White to Latinos, Latino to Whites

Carlos Guerrero, Cumming, GA So I’m half Mexican and half American. I get the looks from my white mom which puts me in the middle of two vastly different cultures. I know I’m one of many White Latinos, just using my voice for my other hermanos.

Practice Tolerance. Love even if you disagree

Samantha Gore, Woodstock, GA One of the hardest things to watch in our current world, is we have this belief that in order to love someone you must agree with everything they say. We can disagree and still love each other to try to find common ground and work together. We need to celebrate the […]

Soul over body, love over fear

Charlie Rice, Douglasville, GA As a transgender person, I am often reduced to being no more than the body I was born in, and oftentimes that leads to my entire person being overlooked. People automatically have a thousand assumptions about me before they know the first thing about who I am, and even people I’ve […]

Different on outside, like on inside

Leah Alexander, Cleveland, GA I believe we were all made by a Creator that loves each and everyone of us very much, but He loved us enough to make everyone different and unique. By doing this, we are able to find unity and community with each other, not based on like appearances, but because of […]

Where do I even fit in?

Isabel Walkup, Waleska, GA Being a light-skinned Puerto Rican obviously has its perks! I can easily get jobs, I rarely experience racism or discrimination. However, when it comes to fitting in, that is something that doesn’t come easy. I’m too culturally different from my whites friends and I’m not Latina enough for my Hispanic friends. […]

My Black Panther freshman college roommate

Alan Ritter, St. Louis, MO When I arrived at MIT, my assigned roommate was an African American guy from Detroit. In the fall of 1969, at the height of the Black Power movement and an aggressive affirmative action program, we could hardly have been more different. I was white, middle-class, out of a prep school […]

I’m white. How can I help?

Anonymous, UK I feel that as a white American I have the ability to help and I want to help. I also feel that there are many bad ways to help that don’t improve anything. I want to make a positive change, I don’t want to put my mind into something and have it be […]

Your “friend” is not a Jap

Sally J. Sato, Cheyenne, WY During my time in the Air Force and later at the VA – two places you would think should have an acceptance of racially diverse patients and employees, I experienced some of the worst racism. Indeed the VA had required diversity training, sexual harassment etc which, I guess, nobody paid […]

1972, frightened seeing first black man

Nicoletta Fusi, Italy I was six years old and I was in Paris with my parents, first trip for tourism. sitting for some rest on a bench in a park, when a black garbageman approached me with kind words (which I don’t remember!), but I was so frightened beacause I had never seen a black […]

Black childhood, Asian marriage, Aboriginal church.

Debbie Haughland Chan, Canada My heritage is Norwegian, British and German. Growing up, my church gradually became half (or more) Black Caribbean. I married a Chinese man. My daughters-in-law are Chinese from China, Chinese from Malaysia and Sri Lankan. The church I’ve attended for the last 13 1/2 years is in one of the poorest […]

Can you say that again? LOL.

Caitlin F., NH My Dad and his family are all from Canada, with thicker Canadian accents. Over time, his accent has become less noticeable, but growing up I did seem to also have somewhat of a Canadian accent. My accent became more mixed after living in the Midwest US and Southeast Asia. I never noticed […]

Black women not angry just tired

Stephanie Lawrence, Baltimore, MD Outside and inside of the black community black women are often looked down upon. We always work harder than anyone else, but it is frustrating that with multiple degrees and years of experience in our fields, we are still playing catch up. We are at the bottom of the unwritten American […]

You’re wearing a hijab? I’m nervous.

Camille, Castle Rock, CO. I grew up in an area where there were no Muslims. I moved to Colorado and that’s when I was first exposed to the religion. My mom gets very nervous when she sees a woman wearing a hijab. She almost leaves the store we are in every time. It’s just something […]

Wearing your difference on the outside.

Mona Khadr, Washington, DC. “But where are you from, originally?” is a question I get a lot. When I was younger, I answered proudly (“Egyptian!”) because my heritage was something that made me unique from my mostly white-American peers in the suburbs of MD and PA. As I got older and entered high school, college, […]

Apparently, I’m Jesus, or a terrorist.

John Abraham, Grand Rapids, MI. Thanks to my Italian and Lebanese heritage, I am blessed to say I have a fairly full beard and curly brown hair. However, these two attributes have granted me two common nicknames: “Jesus” or “Terrorist”. I suppose I look like many modern-day depictions of Jesus and when I’m referred to […]

Muslim is not synonymous with terrorist

Fahad Alotaibi, Bowling Green, KY. I was born and raised in n Islamic country. When 9/11 happened, I had no idea that the world would turn on us as being Muslim. I was thinking that others would notice the difference between a religion and terrorism. I understand that when people get harmed, they start thinking […]

The invisible Arab until 9/12.

Jennie Clement Riverview, FL Thank you for doing this project. I noticed how my university applications changed in the wake of 9/11; how there was all of a sudden a magical radio button for being Arab. I had previously been invisible; moderately enjoying white privilege until 9/11. I was no longer “white”; which was a […]

I passed Citizenship test, can you?

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 […]

“You’re white-passing, you aren’t discriminated against!”

Sanaz Chloe Homayounieh, Irvine, CA It’s a common joke among Iranians: “They used to classify us as Caucasian, but once 9/11 happened, now we aren’t white!” Traveling has always been an interesting experience for my family. Growing up, being stopped at airport security was not unusual. Whether they checked our hair, ankles, or even our […]

Turban, Assumptions, Fear, Perpetually Foreign, Inferiority

Simran Jeet Singh, New York, NY. Trinity University My visible Sikh and South Asian identity have shaped my experiences with racial and cultural identities. Upon seeing me, people mark me as different and make various assumptions about me. Associations assume (but are not limited to): foreign, violent, conservative, uneducated, terrorist, victim, uncivilized, and dogmatic.

Before 9/11….Unique, After 9/11….ARAB!

Miriam Piper Colorado Springs, CO Before 9/11 I was just this unique mix of who knows what. I am really Palestinian and White, but no one ever knew what I was (Indian, Puerto Rican, Greek). But as soon as 9/11 happened, and living in a large military community who were then trained on facial features, […]

Don’t forget about the smaller nationalities

Emily Kim, Garden Grove, CA I look Vietnamese, I have a common Korean last name but I’m neither, I’m Cambodian. All my life I grew up with peers always assuming I’m Vietnamese without even asking what race I am first. I went to schools that dominantly had Vietnamese students witch is why they probably why […]

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 […]

Three White Eagles and a Brownie

Mark Petersen-Overton, Mount Laurel, NJ The loves of my life! When we was stationed in Hawaii, we wanted to adopt a local girl to go along with our three natural born sons. We received huge resistance from local orphanages because we were “Haole”. So I flew to Phnom Pen and brought home our precious little […]

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 […]

Where? you must mean Monaco right?

Michel Bassadon, White Plains, NY. I was born in Morocco. My mother was Austrian and my father Jewish Moroccan, known as Sephardic. In high school some of my peers said my accent was French, others said it was Spanish. They decided I was from Monaco, especially since my first name was French. For a long […]

More letters add less Dr. Makombe

Scheri-lyn Makombe, IN. My confidence increased when I got married, even more when I graduated from Medical school. I never thought that the addition of ‘Dr.’ and the changing of my name from Green to Makombe would present as a hurdle.

Latkes or lumpia- beautiful Hapa struggle

Ann Hirschhorn, Silver Spring, MD. My parents grew up in a time where interracial couples were criticized for diluting the race of their children. My father expressed a fear that because I was of a mixed race background, I might not feel that there was a culture or place where I belonged. My mother grew […]

Yes, those Indigenous children are mine.

Wendy Usher, Canada I am a white woman of Irish, Scottish, English, and Welsh descent. My children — now adults, with one deceased) were all fathered by an Indigenous man. I could not even begin to count for you the number of times I have been asked, while with my children, if they were my […]

Why not love one another daily?

Jim Schneider, Long Grove, IA Despite being a 58 yr old, white male raised in an all white, rural community in central Illinois, nothing will warm my heart more that seeing America making significant progress towards ensuring that ALL Americans (regardless of ethnicity, gender, identity, religion or any other means of sorting us out as […]

Your skin feels just like mine!

Laura Speegle Waco, TX I teach elementary school in Waco, Texas. I can’t remember why this little bitty girl, maybe 4 or 5 years old, was sitting in my lap crying… but suddenly she reached out and stroked my pale white are and looked up at me in surprise. After making this observation she snuggled […]

Your families background doesn’t even matter!

Sara Proffett, Healy, AK. I am Russian, Scottish and Spanish. I’ve always been kind of tan and I have light brown hair. I’m short but not stout. I’ve always been made fun of for being a tiny little girl. I am a mix of different races so I was never really made fun of for […]

White but not proud of privilege

Shannon Wagner, Washington, DC I studied History in college and have been on a quest of understanding the African American experience, oppression, inequity and the continued struggle of being Black in America.

It’s your problem that I’ll ignore

Monalisa Layan, Federated States of Micronesia I lived in Hilo, Hawaii for 7 years while I attended college. There were many kinds and good people that I met. However, there were some that were just plain ugly. As a native Pacific Islander, it was quite strange for me to see someone who is not pure […]

Usually I’m ashamed to be white

Thomas Williamson, Cool Valley, MO Born the end of 1949, traveled throughout the country, changed schools every year, in D.C. when Dr. King was killed, experienced racism from both sides, married to oriental & 2 sisters, had to teach my black grand babies about the Tuskegee Airmen, missed a lot of African-American, Oriental & Latino […]

White girls rescued by black boys

Mary Barnett, NEWBURY PARK, CA I was about 11 02 12. Mary Penn Carter and I were playing in a section of woods in Danville, Virgina that we called Tarzan’s Chamber beause we would swing on vines fro, tree to tree. This days from boys who were friends from school tied Mary Penn so her […]

Rich white straight man who tries

Bill Thomas, United Kingdom I don’t know if it’s even ok to say this, but I am so tired about feeling embarrassed for the race I am part of. I am doing everything I can to change and encourage others to change. I try to remember to refer to my colleague Maria as they rather […]

So many racists look like me

Robert Goffeney, Pittsburgh, PA At first, I thought it would be difficult to come up with six words to encapsulate my experience of race as a middle-aged, middle class suburban white man. Immediately after that thought, my six words bubbled up out of – somewhere. People will never cross the street to avoid passing me […]

People of Quality Respect Race Equality

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.

People fear what they don’t understand.

Lauren Vorbeck, Leawood, KS I choose to believe that when people understand the differences, they are less afraid to reach out to someone new. Our job as society members is to educate each other on the differences so that no one is afraid to reach out to another. Can we be different? Certainly! Should we […]

Adoptive parents see teachers judge brown

Lynn Schilaty, Snohomish, WA. when attending a teacher parent conference my husband and I didn’t expect what we saw on the faces of teachers when they realized WE were the (white) parents of our adopted daughter. We could see in their split second recalculation on their face as that they struggled to take our daughter […]

Norwegian with nappy hair doesn’t fit.

WilmaS, Seattle, WA. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked if my sons were adopted…It’s happened a lot. A complete stranger approaches my family, usually in a grocery store or some other public location, and compliments me on my family. “Your sons are so handsome,” the person will say, and by […]

Racial stereotypes…killing mankind…hearts blind?

Amber Jackson Baswell, Columbus, MS. As a military brat I was naïve, sheltered. It was only when my father was stationed in the deep South that “RACE” entered my vocabulary. I was shocked as a 15 year old (back in ’95) to see that churches, schools, hangouts, even the local beauty pageants were segregated! Blew […]

Do you dance around a fire?

Catherine Tiger, Kansas City, MO. I’ve been to many pow wows and I love to explain to my friends what it is that we do their. It was one day when a man over heard my friend and I talking and he asked if Native America’s dance around a fire and really think they can […]

“Russia? Never been,” mom said, perplexed.

Eileen Spiegler, Fort Lauderdale, FL My parents were both first-generation American Jews — their parents moved to New York from Romania and Russia. Before I was born, they moved to South Florida, another “promised land” of sorts, in the hope of giving their children a better life. They were the first to move into a […]

Black and part of the solution.

Maurice Kemp, San Antonio, TX. I did not choose my race. No one did. I was born into a world with preconceived notions about my race and others. We all were. I entered a world with plenty of recorded and unrecorded history. We all did. I cannot account for any of the history that predates […]

White-skinned negro: community of one.

Jada Golden Sherman, Boston, MA. I’m so frustrated with people’s limited understanding and acceptance of genetics, and upbringing. The labels ‘white’ and ‘black’ are over-generalized. Especially when now that we have dark parents having white-looking babies, and white-looking parents having brown babies. Not all white people are…white, nor “white-minded”.My mother’s family is African-American, and many […]

Black clients funded our white flight.

Jane Meacham, Washington, DC. My dad is a lawyer in Kansas City, MO, who always had mostly black, working-class clients. When the city school district started to decline in quality in the early 1970s, we moved away to a nearly all-white suburban school district nearby. So I realize now, all these years later, that his […]

Busing: white girl, black schools, lonely

Clara Silverstein, Boston, MA. As one of the white children in Richmond, Virginia in the 1970s whose family willingly participated in busing, I had few friends of any race. What we could have used at the time was leadership instead of racist rhetoric, white flight, and school administrators who cancelled all after-school activities. The possibility […]

Family contrast black white shows beauty

Sherry Weaver, Woodstock, GA. Our family is a beautiful rainbow. We are pink with brown spots and brown with pink spots. We are just a family. I didn’t “rescue” anyone-we gave each other gifts. I was given the incredible gift of love and diversity, and they got a family who loves them and can appreciate […]

We assumed their father was black!

Melissa Weir, Trout Valley, IL. We like to think that we are like every other family, whatever that means. But questions like “are those your real kids” or “what happened to their real parents” make that impossible. Nonetheless we are a close, joyful, and fortunate family.

We have lots to answer for.

Kathleen M. Coyle, Buzzards Bay, MA I’m 79 y/o. I’m now just learning of the Tulsa massacre, other atrocities waged against PEOPLE! This wasn’t included in our history books when I was in school. It needs to be. We can, and must eliminate racism from our society.

Deluded white woman now an ally

Wendy Lichtenwalter, Canton, OH As a biologist, I know that there is no such thing as “race.” All our chromosomes are indistinguishable. My current efforts to learn about systemic racism prove how intentionally incomplete my schooling was. Every source I read shocks me into recognizing how much more I have to learn. I ask questions […]

Wish I knew more black people!

Kate Daniel, Benson, AZ We moved to this small, very white, town because of my late husband’s job. I grew up near Chicago; during college and a few years after, I had three different black roommates. But in small-town Arizona, you don’t find any black people. It’s too monochromatic! A small Latino community, which I […]

Respect my fears. I’ll respect yours

Holly Burngasser, Inwood, WV I had the experience to going daily from my cushy white suburb into the black ghetto area of Cleveland. I could feel the hate. Black eyes upon me. Real hate (their’s) Real fear (mine) People who see my nice, cushy, white suburb versus where they live. Yes, I saw it, too. […]

Jesus, help me love like MLK!

Ann Barrentine, Bloomington, IN Still find it hard to love powerful racist white ppl… Was involved in some civil rights activity in Southern VA in the early 60’s as a young white VISTA worker from New England… Knowing about all of the racist violence in US history has left some unhealed wounds apparently. Jesus said […]

“Color Blind” thinking is white privilege

Alicia Wolff, Petaluma, CA As a child in the ‘80s, up north, with a deeply religious family, I was raised to believe God didn’t see color and neither should we. It has taken me decades to understand how that overly simplistic view denies the reality of how race functions in our society and allows white […]

Do I LOOK black to you???

Simon, Wynnewood, PA I’m Indian. But I’m not Hindu or Tamil. I’m Malayali (also known as Keralite). I’m an ethnicity so unknown that every website that I ever typed my ethnicity into has insisted that I spelled it wrong or said a made-up word. And nobody, NOBODY, ever knows I’m Malayali unless I tell them. […]

Moroccan that happens to be American

Chafik Nadim, NH Born in America, but one of the most common misconceptions that I get is when people hear my name and assume that I’m a foreigner. The definition of being an American isn’t being white and born and raised in America.

I’m white. But that’s too simplistic.

Bana Goldsmith, Canada. My high school teacher told me once that he was looking forward to the day when everybody’s skin was the same colour because that would decrease racism. I see his point but, apart from thinking this is not likely to ever happen totally, I feel we need to mature past racism as […]

We are living on stolen land.

McKayla Milam, Powder Springs, GA The six words that I chose was to remind people, including myself, that everyday we live our lives on land that never initially belonged to us. Therefore, we are all immigrants except for those that are Native Americans. I try to keep them in mind more often and not just […]

Fair-skinned Indian, should be lucky

Kalpana, Singapore Indians come in different languages, shapes, sizes and colours. We can look so different from each other and still be brothers and sisters. Dark skinned Indians are looked down at even by their very own people. Somehow being fair skinned is look at highly and thus makes lives much easier as they are […]

Dominican immigrant, now 70 nothing changed

Victor M Victoria, New York City, NY Race is an ever changing feature globally. America culture in more about skin color than culture. Americans love it’s diverse culture from all corner of the land, yet in another 200 years it may face out due to the mix of color of skins getting blended.

Stop With The Cherokee Syndrome, Already

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, & […]

I didn’t ask for this privilege.

Rebecca Whiting, Northport, AL. I thought very deeply about what I wanted to use to best express myself for this card. With my personal experience, I do know the benefits of white privilege, and what access that gives me to various different facets of our American society. I do not say this to make other […]

We’ve got a new lawyer now

David Rotenstein, Silver Spring, MD. Africville was a community of African Canadians on Bedford Bay in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was settled in the early 1800s by former American slaves who went to Canada as Black Loyalists and as slaves during the American Revolution and War of 1812. After decades of neglect by the city […]

Who are you trying to IMPRESS?

Nathan Krasniak, Moreno Valley, CA. As a young child, my parents instilled a solid work ethic and introduced me to setting goals. 18 years later I am so very thankful! Initially I wasn’t very receptive. I didn’t understand why my friends didn’t have chores and I had quite a bit of them. My parents would […]

You will never be as smart

Fannie Blakely Philadelphia, PA Was in a gifted class in junior high school. First day in an advance math class teacher informed me not to worry, but I would never be as smart as the other kids, that it was not in my genetic make-up. I aced that class (highest grade) and every other class […]

A little This, A little That

Elizabeth James Sugar Land, TX I wasn’t really aware of this till I became older, yea my mom looked different than I and pretty much everyone mostly on my moms side of the family but I never put much thought into it. I got this a lot in middle school and high school actually “Well […]

I am more than my culture

Eric Arellano Denver, CO Being Mexican has always been tough love for me, I have been bullied and given a stereotype that labels me as a gardner, a trumpeteer with a Mariachi Band, or a Peleta Man who sells Ice Cream out of carts. I am none of these, I am a dancer with a […]

Indigenous and religiously evangelical equal colonized?

Chantilly Mers New York, NY I am the daughter of parents who migrated from Palau, a small cluster of islands between Guam and the Philippines. Ethnically, I am Palauan and Chinese, and my siblings and I grew up in Hawaii. Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian is usually the box I check. In addition to my inherent multi-cultural […]

English and Spanish, Fluent in None

Martin Orozco, Berwyn, IL Being bilingual is a blessing but a curse at times. You feel like you haven’t mastered either language but know both languages enough to speak it. When speaking English, sometimes you can’t find the words and have to fill it in with Spanish words and vice versa. I feel like it’s […]

Am I hispanic enough for you!

Gigi Fierro, Menlo Park, CA Being mixed doesn’t mean I’m not more of one culture than the other, nor does it mean that I’m not Hispanic or European enough to be accepted into either community.

My voice is always hidden away.

Brandy Roberts, Cottonport, LA. I am a loving mom of 2 beautiful kids. I am proud to be white, and I can not voice that to a single person, lest I be judged a racist. I have love pure and strong in my heart. I can not for the life of me understand why all […]

Israel’s Gay Latin Jew from USA.

Brian Isaac Rizowy, Israel. Born and raised in the USA to Jewish parents, one from Sarandi Grande, Uruguay, the other from Chicago, I am nearly 100% Polish, with a dash of Russian and Mongolian thrown in. My great grandmother hid her Asian features with swanky glasses from the 1940s and 50s, lest anyone suspect her […]

Women tell hidden mixed heritage story.

Jodi Su Tharan, Berkeley, CA. My family is Jewish, Apache Chiricahua, additional hidden tribes that still remained unnamed after years of research, Welsh, Scots, Irish, English and probably more. We joke that we are ‘the great unwashed’..not nice but in a way reclaiming the history of poor folks from all over becoming the beauty of […]

Perception equals reality – OPEN YOUR EYES!

Kathy Devine-Henry, Smyrna, DE. Prior to my twenty-seventh birthday, my eyes were not completely open. Up until this point I believed that Martin Luther King Jr. had solved all the race issues in our country and equality for all was the law of the land. Then I began teaching at a Juvenile Detention Center in […]

Kofi is a fake white man!

fakeKofi M. G. W. Opantiri, Los Angeles, CA. I am the eldest child of two boys and a girl born to an American-African father and a French-Canadian (white) mother. Born in New York City in 1949, the “one-drop” rule informed me early on that I was Negro and colored. Like millions of American-Africans, I became […]

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 […]

Tattoos and piercings don’t equal trashy.

Megan, Keithville, LA. People always call me and my family trashy because we have tattoos and I have piercings as well. People should be able to express themselves in whatever way they want to, whether it be by tattoos and piercings or anything other. Be you 🙂

WHITE: Not Allowed 2 Be Proud

Jason McLevis, Duluth, MN. Growing up in a multi racial neighborhood I am well cultured. It was not until Junior High that I became aware I was supposed to be ashamed to be “White”. I am not allowed to be proud of any of my heritage. I must stand aside in shame while any other […]

Black Vietnamese. Speak spanish. Eat rice.

Hao Nguyen, Durham, NC. I wanted to say… Black Vietnamese. Speak english, spanish, vietnamese. Eat suong kho, pho, and corn dogs. Words that describe my mixed race/heritage children. Having to choose only 6 words, I had to put them in order of words that most describe them. Having to choose what comes first — black […]

“Flesh color crayon: now “peach.” Hope.

John Calvin Miller, Fairfield, IA. “Flesh” color crayon: institutionalized racism revealed These both relate to an incident at U-Tapao Thailand where I served as Race Relations OIC during the Vietnam war. I helped design an embroidered Brotherhood patch for sale to airmen. When it was first being made, I went to the tailor shop to […]

Checking OTHER is so liberating and fun

Maggie Martinez, WEST PALM BEACH, FL. When I get the chance to check “other ” on any form it makes me feel as if I am tearing down another little wall and letting the form creators know that I will not be put in a box. Race is fake and constructed to keep people of […]

“Immigrant” comes in all races/colors.

Jackie Spencer, New York, NY. The generalization we attach to people based on race is appalling. As an example when you speak of “immigrants” you do not think of this white blond person! I hope that raising this point makes people think before they generalize. We are all individuals with different beliefs and personalities and […]


David Reising, Peoria, IL My first wife and I adopted 2 bi-racial boys in ’69, a girl in 71 and another girl in ’74, Had a biological boy in ’79 and biological girl in ’84. Lived a nice quiet life until the boys started school, and quickly learned that the primarily white school wasn’t ready […]

Someday I hope to love EVERYONE.

Nathan Robert Augustine, Walcott, IA I am a white man who has experienced plenty of privilege but also seen a small bit of the racial inequities that plague our society. I attended grade school and junior high in Eugene Oregon where the only non-white kid I knew was a black boy who had been adopted […]

Why not select all that apply?

Anna Murphy, MA My Mother is Mexican and Slovak. My father is Irish. Many applications and census options only give the option for “Hispanic,” or “White, not Hispanic.” I will never select either of these options. By my freckles, fair skin, and name alone, no one would ever think I had Hispanic blood, but my […]

Never keep secrets from your children.

i, Lulu, San Antonio, TX. I was 52 when I confirmed what I had long dodged: I was adopted — more like appropriated — at birth. Back then and in my part of the world (Texas), those things happened. My adoptive parents are on my birth certificate as the birth parents. Whatya gonna do, right? […]

Do I look white to you?

Rose Jackson, United Kingdom My dad is white British and my mum is mixed white and black. So I have lighter skin and have a tanned complexion all year round. Because of this people at school have always assumed I am white and not mixed. They often don’t believe me until they see who my […]

The only person in the room

Mia, CA Growing up in a mainly white neighborhood and going to a prominently white school was really hard being black. I never said anything about it to my family because I have never been good at expressing my feelings, but it would sometimes really bother me. In class when we talked about things dealing […]

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.

I’m brown, glamorous, educated and wealthy.

SOFIA KHAN, Allen, TX People assume because I am a brown-skinned woman, I can’t afford luxury items or regular-priced items! I have heard so many putdowns and have been bossed around by strangers (even youngsters half my age) and passers by even when I am minding my own business. Usually I can extract that the […]

Not black enough, not white enough

Gemma Jackson, United Kingdom I am mixed and British. My mother is white British my father is black Jamaican. For as long as I can remember I have always felt the odd one out. Different. Because of the texture of my hair or the colour of my skin or even the way I talk is […]

I’m a Traitor to the Community

Samantha Foote, USA I live a conservative state and a conservative community. I teach at a local high school. Because I choose to discuss social issues in my classroom and welcome LGBTQIA+ and POC narratives, I’m seen as a traitor and a danger to the community. I’m tired of being attacked for showing empathy and […]

Traditional environment with non-traditional views.

Amanda Cook Lubbock, TX I’m an international business student at Texas Tech University, living in the second most conservative city in the United States. My views on non traditional gender roles and preferred marital status are ridiculed daily. Clearly I don’t have “southern” values. Texas Tech Student. 2013 OTC Symposium.

Who are you? Papers? Go home!

Nicholas Cappella, Denver, CO. If someone in the United States of America doesn’t have official documentation to prove they are a citizen, they aren’t considered part of our society by everyone. These people (typically immigrants) don’t always feel like they have an identity or are forced into not having one by the environment they’re in. […]

Pain anger confusion impatience exhaustion pride

Jua Fluellen, Washington, DC. I would like for more people to deconstruct the role race places in the way they are perceived and responded to within their immediate environment. I would like for more people to develop the skills of conversing about race across difference in a way that can deepen our understanding of what […]

I don’t… but I really do.

Brittany Price, USA. Being raised in such a racist environment makes it hard to be an adult in a totally different mind set. As far as I have come, I still judge people based on their race, including white people such as myself. It’s pathetic that still, in 2015, individuals are treated a certain way […]

Awareness: ONLY the FIRST BIG step

Yzolde Chepokas, Eden Prairie, MN. Going through this process of learning about race, racism, culture, multiculturalism, diversity, and so on, I have come to the conclusion that being aware of the world outside of my own world is only the beginning of this journey of supporting social justice. As this change occurs within myself it […]

Just what do you people eat?

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

Oh you are interested in that?

Sarah Bouthillier, Nashville, TN, . People often like to assume that because of my bubbly personality and blonde hair I do not care or find interest in scholarly topics like politics or social issues.

The plantation haunts my gay marriage.

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

With kids, people don’t separate us.

Steve Cox, Jackson, OH. Prior to having kids, people usually thought my wife (Chinese ethnic, Thai national) and I (white) were separate. If we went through a line at the store and we were both caring something, they would assume we were separate. Same thing would happen at airports and people would send us to […]

Riding on a train crying, mommy braiding.

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

Good hair is well maintained hair.

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 […]

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 […]

Sorry, this AMERICAN sings it better.

Aaron Matthew Villalobos, Norman, OK. While I’m admittedly more apple pie than beans & rice, I have never felt my heritage as a Mexican-American detracted from my ability to honor my country with the gift god has given me–my voice. I love singing our national anthem. I feel like it’s the biggest contribution I can […]

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 […]

I stare longingly at others like me

Mary Ann Paris Philadelphia, PA Except for my brother, there were never any children who looked like me. I am black and white, more specifically Black, Jewish, German, Irish, Italian and polish and my brother and I have European features. We grew up in a segregated part of Philadelphia among black children. They never wanted […]

Only recently have my eyes opened

Fay Gilder, United Kingdom We never had conversations about race in my family. I grew up in a multiracial environment but each other’s experiences were not questioned or asked for. Then I met an activist, a race champion, who showed me my blindness. I read as much as I can. I use curiosity to ask […]

While there’s no finishline: Americans All

William Eckman, Atlanta, GA. We come from different families, different cultures, different schools but for all to win as a great nation we must be less tribal and remember “out of many one”! This is the glue that holds us together and allows all of us to work to make tomorrow better than today across […]

That girl spat in my eye.

Caprice Becker, Manhattan, KS. I was in High School in a very small town of about 1300 mostly descended from German immigrants in the 1870s, all white (except for the one Korean who had been adopted by a local family when she was a toddler) in the early 70’s. All the surrounding communities in Central […]

Identity isn’t housed in a box

Karen Than Myaing Silver Spring, MD In this photo: what do you get when you mix an Israeli, a Trinidadian, a Jamaican, a Caucasian, a Burmese and an African American? Our beautiful family. We are Jews, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist. We are female. We are male. We are children. We are human. We do not […]

“He’s not your son? Oh good!”

Amber Halverson, Eugene, OR. “Oh good! He doesn’t look like he has any white in him at all!” My first real encounter with my own race that I can remember was when I was in middle school. My white godparents had just adopted a black baby. They “kept his black name”, DiMario, as his middle […]

Rural Alaska, six blacks, my family.

Lydia Taylor Memphis, TN I was born and raised in Alaska. When I was 4, my father got out of the Air Force and accepted a job as a State Trooper in Dillingham, Alaska. He moved from Anchorage to Dillingham first, to start his job as we as find us a place to live. We […]

I will never really ‘get it’.

Celia Beasley, Seattle, WA. Being an upper-middle class white woman, I know I will never truly understand what it feels like to be a person of color in America. Despite my attempts to be aware of racism in this county through conversations, news stories, interviews, books, this website, etc, I know that I will never […]

Always presumed mixed. Shocked genetically white.

Jeni Bate, Salton City, CA I have frizzy hair. I grew up in an all** white town and the only other people with hair like mine were my mother and grandmother, both of whom are/were racist. My mother always denied we have any black in our family, but I thought she was lying because she […]

“How does one become a Patel?”

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.

Character is more important than race.

Richard Byrnes, Sellersville, PA Forget this race baiting. It is divisive. Live by MLK’s philosophy of judging people by their character, and not by the color of their skin. I am white, male, privileged, and absolutely not apologetic for any of it.

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 […]

Becoming American, it is not easy

Sandra Castañeda Anaheim, CA I have spent 42 of my 44 years in this country and it doesn’t make an ounce of difference, I’m still treated differently. My head says I’m American my heart says I’m Colombian, because that’s where I’m accepted.

All-American Girl: Minority at Work

Stefanie Bernosky, Houston, TX. I was raised as an All-American girl to an All-American family in an All-American town. I even looked “All-American”, proudly featuring my braces and American Flag sweater in this dated family photo (circa 1994). We can trace my family (both sides) to the United States prior to the United States Revolution. […]