Fredrick Clemmons Brentwood, TN When I grew up I heard a lot of statements that suggested White people did not want to hire Blacks. But as I took a closer look, these White people also did not want to be seen as prejudice, so they would hire a few Blacks in order to appease their [...]
Terence P Ward New Paltz, NY I’m one year in to a five-year exploration of dreadlocks as a participant-observer, so I can learn about the experience and the perceptions; it’s called Dread Like Me and I maintain a blog about it at dreadlikeme.blogspot.com. I expected people to treat me differently because they would think I [...]
Monika L. Brooks Oakland, CA My Son still has to be given the talk about how he has to ignore the people that think he should be “less than” because of what he looks like. He is 12.
Jameson Magdaleno Sacramento, CA This is my personal observation as a Mexican American regarding the plight of families with illegal immigrant parents who have children born in the U.S. today and their struggle to stay united. – Jameson Magdaleno
Gabrielle Davis Philadelphia, PA I remember being introduced to my friends dad once as her “black friend”, I knew she meant nothing by it but it had made me cringe a bit because I had never even thought about her race that way. I also never realized how racially awkward she was until that moment [...]
Ronnie Annapolis, MD The image of a child immigrant, who grew up to serve in the U.S. military is a bit cliche these days, especially after more than a decade of conflict. However, there is nothing cliche about an immigrant wanting to defend his adopted nation and his fellow Americans (both fellow immigrants and native [...]
Karen Skillin Rojas San Francisco, CA Adopted from Korea at 4 1/2 months old, I was raised in an entirely Caucasian family and community until I went to college. I often struggle with not identifying with my Asian exterior (yellow), which is how the world around me sees me. I find I identify so much [...]
Daniel A. Rodriguez Philadelphia, PA Hello, my name is Daniel A. Rodriguez and I am 15 years old. I am of Mexican and White descent. My parents came from Mexico shortly before I was born here, in the United States. My father is a construction worker and my mother is a house cleaner, which many [...]
Sadie Petersen Philadelphia, PA As a child, the streets of west Philadelphia were my playground. I loved going to school in the area and wouldn’t change a thing about how I was raised and how race was never even noted in my small family of four, which eventually grew to a family of 7. However, [...]
Shoumita Fiorillo Wellesly, MA
Mayra Velez Buffalo, NY Picture of us, a Belarussian and Puerto Rican, soon-to-be-married, couple. When we started dating, every time I said he is belarussian to my friends and family, I heard the “oh improving the race amiga”. I think is our colonial mind, in which status in society was determined not by wealth but [...]
Krista Chronister Eugene, OR
Ali Hassan Des Moines, IA
Amara Lawson-Chavanu Elk Grove, CA I wear my hair in an Afro.
Serifa Tursunovic Des Moines, IA
Lewis Pascal Bowling Lexington, KY
Gary Kraemer Phoenix, Metro Area, AZ Two different former friends put up hate speech about people of my wife’s ethnicity on the internet. They were directly confronted, given an opportunity to make it right and choose not to. I broke off both friendships. They actually needed my friendship much more than I needed theirs.
Tim Buer USA My maternal family was from the South. The N-word and racial slurs were part of normal conversation. Those old tapes still roll. My thinking has changed a lot for the better, but I’m not there yet.
Ramon Gonzales Sacramento, CA Growing up I can clearly remember saying that whites were the superior race in this country wheter it was being used as a joke or a serious matter. When it comes to the issue of race their is no such thing as being superior over another race. Currently our President of [...]
Ezra Rosser Washington, DC Biligaana is a Navajo/Dine word that means “white, other, or the enemy.” I grew up in part on the Navajo Nation where my non-Indian parents worked and where my father still lives.
Jennifer Meyer Eugene, OR
Ryan C Los Angeles, CA Chinese, 20-something-year-old male, university student, and gay. Never going to be a doctor, lawyer, or businessman–contrary to familial and societal expectations. Still looking for peace of mind in my life choices.
Jaimie Nguyen San Jose, CA There are not much Asians in the media, not many Asians exposed in the light. Also, it saddens me how narrow-minded this society is. When there is a foreigner in America of a European descent, we say this person is “exotic”, “sexy”, “edgy”. Then, if there is a foreigner in [...]
Luis Raul Montalvo Bronx, NY Il Let you Know!
William Josephs Chicago, IL
Rusty Shackleford Arlen, TX
Jessica Balingit Santa Clara, CA
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 [...]
Diana Ryan Millbury, MA My last name notwithstanding, I am 100% Puerto Rican through and through. That is an ethnicity, not a race but too many people don’t make that distinction. My features are typical in the culture, full lips, broad nose, dark curly hair, olive skin that tans deeply and easily. It’s a blessing [...]
Jedediah Stegman Polk City, IA No cause, no advocate, just white and male. So little to be inspired by, all our models or “heroes” are flawed and not what we were originally led to believe they were. We stay silent, and with our wives we live the middle road life. 2 kids, 2 cats, 2 [...]
Gianina Delucchi Pasadena, CA
Courtney Taylor-Preville England I love being black.
Julian Henderson Holland, MI
Matthew Zimmerman Wausau, WI It’s awful that my skin color will grant me favoritism over another person. We are all human, and we should all be treated as such.
Keyonna Wilder Mobile, AL
Aidan O’Connor Grand Rapids, MI People can be raised up to be rasist but no one starts their life doing it. Rasism is not even a thing when you are born, you don’t even know what it is. Being racist is a choice you make. If you chose to be racist it is the wrong [...]
Ed Maietta Savannah, GA After 30 years of teaching in both diverse and not-so-diverse environments, I now teach at the oldest HBCU in Georgia. If there is an achievement gap, it has nothing to do with intelligence or strength of character.
David Duncan San Antonio, TX Our father would never disclose the full specific reasons for his anger regarding the Trail of Tears and the treatment of the Cherokee people. He talked of land granted his father being stolen by an overseer appointed because ‘Indians’ could not be trusted to manage their own property. His father [...]
Bobby Flam Miami, FL Owner of Jumbo’s, the first restaurant in Miami to integrate. READ MORE on Bobby Flam and Jumbo’s: Miami Diner, Pioneer in City’s Race Relations, Serves Last Cup Jumbo’s Restaurant Closing Its Doors By FRANCES ROBLES JULY 22, 2014 MIAMI — While the line of white customers used to snake out the [...]
Jordan Yee Fremont, CA The biggest illusion is the illusion of SEPARATION. We all have the same roots and we are all branches of the same tree. People constantly ask me my ethnicity- I’m Black/Chinese/Norwegian but that doesn’t DEFINE who I am (it just gives me my good looks lol) .. but I don’t want [...]
Destiny Baker Raeford, NC The only thing that defines how you are as a person is you, not your past, culture, and especially not race.
Salvador Palacio Elk Grove, CA
Michelle K. Chicago, IL Racist men who are interested in me solely for their “yellow fever”: my skin is not your accessory. Racist people who want to befriend me solely because they “loooove” my culture: my skin is not your accessory. Racist people who think being Asian is all about KPop and “kawaii”: my skin [...]
Katherine Ellis American Fork, UT I stood alone by the playground, kicking pebbles. Someone approached me and I glanced up eagerly, hoping for a friend. “Are you Chinese?” the girl spat at me. “No,” I mumbled. “I’m half Hmong.” “Monk? What’s that?” She looked at me like I should be bald and humming in an [...]
Adrian S. Bennett Bremerton, MA I am dedicated to Equality for all persons and the values that make up Diversity. As I journey through my career as an Equal Opportunity Adviser and an Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist and Program Analyst, my hardest realization has been that some people will always see me as an oppressor… [...]
Dmitri San Franciso, CA Different by blood, one by goal. – In Latin
Ernie Lee Savannah, GA Struggling with my whiteness and my student’s blackness until we connect. I am a good teacher and after a while I don’t color just students who want to learn. It is more of a socio-economic divide, but I will never know what it means to be black as my students will [...]
Amanda Whitman Tampa, FL All my life people have asked me what I am. I want to right away say American. My father is African-American and my mom is white. I grew up in a military family. In the military it is very common to meet people of multiple races. It was a shock for [...]
Katharine Corona, CA When I was young I grew up on a street with boys and ended up being a pretty big tomboy. I enjoyed sports, I was competitive and I liked playing with my friends. As I got older I began volunteering at the local hospital and became a fire explorer with my friends. [...]
Sheila Katzman Brooklyn, NY We got too comfortable after the civil rights act, hence the disrespect for the US president in 2014.
Angela Clark Little Rock, AR
William Tacoma, WA The “white guilt” narrative and the assumption that racism is one-direction in the US is wrongheaded.
Richard Roberts New York, NY
Brenda Perez Nashville, TN
Josh Leake Cullowhee, NC It’s very aggravating to be judged because Im white. I come from a very rural area with a poor background. I have killed myself to support myself and be able to put myself through college.
Kay West Jordan, UT I get called Chinese all the time, and I have a lot of Chinese friends, but I am Japanese. Just because I am Asian, does not mean I am Chinese. Just like being Hispanic does not make them all Mexican. Being Caucasian doesn’t mean they are all from England. Every culture [...]
Shara Standefer Montoya NM Being one of the few non-latino’s in both my family and community this is the response I always get when something like this comes up in the conversation is, “oh, I didn’t mean you. I forgot you were white!”
Haley B Grand Rapids, MI My parents are adopted. I am a mutt. Both of my parents are darker complected with strong features that I wish I would have inherited as I am pale, blonde and blue eyed; so I get labeled “white.” When I look at the world around me, I see the variety [...]
Angelo Saxon Grand Rapids, MI People often mistake me for white because of my light skin. I identify, however, as an Arab, due to my Lebanese ancestry, of which I hold near and dear to my heart. The reclassification of Arabs as “white” by the government in the early 1900′s means that I have to [...]
Patricia Valdez-Harrison El Paso, TX El Paso Texas for the fourth year in a row as been reported to be the safest city in the country even though it shares borders with one of the deadliest cities in Mexico. I chose to end my sentence with lose not only for the lose of so many [...]
Harry Dapron I was a white, nerdy, shy, socially invisible teenager in senior high school. She was a beautiful, black classmate with a lovely, engaging smile that I would see when she turned around in her seat in Latin class to talk to me! I liked her and she seemed to care about and maybe [...]
Andrea Godbout Brooklyn, NY
Yasmin Gill Baltimore, MD My mother is white, American, and my father is Pakistani. Where ever I go, and whomever I am with, I rarely find someone who is at home with *all* of me. I am American, undeniably so, but there are peices of me that are also uniquely Pakistani. Americans see or experience [...]
Charlie Vulliet Pullman, WA
Linda Levittown, NY My three children are a mix of English/Irish and Puerto Rican and when you line them up in a row, you can see one mirrors me, the second mirors my husband and our third is a pretty even split down the middle and can “fit” either side of our mixed family. A [...]
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 [...]
Michael Jones Winterhaven, FL
Jann Patterson Hayden, ID The major bad things that have happened to me were because of black people. I was mugged by a group of black teens and my son had a gun held to his head at work by a pair of black thieves. I am afraid of black people that I don’t know [...]
Diana Vicars Austin, TX These were the words my mother said to me in 1950 when I read out loud the sign over a water fountain at a gas station during a car trip from Texas to Florida. I was six and a begining reader. Dehydrated from car sickness, I lived for the few and [...]
Ben Colafrancesco Casper, WY At 51, I’ve been engaged in civil rights my entire life.I’m tired now. Give me your gifts. I have Cerebral Palsy. I will never catch a football in a game, college or the pros. I’ll never be an athlethe. People will just feel sorry for me.I’m no less a man than [...]
Rose McKenney Lakewood, WA I’m glad we’re finally acknowledging the number of multi-ethnic people in the US. Sadly people my age (50s) have been asked to choose one; yet I know several multi-ethnic people around my age. They lost a lot because they or their parents felt the need to choose one tradition or ethnicity.
Dustin Fife Blanding, UT My other would have been…No one wins where I live.
TR Kelley Swisshome, OR “White trash” is a hip cultural joke. “N*****” is “hate speech”. Why?
Slaton Anthony Mount Vernon, IA My last ancestor came to America before 1800 all from England, France and Germany. My ancestors fought and died in almost every American war, I was raised in the Cookson Hills of rural Oklahoma and believed that I was part of the American white culture. While attending college in Oklahoma, [...]
Tracy Hart Washington, DC Yes, I’m from a tobacco-pickin, Southern white trash family, and I mean that in the most endearing way. Some stereotypes my family breaks: we were Southern but poor sharecroppers rather than slave-owners. Other stereotypes my family embraces: using discriminatory language in equal measure across all those who are not white Southerners. [...]
Morgan Fort Lauderdale, FL My now three and a half year old brother named Kendall was born to two crack addicted parents. My grandmother now has full custody of him and is his Mother figure. My grandma goes a few times a week to the Walmart across the street to do her grocery shopping. Benny [...]
Hanne Nielsen New Zealand Wherever I go, I’m always from elsewhere. Born in Canada, with Danish heritage, and living in New Zealand, every place assumes I’m ‘really’ from one of the others. What does ‘really’ mean? In New Zealand, everyone came from elsewhere at some point, usually from many elsewheres.
Barry M Toronto, Canada This six word combination together with two other six word combos (Are you from Jamaica or Africa? — No. Where were you actually born?) formed a common conversation I had throughout the 1990s. In Canada the attitude for a long time was if you are Black, and born before the late [...]
Judy Goffena Boogman Billings, MT When I was young there was a girl adopted possibly by a couple in my small hometown in Montana. She was Native American and her “parents” were not. Matter of fact the whole town was not. She seemed angry and out of place. One day I was waiting on the [...]
Achilles C. Saint Paul, MN I am a young African American single father, working hard to make sure my two daughters understand and value their own beauty, in the face of constant imagery and media messages that would suggest otherwise – my oldest was 3 the first time she wanted her hair straight like some [...]
Bonny Hanan Cottonwood, AZ I am not a racist and I know this sounds bad. However, I grew up in a very small town that was largely controlled by racism even in the recent past. It was so bad that Black people didn’t live here for very long when they did try to move in. [...]
Tania Rose England I love being a black woman. If I had to do it over, I would. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
Wynter Williams Brooklyn, NY
Storm Alexander Brooklyn, NY
Meg Seigenthaler Memphis, TN Skin color is but a tiny portion of our DNA. Like blue eyes or red hair, it shouldn’t have such an impact.
Jade Watson New York, NY I don’t have anything against interracial dating, but I choose to date and want to marry a black man, because I want my babies- my family to be black. I love being black. I love what being black has meant to my life. I love being a part of a [...]
Kasumi H University Park, PA I came to the USA to attend Penn State as an undergraduate student in 2010. I was born in Saitama, Japan and grew up in Shanghai, China. When I arrived, it felt like I was turned into a spokesperson for all Asians. Before, I was just a person, a girl, [...]
Annie Woodbridgem VA In high school, a white male classmate once said this to me. I am a half-Korean, half-Dominican woman. I had no idea how to respond. The context I perceived was that he meant that I spoke very clear, unaccented English, ate American-typical food staples for lunch, got excellent grades, and was in [...]
Robin Greeley St. Louis, MO This is what my relatives said to me at a family reunion in the 1950s.They were afraid that if it was known that Grandma was Choctaw, she could be sent to a reservation – something that was done in those days. In Pueblo, Colorado, the hatred and direct discrimination of [...]
Pamela Hung Boston, MA I grew up in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in Southern California. It was a hard transition living in places where Asians were the minority…non-Asians were just so foreign. But I’m doing exactly what I’m fighting against: making others the Other. My brain has learned to fight these Othering thoughts, but I [...]