Exotic for a black girl

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 […]

Little bit of everything and everywhere

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.

I’m An Individual NOT A Color!

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 […]

Listen First. Pray Next. Speak Last.

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. […]

Do you live in a Pyramid ?!

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, […]

My Skin is a Deadly Weapon

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 […]

You are those girls mother?! Really!?!

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 […]

Privileged quadroon not passing for white.

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.

I am scared to practice Hindu.

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.

Descendant of bad faith white Americans

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.

Do not judge race by appearance

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 […]

Jim Crow Paper Genocide Native AmerIndians

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 […]

You can no longer dehumanize me.

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 […]

Disappointed in myself and my country

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 […]

Excuse me, are you a Negro?

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 […]

I don’t know where I belong.

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 […]

Half-white, half-middle-eastern. Where do I belong?

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 […]

Resisting arrest matters more than race.

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.

I am not a single story

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

Carlos, you really don’t speak Spanish?

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 […]

Stop blaming race! Start taking action.

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 […]

I’m much more than my accent

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 […]

May God have mercy on us

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 […]

We are all shades of Beige

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 […]

Sometimes the problem isn’t you.

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 […]

You’re nice for a black person.

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 […]

What beautiful children! Are they yours?

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 […]

No white Barbies for this one.

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 […]

Black girl attitude, but sounds white.

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 […]

I do not smell like curry

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 […]

We have to be color brave

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 […]

My Tenth Birthday Was Super Awkward

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 […]

Four words: I’m tired of blacks.

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 […]

Recognize differences, realize that’s not bad

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 […]

White bullying in black territory

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 […]

I’m Middle Eastern but I’m white?

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” […]

It embodies America’s hope and tragedy

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!

Black Woman Who Loves to Swim!

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 […]

You may not know you’re racist.

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 […]

Two worlds, where do I belong?

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 […]

We are all in this together

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

Χιος to Hughes…we’re all immigrants

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 […]

Messianic Jew Yogi? Pick one fool!

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) […]

Growing up in America as “other.”

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 […]

Indian, European, past enemies collide kindly.

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 […]

Double standards and mutual racial fragility

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 […]

“Privileged” kid meets Black men …golfing

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! […]

America is not Black and White

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

I’m a bridge between two worlds.

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 […]

Grandma said I looked too haole.

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 […]

Being white makes race discussions difficult

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 […]

When Skin Color Fades Away

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 […]

No moccasins. You’ll wear real shoes.

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, […]

West Asians Count As Asians Too

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 […]

Creating inclusive work environments is intentional.

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 […]

Divide in America demands one listen

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 […]

Braiding red bones and white blood.

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 […]

We thought you didn’t speak English.

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 […]

Oh, where’s your accent from?

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 […]

I am proud to be white

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.

Go back to your own country!

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 […]

I’m done with all the fights

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 […]

The model minority myth blinds Asians

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

My race is not my story!

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 […]

You’re just a whitewashed privileged Mexican

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 […]

A black girl’s dilemma in America

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

I’m not the angry black women.

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 […]

I’m a twin: Who is better

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 […]

White Girl Trying To Be Ally

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.

Latina raised in the suburbs….Wepa

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, […]

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 […]

Difference between Phillando and me? Nothing.

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

I gotta be better to be equal.

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 […]

Hatred hurts the hated and hater

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 […]

“Am I white?” –My Latina daughter

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 […]

White Male Teacher Looking to Help

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 […]

You are pretty for an Asian

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

It is called hijab not towel.

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 […]

So, is your family here legally?

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 […]

Yes, I married a Vietnamese man.

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 […]

If I’m privileged, I didn’t know

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 […]

I’m not black, I’m actually brown.

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.

Affirmative Action is separate and unequal

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 […]

Bi-racial daughter draws Black self portraits.

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, […]

I am a privileged black man.

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 […]

Strength is black on both sides

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 […]

Do you eat dogs and cats?

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 […]

“A Teacher Who Looks Like Me”

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 […]

Race is adaptation to your environment.

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 […]

I don’t belong on both sides

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 […]

As Mutt as a Mutt Gets

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. […]

White Male Privilege Is A Lie!

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 […]

Hey Snow White, go back home

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 […]

Latin, Bald, Tattoos = Thug = Mistaken Identity

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 […]

I understand that I will never understand

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 […]

Boat after the Mayflower; who cares?

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.

I don’t understand, lets love instead

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 […]

I didn’t get to know her.

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 […]

Dude, could you please calm down?

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 […]

I compose music. But I’m brown.

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 […]

So, what are you mixed with?

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, […]

Best of Both Worlds? Or Neither?

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 […]

Reflections of Ethnicity, but Not Race?

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 […]

A Struggle I Will Never Understand

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 […]

A$!@n Kid Helps Teacher with Computer

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 […]

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.

She’s so basic, typical white girl.

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 […]

Make art to inform us all.

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.

When did borders start defining ‘race’?

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 […]

“So, what are you?” they ask.

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 […]

We come from the same ocean

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 […]

More than “just a Black girl”

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 […]

Human Spirit – Our One Equal Tie

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 […]

You’re too white to do that

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, […]

Half In, Half Out, Not Mixed

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 […]

Ignorance is Bliss in Korean Culture

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 […]

Why do you talk so proper?

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.

I can shop all by myself

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 […]

Tiring of race issues shows privilege.

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 […]

Black Girls Don’t Get Depressed…Wrong!

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 […]

Misreading slavery due to modern morals.

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 […]

Topic: slavery. All eyes on Brooke

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 […]

I’m mixed, and discriminated by both.

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. […]

Mother’s warnings at four, instilled racism.

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 […]

Told: Not African American? Not Black.

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 […]

White mom, colorful kids, heart ripped.

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 […]

I was scared of my race

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 […]

I’m African American; With No Kids.

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 […]

Embrace who you are, love it

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 […]

No one else chooses my identity.

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 […]

You are pretty, are you Indian?

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 […]

Why don’t Afro Americans row?

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. […]

Although it divides, I find beauty

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 […]

Black, Papua New Guinea, curious, adopted

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 […]

You can raise your daughter white

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” […]

You must be good at math.

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 […]

Don’t straighten your hair, baby girl.

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 […]

I love my hair and skin.

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 […]

Bad hair good. Hair, me roar!

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 […]

My natural hair is not disrespectful.

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 […]

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.

Still want to touch your 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 […]

The Nappy Headed Black Girl

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 […]

Your hair’s pretty. What are you?

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 […]

Would All My Ancestors Love Me?

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 […]

Yes, I can comb my hair..

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 […]

I BET YOU HATE YOUR HAIR

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 […]