Andrea Vonstein, Akron, OH. During high school, I was considered the whitest black girl because I got along with them so much.
Andrea Vonstein, Akron, OH. During high school, I was considered the whitest black girl because I got along with them so much.
Ava, Westchester, IL. Here is my Anatomy Class during spirit week!
Jason Locke, Itaca, NY.
Jasmin Fortune, Temecula, CA. I am a multiracial girl who has bullied for the way I looked from K-12. I have been hated because girls thought their boyfriends liked me. I would be threatened to get jumped because they thought I thought of myself as better than them. Black girls never liked me because I […]
Ashlee Johnston, Ladera Ranch, CA. People tell me they thought that I am White but once I tell them about my Asian/Hawaiian/Spanish/Canadian…. background they say they can tell. I am proud to be so many things from all over the world.
Nadra Enzi, New Orleans, LA. Anyone with eyes can see that I’m a dark Black man. That and a couple dollars might buy you a cup of coffee at a trendy shop. Two terms of Obama-inflamed identity politics makes me reassert a lifelong commitment to individualism. I’m not a one-size-fits-all person. The fact I voted […]
Emmett Crawford Jr., Detroit, MI. Because of my resume and my phone voice, I was given an interview for a job.
Sandy Jimenez, Woodside, NY.
Eric Nykamp, Grand Rapids, MI. My sense is that as white people, we too often choose to react or retreat from conversations about race because they are difficult to have. If we keep doing this, we don’t really make any progress. Yes, it is painful – for everyone. However, there is more beyond the pain. […]
Antoinette Abdelmalek, Trabuco Canyon, CA Funny right. But I feel as though if you really want to laugh I should share some of my personal favorites: ‘Do you drive a camel to school?’, ‘ Are you related to King Tut?’, and ‘ Can you read Hieroglyphics?’. No, no, and you guessed it, no. Growing up, […]
Monica Mosley, Richmond, VA My skin is a deadly weapon No matter the shade shape or form A constant reminder To stay still in the storm Generations of ancestors Fighting for a fair chance Given a seat at the table If they promise not to take a stance Inside voice speak quietly Smile when you […]
Delaney Toler, Mission Viejo, CA
Ken Yamamoto, Santa Barbara, CA Historical immigration policies
Ethel Grigorovici, Mountain House, CA. “You play so well with her. What are your rates?” “Could you please let her parents know.””Are you a family friend or the nanny?” Samples of the many questions/comments I get when I was out and about with my children. I’m the mother of 3 the last two (girls) are […]
Kailey Irene Kaes, Englewood, CO My mixed family of color and the white folk who married into it gave me the only culture I know. I wish I was dark enough to “count.” I try to use my fair skin as a megaphone for my darker family’s voice. I try so hard.
Tasha, Shermans Dale, PA Mostly because I live in rural Pennsylvania which is full of closed-minded hicks. Also because I don’t know how acceptable it is for a white woman to practice Hindu lifestyle in the community. I honestly feel like I have to hide a part of myself.
Whitney, Pittsburgh, PA I have parents who both promote active racism or performative allyship that does more hurt than help. I have worked my whole life to undo the effects of their decisions and those they have hurt, and I wonder if it will ever be enough.
Stefano Pavone, United Kingdom I am of mixed Euro-Mediterranean descent – primarily Italian, with some Greek and Spanish as well. Given that the Mediterranean region of Europe has a story of conquest by external peoples (Moors, Ottomans, Romans, etc.), it is difficult to exactly pinpoint the ethnic genesis of its people, as it not consistent […]
Jennifer Fees, Spokane, WA
Ana Martinez, Baytown, TX I’ve been told that my language is offensive to people when people need Spanish speakers when getting hired but yet its “offensive “
Anonymous, Perris, CA. I have green eyes, blonde hair, and light skin so I must be white, but wait.. I speak Spanish. I am Mexican American.
Paper Genocide, Pinnacle, NC. Pictured: Monacan Indian Children at Recess How Jim Crow Practiced Paper Genocide Against Native American Indians. Jim Crow laws were a set of oppressive laws that reclassified Native American Indians into the category of Colored. Jim Crow reached their greatest influence during the decades of 1910, 1920, and 1930. Among them […]
Lynn Keane, Canada I live at the intersection of race + gender inequality. When I was a little girl, my mother’s coworker saw us shopping on a Saturday. My mother lost her job on Monday. When I was a little older, someone wrote “n****r” on our apartment door. I remember being scared and hurt. My […]
Miranda Nogaki, Burien, WA. I’m sad and shamed it took me so long to see the racism in myself and my country. It’s so much a part of my thought processes, my brain now feels wrong. I’m eager to do the hard work of learning to listen, how to drop my agenda and expectations of […]
Danielle Gray, Laurel, MD.
Jean Pierce Morrow, State College, PA I grew up in a suburb of West Philadelphia in the 1950s. My town had two elementary schools, and I spent my first four years at the completely white school. Then we moved to another part of town and I started fourth grade in the school with about a […]
Daisy Carranza, Sparta, NC The question of belonging is something I have always struggled with. I am a hispanic who was born in the U.S. However, people like me are stuck between being American or Mexican (or wherever their parent’s origin is). I am too Mexican to fit into the American category and I am […]
Aimiee Gauvreau, Redondo Beach, CA. I’m almost 47 now; I felt more alone as a child and teenager of the 70s and 80s. I teach high school English in a beautiful California beach community, and the kids are more open now, yet I see how the aloneness persists within them too. Maybe in another 50 […]
Jack Carson, Portland, OR Black Lives Matter cherry-picks bad arrests and pretends that exceptions outweigh rules. It also trivializes high black crime rates, which draw police attention. Their narrative is dishonest and harmful to the police, and especially poor (decent) people who need protection from thugs.
Jenny Hanson, MN Read the book “A Good Time For The Truth: Race in Minnesota” by Sun Yung Shin to understand the interplay between Minnesota Nice and race relations.
Juanita Duran-Wilson, Arcata, CA.
Angela T, Indianapolis, IN I am still learning. I’m thankful for the African American friends I have made who let me ask questions without judging me and answer honestly.
Eric Kelderman, USA. For much of my life, people assumed I was Jewish. After I met my biological parents, I found out they were right — and wrong.
Diana Castillo, Garland, TX Stop calling my brothers and sisters illegal. We come in peace for a better life.
Geovanni Herrera, Dallas, TX p>I chose these six words after being extremely inspired by a Ted talk called “The dangers of a single story” years ago. Where Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an African American born in Eastern Nigeria faced countless amounts of misinterpretations in her home town before realizing the truth about Americans and their norms. […]
Carlos Hernandez, Seagoville, TX I am a Hispanic of Mexican descent with an extremely stereotypical name. My first and last names are both common Latino names. So, when people figure out I can’t speak Spanish well, they don’t believe me and my fellow Latinos mock me for it. I can’t help that I wasn’t taught […]
Renee, Indianapolis, IN Blaming our race only causes more tension with other races and ultimately more racism. Let’s stop blaming everything on our race and make progress towards fixing the root of our problems. Let’s take positive action in our communities and teach the world there is good in all races and cultures and to […]
Matthew Dylan Cairns, Blue Springs, MO. We need to be able to have opinions without being silenced our ostracized.
Franchesca Guzman, Bronx, NY When I introduced myself to new people they might just get stuck in my accent, but I am so much more than my thick Dominican accent. Many times we are not given a chance to show how brilliant we can be since we are judged by how we sound when introducing […]
Zachary Lansdowne, Seattle, WA Life is short. Obsessing on which brand of spacesuit you, or the others around you, have been given is not going to make you happy.
Phil Nolan, St. Petersburg, FL I can’t help it. I know it’s viewed as stereotypical but when I’m around Muslims I am defensive, wary, I take seriously Muslims shouting “death to American, Islam will bury you and behead those who deny Allah.” It’s the same with black people. Their lack of impulse control and history […]
Ronald Mark, Camano Island, WA I’ve never seen a white person, I mean truly white, and I’ve never seen a truly black person. We are all shades of beige! Can we ignore the rest of the slang toss it out of the dictionary. Consider it juvenile! Move on, No discrimination, No riots. At some point […]
Jared Washington, USA There is a constant walking on eggshells around African American coworkers. It seems like every time there is a conflict, it’s turned into a personal and racial matter. Thus builds a wall that reason can’t always be expected to scale. At some point, you have to accept criticism within reducing it to […]
Imelda Rivera Edwards, Antioch, CA. My 13 year old son shared this statement with me when I picked him up from school in Dublin, California that has predominantly Asian and white student population. He said, “mom, I told my classmate that that’a racist remark.” I said, “Good for you.” (BTW, I’m Filipina and my son […]
Kate Lechtenberg, Des Moines, IA. The statement is spoken as a compliment, and the question is asked with genuine curiosity and is often followed with qualifications: “I mean, are you their real mother? Their birth mother?” Together, these six words set off essays in my mind, essays full of my own questions, frustrations, challenges, and […]
Samantha Williams, Pensacola, FL. My father is black and my mother is Filippino. I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where the majority of my mother’s family lives, I was not as well acquainted with my father’s side of the family. My father stated that they weren’t going to make the same “mistakes” with […]
Khuwailah Beyah, Durham, NC. For as long as I can remember people have said to me, and sometimes to my mother, the I “talk white” or that I’m trying to be white because of the way I speak and some of the things that interest me. I have never quite gotten this. I don’t have […]
Adrea Benedetti, College Park, MD. I will not let race define who I am nor will I judge another based on the color of their skin.
Amanda Bowden, VA
Anusha Ghildyal, USA I used to get this comment often when I was in elementary school. I would be surprised to hear this comment because it was never something I associated with myself and my identity. Now, I wonder why people would involve my Indian food to serve as a stereotype for my race and […]
Cori Huberty, Chicago, IL We have to be brave to go deeper, closer, further, and build the kinds of relationships that actually reveal the person and go against the stereotypes. we have to be willing to have proactive conversations about race with honesty and understanding, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because […]
Wilson Sunny, Sunnyvale, TX I was born September 11th, 1991. Ten years later, a great national tragedy happened within the United States that shook the nation to the core. It was the first time, I believe, the term “terrorist” became a mainstream word. Not when Timothy McVeigh decided to blow up a building in Oklahoma […]
Duncan, Macon, GA p>Being tired and hating are two different things. My girlfriend is a beautiful black woman who is also tired of blacks. She’s tired of being called an uncle Tom for dating a white guy. I’m tired of being labeled as a racist simply for my skin color. I’m tired of the black […]
Katarina Iannucci, Mission Viejo, CA
Jess, Omaha, NE As a white woman who grew up in the midwest I was always told I shouldn’t talk about the differences, it was bad to talk about how my skin was different or my hair was different than another child. I think these messages have positive intentions, not to make someone feel bad […]
Alex H, Portland, OR
Anonymous, Elkhart, IN Black people will target a white person in a black neighborhood or inside institutions where blacks are superior. Beat them call them names, and even take their food. I have witnessed this first hand. Plus what about black people killing their own? It’s a matter of not really wanting success. They want […]
Sara Adams, Minneapolis, MN People treat me differently, make different assumptions about me, depending on which son is at my side.
Ilana New York, NY I grew up in Israel to a father born in Germany and a mother born in the United States. Yet every time I tick the “white” box I feel uncomfortable. The culture I grew up in was considered “white” but the Middle East is ethnically diverse. Everyone was a “mixed breed” […]
Nick Rabkin Chicago, IL So much of who I am is comes from my sense that the fight for civil rights is really the fight for the real American dream. I was active in the campaign to elect Harold Washington mayor of Chicago, and I worked in his administration. Harold!
Tony Andersen Eden Prairie, MN
Brian Ceder, The Netherlands.
Odile Sullivan-Tarazi, Redwood City, CA. Of course, culturally it has been made a thing, and a thing which privileges some and penalizes others. We need to fix this.
Eb, Rowlett, TX. I am a black woman and I am already missing the summertime. I love to go to a local swimming pool (and yes I will get my hair wet!) in the middle of a Texas summer. I have a naturally kinky, curly and thick afro and there is nothing relaxing on a […]
Pam Nicodemus, Yellow Springs, OH. Me being fat does not make your life more difficult.
Taylor Hirano, Irvine, CA. Growing up in a mostly Caucasian community, many of my fellow peers didn’t know they were racist against me. It could come from backhanded compliments like “You’re so pretty for an Asian”, to minor comments such as “My sisters boyfriend is Asian, you probably know him”. Whenever I said anything they […]
Manuel Catalan, Lompoc, CA. Being a Mexican American always makes me think about how race affects everyone. I was born in the United States but my family comes from Mexico, although I look like I could’ve been born in Mexico myself. I serve in the U.S Marine Corps and I get to experience and meet […]
Christopher Davies, Bridgewater, MA. For the hogwash between people with different skin types to lessen it is up to parents to teach their children that we are all on the same team. lets all work as one to make planet earth a better place
Patricia Hughes, Lake Arrowhead, CA. My father’s father took the long route of immigration from Greece during the political upheavals occurring in the early part of the 20th century, and later sent for his family. My father and some of his siblings were born in America. Growing up extremely poor in Denver, Colorado, my father […]
Terry Campbell Concord, CA How amazing it’s been to pass from the viability of youth to become the unseen senior. It’s hard to comprehend as we were the generation that would never grow old.
Julia Wright, Irvine, CA.
John Dauer, San Antonio, TX. This can help bring down walls.
Lauren Machado, Lakewood, CA
Dominic Bradley, Brooklyn, NY.
Signe Wendt, Austin, TX. Jewish by heritage when I began to worship Jesus I was told I was no longer Jewish and I had to pick one.Now I try to connect Christians to their faith as a yoga teacher and I am not sure who is more uncomfortable with that. Yogis (at least in Austin) […]
Marie K. Shanahan, Submitted via Twitter: @mariekshan. When you’re not quite minority enough. In 1997 at age 25, I came to terms with my place and my (mixed) race in America. I wrote a personal essay about it for The Hartford Courant: “Mixed Races, Mixed Messages: What Happens When You’re Asked To Choose Between Two […]
Harleen Thind, American Canyon, CA. The reason why I chose these six words are because my mother and father are of different races, my father is European and my mother is Indian. Indians and Europeans were enemies in the past, they despised each other in the worst of ways. My father decided not to care […]
Robert Wayne Copeland, Excelsior Springs, MO We were friends once, as equals. If you need to go tear down some statues, remember to wear a mask. I’ll be white here when you come black.
Lily, UK I don’t understand why people on all sides of the racial debate, despite wanting equality, suddenly splutter and get defensive when people criticize another race, even when it is valid. I see white people replying “all lives matter”, because they feel that “black lives matter” is somehow diminishing them. I also see black […]
Jim Scherrer Northport, MI I grew up in Grosse Pointe Woods …. All Caucasian community born in 1950. Around 1960, give or take, I attended the Detroit Free Press sponsored golf school. When you completed the classes, you received a card that allowed one to play at any of Detroit’s city courses for 25 cents! […]
Anonymous, NY And every Asian, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American people are living in it. We need to understand why being an anti-racist is not just pro-Black, and Black people need to understand that most don’t see the world like they do. We have different cultures and experiences, but understanding that most of us don’t live […]
Jazmin Whitmore, Asheville, NC. I am the result of two worlds but I was only raised in one. My father was Jamaican and my mother was European/Native American mix. My mother raised me. Although it was not her intention she raised me to be “white”. I did not realize how devoid I was of my […]
Carol Silva Portland, OR My step-grandma danced, taught, and had her own hula group who performed during the week on Oahu. Once when she and my grandpa were visiting us on the Mainland, my grandpa suggested that when I got older I could come to Hawaii and dance in the show. This was unlikely to […]
Rusty Creed Brown Anchorage, AL
Ike, Midland, TX. If people are going to call me a cracker, which by the way doesn’t bother be at all, at least let me be a Ritz cracker or better yet a cheese cracker.
Allen Hester Cheyenne, WY I have been involved in a speech in debate program for 5 years now (4 years in high school and 1 in college), so I have been surrounded by intelligent kids questioning, arguing, and persuading others to see things in a different light. This is also where I saw the most […]
Leonard Rios, Imperial Beach, CA. I am an American Indian on tribal roles and racism has followed my people childhood to present. I am a traditionalist and live an old school life style founded on respect and the spirit of taking only what we need and giving when all possible. I moved to Imperial Beach […]
Elizabeth, Denver, CO. My mother is mixed race, Indian and white. She grew up pretty poor, but she told me once that she always had two pairs of shoes: one pair of moccasins and one pair of boots. Depending on who her father was trading with she would either have to pull on her boots, […]
Ali Arturo Mansour Hull, Anchorage, AK Im mixed race. My maternal grandma is of Syrian, Lebanese, Yemeni, Saudi, Iranian, Indian and Pakistani Ancestry. My maternal grandpa is English Norwegian and French. My dad is English, Scottish, Irish, German, Dutch , Swedish and Danish. Growing up I didn’t fit in anywhere because I was ethnically ambiguous […]
Lisa Nelson-Haynes, Lansdowne, PA. This country’s issues with race aren’t going to improve until we deal with them on the micro-level, mano y mano. Living a life, inclusive of other races, cultures and ethnicities takes work. You have to seek it out and work to include it in your daily existence. If you can look […]
When I entered high school, I quickly learned terms like white privilege, white fragility, and microaggressions, which challenged my identity. While I understood I benefited from white privilege, I did not like the label. Still, the racism embedded in our institutions and the frustrated feelings of my friends motivates me to want to be part […]
Megan L Thorne, Lakeland, GA. I have white privilege.
Bari Goodblood Lehn Wetzel County, WV Born to a Santee Sioux mother and a German father in the Midwest. They met and married when she was relocated to the city as part of termination policy for reservation Indians in the 1950’s. Four babies later, for reasons I never knew, she left us, taking with her […]
Gabriela Denise Frank, Seattle, WA. Despite being a Detroit native who grew up in Arizona, I was mostly surrounded by white kids like me during my childhood. Though my family is Jewish, I never experienced discrimination while living in predominately Christian communities. Even as an adult in Seattle, which is more ethnically diverse, I live […]
Martyna, Manassas, VA When I started working in the local pizza place one of the Hispanic girls said to me: “First time I met you I thought you’re only a basic white girl but then I heard you talking and I realized you’re European so that’s kinda interesting.” Every day someone asks me where I’m […]
Connie Eurich, Wrightsville, PA I’am sick and tired of the blacks and Antifa getting a free pass to do anything damaging they want to do. Please Trump, do something before nov.
Samantha Tong, Castro Valley, CA
Melisa Azimi, Irvine, CA The first thing that comes into peoples’ minds when I tell them I am Persian, is their hatred for my country. Iran and the US have a lot of tension between them and are often against each other. I think what people fail to realize is that the problem is the […]
Cara, UT. I have been having debates with my husband for a long time. We have spoken about how there is trained racism and acknowledge white privilege to a point. There are still one points that do not make total sense to us but we are tired. We have best friends who are of other […]
Dylan Ha, Milpitas, CA The model minority myth is the idea that Asians are the “perfect” minority. They don’t retaliate against the majority, conform to societal standards, and assimilate into American culture. This myth is used to create a divide between the minorities in America. The myth blinds Asians into thinking that they are not […]
Karlee Jackson, Mckinleyville, CA I’ve never understood race. Is race the color of my skin, my heritage, the way I feel about myself, or what the world tells me I am? Growing up I’ve been placed as a white girl and people believe in privileged; however, the color of my skin isn’t my story. Just […]
Mikaela Vera, Greensboro, NC I have always struggled with the color of my skin and the fact that I am a mixed child with an immigrant father who I am proud of however I have to limit my voice sometimes due to also being white and not wanting to offend anyone for being the voice […]
Selena JP, Empowering Youth Towards Excellence (EYTE) Program, Elizabeth, NJ There is a great irony regarding my 6 words story- from both society and ourselves. As black women in America, in particular, we are held at a higher standard but we’re constantly at the bottom of the barrel. We are the ones who are blatantly […]
Taylor Berry, Charlotte, NC There’s not much to say. I’m not about to write a novel on a topic that isn’t rocket science. All I have to say is normalize women being able to communicate their feelings without writing them off as “emotional” or “whiney.” Specifically, normalize black women communicating their feelings without being perceived […]
David Harlin, Lower Columbia College, Kelso, WA I’m an identical twin. All my life people have been asking me and my brother, “who is better at_____.” You can fill in the blank with things like sports, academics, fighting, and just about anything else. My brother and I found this very divisive and it made us […]
Lynsey Owen, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC I recognize my privilege. I choose to educate myself on how to help in addition to correcting any inherently racist tendencies I witness. I just want to be the best ally that I can be.
Brenda Enid Mejias, Honeybrook, PA. True Puerto Rican girl….. I am the one with all the family recipes… And I love being her. Wepa– According to Urban Dictionary A word of jubilation that is uttered by mainly Hispanics, especially within the Puerto Rican community. It normally is yelled at high volumes in a nasal manner, […]
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 […]
Barry, MN. As a black man, who – though I hate the phrase, acts very “white”, I feel as though you have act a certain way to fit into society and get less harassed. I don’t act white on purpose, it’s just who I am; how I was raised. Nonetheless, this “act” shouldn’t have to […]
Andrea Canchola, San Antonio, TX. As a young, Latina, woman I feel that I have to be better than everyone just to be equal. I’m tiny, short and I will boss you around. Just because I’m a young Latina woman doesn’t mean that I’m not as good as you. I’m probably better because I had […]
Dan Creamer, Sandpoint, ID. I grew up in the Jim Crow South. Being white I always felt both guilty and angry about the way black people were treated. In the Marine Corps, I accepted a bottle of wine from a black Marine and drank from it without wiping off the bottle or my mouth and […]
John Reuter, Cumming, GA Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
Anne Hickling Phoenix, AZ I don’t know how to answer this when she asks. The answer is both “Yes” and “No.” Her Cuban grandparents self-identify as white, but here in the SW borderlands, she likely is seen by many as one of those “brown” people, you know, the ones who crossed the border legally or […]
Yasmin Agudelo, The Colony, TX. I love this project. I’ve seen so many thoughts and statements that reflected my own experiences growing up as a child of immigrants.
Newo Zoils, Minneapolis, MN. I understand that as a white male in America I have in many unconscious ways perpetuated racism. I and my family have also benefited from over hundreds of years of white privilege. This is a systemic problem in America that continues to be unresolved. I am a teacher and one can […]
Laurel Nelson, Corona, CA My whole life I never felt like I was the ‘right’ race to fit into being ‘pretty’ because of this phrase I was always told. Every race and every individual is beautiful. CBU HIS311
Tasmia, High Point, NC As a new immigrant I love to wear my ethnic outfit that includes a headpiece called a hijab. I was called out multiple times that “what’s up with the towel on your head?” A piece of clothing should never define a person, in a free society everyone has a right to […]
Sabrina Tilley, Hutchins, TX Student at Dallas County Community College District, Eastfield College
Kiavian Pender, Michigan City, IN People has this stereotype of, Black people being a crime just by the color of their skin and that’s not fair.
Natalia, MD I was standing in line at a store when a woman looked at me with a puzzled expression on her face. She broke into a smile and apologized for staring. “I just can’t figure out what you are!” she said brightly. I almost considered posting here with the all too common “What are […]
Kaylin Nguyen, Williamsburg, VA My husband and I have been together for four years now. I am white, he is Vietnamese. I am originally from a small town in Virginia where there is not much diversity and let me tell you, people notice. In other areas as well we feel like there is still a […]
Haley, Pittsburgh, PA
André Solomon, Pittsburgh, PA
Stephanie D Schrodetzki, Old Dominion University, Chesapeake, VA I didn’t know that the color of my skin afforded me privileges until I watched a video about students moving forward on a line or staying still based on sentences that applied to them. Even though I didn’t have an advantaged youth, I was able to achieve […]
Bionca Bryant, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, Black defined is the very darkest color owing to the absence of or complete absorption of light; the opposite of white. Melanated people are no such thing. We are all light and my skin is brown, not black.
Brandon W Hogan, Jonesboro, AR I am a 35-year-old black man living in what is supposedly a very racist, bigoted Southern United States state or Arkansas. Other than a handful of incidents in high school of people just trying to anger me, I have never been the victim of any kind of “racial incident” or […]
Malika Los Angeles, CA Our daughter began to draw what she saw in the world very early. She wakes up from vivid dreams, grabs a sheet of paper and illustrates the thunder and lightning, fairies and wizards, monsters and princesses from her nighttime imagination. Having grown up in America as a woman of African ancestry, […]
Justin Stewart, Pittsburgh, PA Growing up, I thought I had a pretty good upbringing. I lived in a decent house while receiving a decent education. Heck, the term racism really wasn’t a thing for me until middle school. I never really grasped the harsh conditions my ancestors most likely went through coming to America along […]
Sedrick Ivey, USA It’s a harsh truth but we do live in a white man’s world. To thrive and succeed in life it often feels as though those who don’t fit that archetype have to sacrifice what makes them different to conform to the will of this majority. In my case being black means doing […]
Ian, Lake Forest, CA Being an Asian American, we are constantly under the attack of racial discrimination and stereotype. In middle school, since I lived in a white town, being the ONLY Asian in my school’s 150 years of history, I get asked the same question every single day: “Hey! you Asian right? so you […]
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 […]
James Moore, Sterling, VA. No one told me when I adopted my baby girl that I was no longer white. I had to find out the hard way. One friend at a time. Sadly.
Tate Lee, Mission Viejo, CA Specific mutations can be specifically beneficial for an environment. In a cold climate, shorter and thicker arms would prove to keep someone warmer, while longer and thinner ones would expend more energy to keep blood circulating. We can see from history that physiological changes occur when individuals live their lives […]
Renee Chen, Mission Viejo, CA As a first-generation Chinese American, I found it increasingly difficult to be accepted by both cultures as it seems that I don’t fit in as either Chinese or American; I’m either too “white-washed” by my relatives or “too Asian” by my peers when I was younger. And they base it […]
Christi Perkinson, Red Wing, MN. My mom is full blooded German so I’ve always known that I was half German, but the other half was a mystery. My dad’s side is quite the mystery. His Father was born in the south while his Mother was born in Canada. Both sides came over to the U.S. […]
Thomas Hardy, Chico, CA I grew up in an extremely poor family. My father was a WW11 vet that lost most of his knee in the war. He was tough though and had his own tree service where he, himself climbed. We had 7 kids and 6 of us boys slept in one bed, shared […]
Sarah Cedar, Castle Rock, WA I grew up overseas where I was a white girl amid a sea of brown faces. I was the odd one out at school and I was bullied by the girls. This experience has had life long effects because I can still remember how scared I was. How totally alone […]
Eduardo Meza, Albany, NY. I get it! I look like the typical thug you will find in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout most of California. I know I am immediately judged by my cover. People mistake my form of self-expression for some sort of territorial gang branding. I am gay, latino, well-educated (Master’s Degrees), family-oriented and a […]
Sarah, Longview, WA I saw these words somewhere and it really stuck with me. I have been told many times that I will never understand what other races go through in America. I understand that is true. But I stand with all others and think it is important for those who have privilege’s to understand […]
Merrill Mason, Philadelphia, PA. Being descended from early WASP settlers made my mother feel important and entitled. But I believe that suffering and endurance are human experiences, not racial ones. Stories of grit and survival should bring people together rather than create hierarchies.
Megan, KY. Where to start. I have no clue. I guess I’ll start with some background about myself. I am a person full of love and I give it to anyone it doesn’t matter to me race, income, your past, how you treat me – what have you. If I ever get to the point […]
Sarah Hildreth Ingersoll, Middlebury, VT Growing up in Baltimore in the 70’s and 80’s, I attended an all-girls’ school, starting in fifth grade. In the early grades, I don’t recall any classmates “of color”, but by the time I graduated, we had one black classmate. She was really smart and went to Yale. I don’t […]
Payton Collier, Woodbridge, VA “Can you please calm down” is an unwanted sentiment that has been offered to me many times. The most hurtful of these was probably when a friend of mine asked me if I could just “calm down”; I’d gotten “worked up” about a racist comment a classmate had made. As an […]
Luis Enrique Jimenez Jr., Los Angeles, CA IT’S TIME TO LET CLASSICAL MUSIC DIE By: Nebal Maysaud Western classical music depends on people of color to uphold its facade as a modern, progressive institution so that it can remain powerful. By controlling the ways in which composers are financed, it can feel like our only […]
Ashley Butler, Wilkesboro, NC This is such an odd question to ask someone. However, as someone who is bi-racial, this is a question I get a lot. It’s actually one of the first things that people ask when getting to know me, especially growing up in the South. I will never understand why it matters, […]
Suzanne Jordan, Alexandria, VA
Cameron, Knoxville, TN My viewpoint comes from living in America (especially during this time of social and political unrest) as a mixed-race individual. I have experiences and family ties with two races that are seemingly at arms against each other, but I can’t (and, don’t) completely identify with one or the other. Instead, I am […]
Josie, Houston, TX Most of my life, I had not given much thought to my racial identity. I never really thought about myself as a “white person” or what it meant to be white, unless I had to fill out a form for school, a job, or standardized tests. It was just a label with […]
Sara Pardo, Millers Creek, NC I am a white woman. I occasionally hear a comment that is stereotypical or discriminatory against white people. However, I have never been pulled over because of my race. I have never been denied a job because of my race. I have never experienced institutionalized racism. I will never understand […]
Khoa Le, Elk Grove, CA. Ever since I started school as a kid, whether it’s a math class, history, or English, a teacher will always have technical difficulties with their computer. They then ask the class, does anyone know how to fix this. An Asian kid raises his hand and helps the teacher. As I […]
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.
Marryn Hilliker, Strasburg, PA. I chose these words that are jokingly spoken towards me very frequently. I’m a 20 year old white girl, blue eyes, red hair (although my “basic-ness” was worse when I was a blonde) attending college, who just happens to be apart of a sorority, loves Starbucks coffee, participates in the Netflix […]
Clare Hilger As an artist and art teacher I believe art can make us consider important issues in our world though visual means impacting us intellectually aesthetically, and emotionally. We enrich our lives through the sharing of art.
Hank Van Putten Jr, Casselberry, FL. Experience is a hard teacher. The exam comes first, then the lesson follows. – Vernon Jordan
Sarah Naomi Burnett, Norristown, PA. Being a ‘white’ girl raised on the border of Mexico the ‘race-card’ issue was raised daily. I always felt that if I was a color, and they were a nationality, those two identifiers didn’t quantify either of us equally. I had a culture at home that was Irish/Italian but where […]
Karen Gephart Altschul, Vernon Hills, IL. I was five, the first time I can remember somebody asking me that question. “What are you? Chinese or something?” Huh? Um, what are you talking about? I’ve been asked this question, “what are you”, on the first day at a job. A girl from China asked me if […]
Timena Mano, Northern CA. Since I was a young child, one thing I knew for sure was that I was Samoan. I am Polynesian but again, more specifically, SAMOAN. I remember in middle school, a classmate asked my friend Ofa if she was Samoan, and she quickly shouted in an offended tone, “No!” I recall […]
Jolie Anne Chevalier, San Jose, CA. This is me at eight years old back in 1979, the daughter of an African-American/Seminole Indian mother, and a Irish-French-American father. Growing up, I was faced with contradictions in a world of opposites; although I was multiracial my mother told me I was Black, and to identify as such […]
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 […]
Adam Costa, Salem, NH You see a lot of dancing in the social media spotlight and trends that are started. Either on TikTok or through dances created by rappers and trying to do copy them draws a lot of backlash. I jokingly try to do something and I always draw a response from my friends, […]
Anonymous, LA I was raised in an odd grey area between Cajun and Southern White, without really fitting into either group. The first thing people ask when I eventually mention my heritage is, “can you speak French?” To which I respond, with great embarrassment and shame, “no.” Most people just give a disappointed or confused […]
Juliet Kim, Irvine, CA In Korean culture, mental health and awareness is not something that is openly talked about. Being a first-generation citizen of the United States, I grew up with both American and Korean cultures that have shaped me into who I am today. I feel that mental health and awareness is extremely important […]
Terri F. Reilly, St. Louis, MO. I don’t only teach white college students, but many of them come into the classroom with blinders of privilege that need lifting.
Cameron McCall, Fontana, CA. The reason I choose these six words is because I don’t like how I am stereotyped to be un-educated and ghetto. I am a proud African American male in college and I am proud of the proper english that I use.
Tierra Wells Holly Hill, SC Personally I have not experience this, but there has been stories told to me about this subject. When an African American walks into a store apparently the sales associate, who happens to be white, begins to look at the African American customer very closely. It’s as if the sales associate […]
Queenie, Virginia Beach, VA. I am an African American mother of a 23 year old son. We have seen lots of race issues on the news, on television shows, and on social media in the last year. The response that I see many white people say is that they are tired of hearing about these […]
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 […]
Rikki Clark, Milwaukee, WI. I teach African-American literature and folklore at the university level. Often white students will say in class how they would have never owned slaves. But there is a fundamental problem when we view history through a twenty-first-century lens. Our modern morals and values are out of context. I would hope, if […]
Daniel Portland, OR I grew up in a working-class and ever-so-slightly diverse part of a very white city, but I the bus across town with two dozen others to school K-12. As I grow older I sometimes recall classroom memories that make my current self uncomfortable. In 7th grade social studies we discussed slavery, and […]
Julie A. Perkins, NV. I’m 22 years old, half African America, half Caucasian. Because I’m black, I have been racially profiled and discriminated against because of my gender and skin color. But I’ve also had the terrible taste prejudice from many black people due to my mother being white and me not being full black. […]
Carmen Davis Portland, OR I was a very young child from the Midwest traveling with my mother by train to Detroit in the 1940’s. There was an African American couple on the train with a wonderfully packed picnic basket. As a very gregarious child I was eager to explore the car. My mother told me […]
Auguste Budhram Austin, TX I was broke, in my twenties and had just moved to NYC when a friend told me that I could earn some extra cash by being a part of a focus group. When I called the ad agency, I was told I’d be asked a series of questions to determine if […]
Tanya Haney Middleton, WI I am a white mother and school employee; my kids are white, Asian and I have been a foster parent to an African-American child. I have been struggling and driven to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of institutional racism, but I struggle daily. People look […]
Kiesha Ireland-Tran San Francisco, CA I am an African American girl, yet I grew up scared of black people. I felt that I was unsafe and didn’t belong with them. An adult in my life lead me to believe these things that changed how I perceived myself and others. People identified me as ‘white’ despite […]
Aniaka McCowan, Union City, CA. Everyone one always says “oh my god you have a kid” Just because I hold a child doesn’t mean I’m a young mother. A caucasian women asked me why I ruined my life having a bastard child you probably don’t even know the father. I simply said why do you […]
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 […]
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 […]
Freda NC I am African American. Growing up I was often asked this question in some form or another “are you mixed, what are you, what are you mixed with, what’s your nationality, are you Indian, where are you from?” As I got older, the question began to offend me more, especially when the person […]
Felix Muhlebach, Chapel Hill, NC. I was at the Head of the Hooch, 2nd biggest rowing event in the US. More than 1600 crews. More than 5000 athletes. I saw only one Afro American crew. No mixed race boats. Check on attached event picture file. Statistically, one out of 5 athletes should be Afro American. […]
Kerwens R. Pinthiere Cranston, RI It really bothers me when people call me African American because of my skin color. I am Haitian and I am proud.
Simone Pratt Brooklyn, NY I can talk about race all day… I work in multicultural advertising so it’s what I do, but outside of work as well… Some context on my 6 words: Race is something that puts us in boxes in our society (“talking Black”… “Acting White”… “Black music”… on and on), however race […]
Brittany Barnes Reno, NV I am adopted. I was born in Irian Jaya, Indonesia, now known as Western New Guinea. I don’t really tell people where I was born, because I don’t find it necessary in conversations and it never really comes up. People look at me and automatically assume that I am African-American and […]
Nicole Minneapolis, MN As a descendant of Germans and Scandinavians, I am termed WHITE. My daughter is is a strawberry blonde with creamy white skin and blue eyes. Again and again I have been asked how it was possible when her father is an African American. I have heard, “he can’t actually be her father” […]
Kelly Blount, Snohomish, WA. If you live in the U.S.A. Your an American. Not African American, not Asian American, Irish American, etc. Once everyone believes that it would help a lot.
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.
Jiarui Lin, Irvine, CA, . Among the stereotypes of Asians, the one that was once applied to me was good at math. In a math lesson where there were not many people, a classmate would sit next to me every time, although we rarely talked. Until one time we started chatting, he told me that […]
McKinley Dixon, Richmond, VA. In the dominantly caucasian school that my sister used to attend, she would get picked on for her hair being curlier and fuller than the other girls in her school. It got to the point where she would straighten it every morning before we go to school. Damaging her hair, for […]
Valerie Elverton Dixon, East St Louis, IL. As an African-American woman living in a society where the standard of beauty is light skin and straight hair, I am so grateful that I came of age during a time in this nation’s history when we started to celebrate and to affirm the beauty of various skin […]
Susan Williams Frappier, Canada. It`s just a hair thing. I spent my childhood wanting to have bouncy, floaty, flippable hair. It`s only now at 37…38 tomorrow, that I have embraced and called beautiful and amazing MY hair. I no longer want to be like everyone else. I still think the others are beautiful, it`s just […]
Lunia Collado Cranston, RI As an adult, I’ve been living between the US and the Dominican Republic. While in the US, curly/kinky hair is not usually a big deal, it definitely can be, and is often perceived as unprofessional for situations such as job interviews and media appearances. In the Dominican Republic, the issue of […]
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.
Brenda Becker, Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in a white Queens neighborhood where neighbors worried that “they” would “get in,” and the cool girls had straight sheets of hair. I was delighted to meet and make black friends at my all-girls Catholic high school. It was the 70s, and even as I struggled with my […]
J. L. Woodward-Lyons Boston, MA
Tre’zure Glover, Banning, CA. Being an African American woman comes with its assumptions and stereotypes. The main stereotype and assumptions deals with our hair. Many people question why is our hair so nappy? Why is it so greasy? How long does it take to grow? do you wash it everyday? Those are just some questions […]
Renee Bracey Sherman. Oakland, CA. “Can I touch your hair?” they ask, hand already extended, a mere inch from my thick brown curls. I feel invaded. Living as a biracial woman isn’t the easiest thing in the world. People come up to me with an inquisitively tilted head and say “What are you?” If I […]
Melissa U., Charlotte, NC. My Taino people would love me, from my plump lips to my curly hair. My African people would love me from the rhythm in my hips to the powerful thoughts in my mind. My Spanish people, they might deny me, but I can’t deny them. They are in my language, they […]
Ernest Fabrizio Garcia New Fairfield, CT Neither of us are African-American, but our children are. There seems to be a conception that doing black hair well is partially genetic.
Shaunise Allmond, Baltimore, MD. Society assumes since I am a black woman with natural hair I cannot do simple tasks like combing my hair. My hair texture is extremely curly and what some consider nappy. I have broken combs in the past and will continue to break them in the future. My problem with people […]
Tiana, Wildomar, CA. Typically I get complimented on my hair that I have inherited from my mother’s side. As a mixed breed people struggle to figure out what I am exactly, but my hair is a tell tale sign that I am not white. Aside from various compliments I always get that one girl that […]
Nikki Hearn, Sacramento, CA. Being “Black” just the way God made me is enough.