie B., Itasca, IL. This story started on social network, I followed one blogger I have mutual friend with. She is black woman in her 30th, single. I was reading her timeline and it was pretty interesting meaning her style and subjects she chooses. We started exchanging comments and “likes” and everything was fine, I […]
Ra’Niqua Ball, Shreveport, LA. I am constantly being asked why I am so short. I can’t help that I’m the short one. All through middle school I was 4″10 & I’ve grown some inches since.
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 […]
James Estanislao Herr, Los Angeles, CA. Dad’s side came over in 1717–Swiss-German and Irish with some Danish and Greek thrown in. Mom came over in 1954. Filipino, Spanish and Chinese with I guess some Portuguese somewhere along the way given my middle name. Grew up in an all white community outside Philadelphia. Not sure who […]
Hannah Strickland Sacramento, CA
Brenda Mitchell, Minneapolis, MN. I am me, but also you.
Rebecca Zavala, Los Angeles, CA. Well, to start I’m not even white… I get this ALL THE TIME. People assume I’m white or Asian, or a mix of the both. It is not insulting to me now, but growing up it was a little irritating having to continually explain that I am Mexican American. At […]
Ayvee Verzonilla, San Francisco, CA.
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 Lonnemann, San Mateo, CA. The census called in 2010 and asked: “What race is your son?” I said he is not, but if you are curious about his ancestors he is a mix of Korean, Irish, German, Japanese, and probably some french. They then said they would have to mark him as “other”. My […]
Kevin Johnsrude, USA. If you feel unwelcome or unheard or afraid, hang out with me. I promise to listen fully and lovingly to what you have to say.
Anonymous, St. Paul, MN. “O’Hare had a little notebook with him, and printed in the back of it were postal rates and airline distances and the altitudes of famous mountains and other key facts about the world. He was looking up the population of Dresden, which wasn’t in the notebook, when he came across this […]
Paula Trucks-Pape, Wisconsin Rapids, WI. What a fantastic and simple writing prompt, exercise for students, all around thought provoker! Thank you.
Treylieus Curry, Denton, TX. Everyone has a story and their road my not be pretty or easy to navigate but the destination is freeingly beautiful.
Steve Williams USA I was 12 and working in my Dad’s gas station in a small town in Nebraska in 1968. I had never seen a black man before. As soon as I laid his change down instead of handing it to him directly I realized he was no different. But too late.
Dustin Fife Blanding, UT. My other would have been…No one wins where I live.
Jesse Dukes, Charlottesville, VA. This question was on my mind recently, when I wrote an article for Virginia Quarterly Review about Confederate reenactors at the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg. I don’t actually have any Confederate ancestors I’m aware of, but most of the reenactors do. All of the reenactors I talked to considered slavery to […]
Flora Griffith, Omaha, NE. I was eight years old when I first began to feel like an outsider. My school was very segregated, white people hung out with white people and black people hung out with black people, ect. I felt alone, I was never truly accepted into the black, white, or latino communities. The […]
Cameron Miller, Geneva, NY.
Lana Moore, Sarcoxie, MO. I am the youngest of eight children, who were all encouraged to further our education. All eight of us went to college. Our mother taught in a one room school house until she was expecting her fourth child, and our father was a mechanic.Our parents raised us to view all people […]
Oliver Parr, Tuscaloosa, AL. Being white in the state of Alabama automatically means that most people assume the worst. I was raised in the State of California where race truly is not even a topic of discussion. I grew up not looking at the color of a persons skin but how tough it is. I […]
Dustin F. Hecker, Needham, MA. Identity politics will be the death of the grand American National experiment. In my humble opinion, we need to stop focusing on the 2% of our DNA that makes us look different than others and focus on the 98% of our DNA that makes us really quite similar. That does […]
Phyllis Kedl, Little Canada, MN. Ours is a multi-ethnic family. We have fourteen grandkids, only five of whom are ethnically related to us. The rest? Two African American, three Hispanic and four Chinese. We are anything but vanilla, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your project, Michele, may offer our country’s first — […]
Vasvi Babu, Scottsdale, AZ. Romindian: 50% East Indian, 50% Romanian. Married 21 years at a time when few Indian women married outside their own. Boys know who they are because my husband and I know who we are and what we stand for.
Rahul Iyer, Mesa , AZ. I graduated high school from Dixon IL, a small town halfway between Rockford and Moline, in the Northwestern part of Illinois. Dixon IL is a small town, and boyhood home of former President Ronald “Dutch” Reagan. Cornfields surrounded the town. I am the son of two medical doctors who practiced […]
Caitilin Weber Los Gatos, CA I was raised in Alabama and moved to California in my mid-30’s. Alabama was at the time a “bi-cultural” society (as I like to call it). We had black and we had white. There were very few people of Asian or Hispanic descent in the Alabama I knew. So, when […]
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, […]
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 […]
Patrick Lawrence, Chandler, AZ. Growing up white in Hawaii during the seventy’s the color of my skin gave 85% of the population an excuse to hate and attack me daily.
Jessica Elaine Burks, San Diego, CA. I am Black, Irish, and Native American. My paternal grandmother had straight long hair. My maternal grandmother had 4c textured hair. All my life I believed the myth that “good hair and long hair” do not belong to black women with 4C textured hair. My friends and even family […]
John Stinchcomb, Indianapolis, IN. It would be awfully boring if we all looked alike. Like music & art the broader the spectrum the better.
Lenzy KB, Tulsa, OK. Like many Native Americans, I’m mixed and frankly, don’t look like the stereotypical “Hollywood” Native. I have to balance the Native world — both its contemporary and traditional components — daily with life in modern society.
Latae´a Dixon, Fridley, MN. Everyone assumes I´m a fighter or tough or reckless because of my size. But they´re wrong.
Jedediah Stegman Polk City, IA No cause, no advocate, just white and male. So little to be inspired by, all our models or “heroes” are flawed and not what we were originally led to believe they were. We stay silent, and with our wives we live the middle road life. 2 kids, 2 cats, 2 […]
Kristiane Valenza, Vicksburg, MS. After moving to rural Mississippi from New York to teach Spanish at the high school level, I’m frequently met with confusion as to how I have an “ethnic” name and can teach Spanish, but I have fair skin and European features. When people ask me, “Are you from Vicksburg?” they really […]
B B, Flathead Indian Reservation, MT. One may change; one may relinquish imposed ideas of self. Maybe every day; maybe every hour. Maybe never. I searched the Race Cards for the keyword “sorry”. Of the 32 six-word uses of the term, 22 were ironic, 8 were apologetic, and 2 were preceded with the word “not.” […]
Bill Gricko, Monmouth University This statement is about equal and inalienable human rights to life, liberty, and to pursue happiness that are afforded to all humans by virtue of their humanity. Respect of those rights by others is warranted only by one’s action – that all people respect all others’ rights to the same.
Tamera, Evans, GA. I still hear this comment from people even after being in a 32 year long loving marriage, having 3 children, and 5 grandchildren. I have heard that comment or a similar one from whites and blacks and that is truly sad to me. Love has no color boundaries in my eyes and […]
Livia Messenger, Northhampton, MA. Smith College Before I told you my grandmother was from Japan, I wasn’t Asian to you. I’m white. I don’t speak Japanese. I’ve never been to Japan, worn a kimono, or even met my Japanese relatives. I flunked out of calculus – but I suppose my “white side” was holding the […]
Avanti Iyer, Chevy Chase, MD. I’m tired of not been seen as having the same rights as white people (especially after 9/11). I had to pay hundreds of dollars in fees and take a test to become a citizen of the US. I am curious how many native-born white people have the equivalent civics, history […]
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 […]
Franlkin Davis, Staten Island, NY. I’m tired of all the Liberal anti-White educators, media-types, race-baiting colored preachers of hate, and Democrat politicians telling me and members of my race we should be ashamed to be White. RESIST! Stand up! Speak out! Vilify the ideologically deficient Liberal propagandists telling us “we’re all the same”, we are […]
Christopher McBride New York City, NY Brooklyn Seeing that exhibit really brought about a strong reaction emotionally from myself. As a musician, seeing the visual art side of things was really powerful.
Matt Spencer West Hollywood, CA I am well-aware of the privilege that I enjoy growing up white in America. Very rarely does my race cross my mind. My Caucasian race is not how people define or understand me. Men don’t cross the street when I approach them and women don’t clutch their purses. Nobody asks […]
Jordan Seigal, Flushing, NY. I’m Eurasian with a white father. At times I think, of course he was white. I wonder why, exactly. Why were Asian men not good enough? I look Asian. I have been turned down and called terrible things by Asian women, because of my appearance. Am I considered better because I […]
Sharon Neumane, Mehoopany, PA. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s I truly believed that we had moved beyond racial conflicts. My greatest heroes, my most beloved singers and song writers, actors, activists and poets are people who’s skin is a different color than mine. I have never in my life filled out a race […]
Leah Wright, Cartersville, GA. My mom is my hero because she stood tall against her racist family and refused to pass on the fear and hatred my ancestors clung so tightly to. She raised me with the understanding that we are ALL God’s children. That is why I don’t understand so-called Christianity today. So much […]
Robert Amore, West Hollywood, CA. NYC Born, High School North Shore Long Island, University Evanston Ill., Manhattan Resident for 20 years. Moved to Los Angeles in 2005. To my shock not once but at least 6 times asked the above question. Why anyone would be asked this question is disgraceful. Observing Race discrimination and prejudice […]
Rosita Gonzalez, Madison, WI. I am not who I seem. Roads converged to make me a person of three races, of which only one sticks. My children only identify with the one that sticks. But I cannot tell them much about that race that defines them. I blog about it to examine and heal both […]
Betty Rosenda Green, Chino Hills, CA. With the recent controversies of Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone in blackface and Zendaya Coleman having been cast originally to play Aaliyah, I believe it is important to see how deep mainstream media like Hollywood work to erase Black Women, particularly with darker complexions specifically in this case, by […]
Trealavon Grier, Harrisburg, PA. As a dark skinned African American, I have only experienced racist rejection from others that look like me. Self hatred, unfortunately, is real. Now in my 40’s, I realized how much of my life was wastep on other people’s issues. This was the beginning of self love and the fulfillment of […]
Kimberly, Detroit, MI. I was just listening to Talk of the Nation with Celeste Headlee discussing Navigating The Lines Between Ethnicity And Identity and I could relate to notion of being biracial and adopted into a white family and having to explore my identity through education and exposure to other black people. I’ve learned that […]
Aubrie B., Moscow, ID. I am an 18 year old adopted Chinese girl. For years, I’ve endured the disgusted looks of onlookers whenever I go out in public with my adoptive father in the most harmless places; the grocery store or a restaurant. Even when my adoptive mother is there, many still glare at me. […]
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 […]
Rob Bockman, Columbia, SC. Neutrally, “race” is a series of classifications designed to serve as a shortcut. Realistically, it’s a way to ignore, drown out, or cause harm to others. Charitably, it can also be a deep and abiding source of self-awareness and understanding. It’s not inherently negative, but it is, at base, reductive.
Saheba Cuccia, New Orleans, LA. Aspen X Adopted and raised in the South, I have seen and heard of the racial barriers that some people use to divide us. The color of your skin should not determine anything such as relationships, jobs, and social standing in society.
Racquel Picou, New Orleans, LA. Aspen X To me race is just a social and political construct that is very binding. A reason for humans to hate each other’s differences and to create these unwarranted and detestable battles for superiority. I’ve been forced before to just tick a single box in standardized test that says […]
Susie, Fairbanks, AK. I am tired of being told I am not white enough or Asian enough. As mixed race, racial identity is already hard enough. My mother is Korean and my father white. I identify as asian, my sisters identify as white. I am the most anglo looking, as they both look Asain. Me […]
Jennifer Charmley, Charlotte, NC. My dad is white American and my mom is a Chinese immigrant, and I am their adopted daughter from China who grew up in Seattle feeling half-white half-Chinese. As a customer on the phone I’m treated as a white woman, while in person I’m frequently asked what part of Asia I’m […]
Tiffany, San Francisco, CA. People who ask me this question aren’t convinced by my response that I was born and raised in Chicago, IL. “Go back to China!” when I don’t respond to male strangers hitting on me. #AnitaEllenSpeak
Chris D, South Bend, IN. He is truly wise who’s travelled far and knows the ways of the world. He who has travelled Can tell what spirit governs the men he meets.
Elizabeth Thompson, Lawrence, KS, .
Juliet Rose, Banning, CA. Hi, my name is Juliet, and I’m white. Well, white-passing. I’m 1/8th Filipino and I still don’t know if that even counts to the vast majority of people, all I know is my skin is white and people have actually used that against me before. I know white people have done […]
Amber, Boise, ID. No one gets to decide what “race” they’re born as, but a lot of people have the privilege of being able to say “I’m black,” or “I’m white,” or “I’m native American,” etc, without anyone questioning or refuting the statement, based on what *they* think you’re allowed to call yourself. Which is […]
Kimberly Davenport, Elizabethtown, KY. Irregardless of our containment, the color of our skin, our heritage, our social structures…one element binds us all and that one element is that which cannot completely be embodied.. the human spirit. I just ordered a dna test..so once and for all I can clarify to some degree what my exterior […]
Erin Seaton, West Newbury, MA. I have two great kids. They are smart and kind and thoughtful and sometimes they also fall apart. We are white, and one thing I am constantly conscious of is the fact that when my children do fall apart, in a doctor’s office or library or restaurant, no one is […]
Alexander Korycinski, York, PA.
Benjamin Seaman, New York, NY. I am antiracist. I am curious how this project works.
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 […]
Lauren, Silver Spring, MD. This was a term that was often used to describe me during my middle school days, it always hurtful to hear that people thought that because I was smart and took pride in my education it made me somehow less black.
Blake Frisch, Blue Springs, MO. We’re all humans just trying to get through life the best we can. Your brothers and sisters need you in this time of chaos. Life was and always will be difficult. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be.
Rhiannon Watkins, Centennial, CO. Why are magazines always filled with white and light-skinned women? I have never in my life had a shortage of skinny, white girls to look up to in the media, but where are all the black and brown models? Why am I automatically considered prettier than any other girl because I […]
Jennifer Ho, Carrboro, NC. I’m an Asian American woman and often times in my daily life I’m the only Asian American person in the room, sometimes the only person of color. And it’s exhausting to deal with the stereotypes people have, especially because they think Asian Americans are a successful “Model Minority.” And so I […]
Ian Heinz, College Park, MD. Enough said.
Rebecca Hammons, Eugene, OR.
Nancy Foye-Cox, Akron, OH.
Gabrielle Elling, Philadelphia, PA. You may not see color, but the police and government do.
Brandon S. Allison, Independence, MO.
Stefan Svicevic, Lawton, OK. I recently came to study in the United States and I am from South Africa. Since being here a lot of people have picked up on my accent and asked where am I from and I’d say South Africa and 9 times out of ten the next question would be how […]
Mira Elzanaty, Fairfield, CT. My father is an immigrant from Egypt and my mother an immigrant from Lithuania (but at the time she grew up it was all the USSR). Living in an affluent American suburban society, I do not necessarily fit in. Often mistaken for Hispanic, or “mixed,” people cannot determine my ethnicity. Here, […]
Chuck Lehneis San Diego, CA Born here in San Diego, I find I fit in best. Yet, I don’t identify totally with the culture, by and large. Most of the surfers are white, most of the tourists are white, most of the people who are out and about on a Saturday night too. I see […]
Messiah Toure, Philadelphia, PA. All my life, I’ve felt empowered by vocabulary and being educated. However, there seems to be a correlation between being educated and being white. And a correlation, unfortunately, between being uneducated and being black. It’s a stigma that really needs to change, it’s entirely possible to be black and be educated. […]