Hanae Weber, Greencastle, IN. I am mixed race. My mother is half-Japanese, my father is white. I was raised in a Japanese-American household, but sometimes people struggle to grasp this or accept me as Japanese-American because of my blue eyes and brown hair. I am so proud of my culture that I refuse to sink […]
Nancy Deschu, Anchorage, AK. My Dutch ancestors arrived in New Amsterdam in 1624. Now, four hundred years later, I live in Alaska but my roots in New Jersey are strong and deep. While traveling in Sulawesi, Indonesia 15 years ago, locals would ask me, “Blanda?”, or what I learned was a slang term for “Dutch”. […]
Amelinda, New Haven, CT. I am as white as they come… Blonde hair, blue eyes; English, Swedish, Irish, German, French heritage… I grew up in Nebraska, surrounded by the ‘whitest’ people you can imagine. The first ‘black’ person I saw was a professional photographer when I was a toddler, and I was absolutely shocked (I […]
Danielle , Submitted via Twitter: @perfectlygdkids.
Stacey Rosana, Lake Elmo, MN.
Kristen Ellerbe, Richmond, VA. Calling me an Oreo or not really black, or basically a white girl means that you define some part of my personality, attitude, preferences, or demeanor as being owned and attributed solely to white people. Is it my intelligence, my sense of style, or how I speak? Is it because I’m […]
Wes, Boston, MA. I feel like the topic of race has become uncomfortable for many people because we assume the worst of people’s words. A discussion that includes the ethnicity of another person too commonly leads to an argument or someone accused of being a racist when no harm was intended or when a fact […]
Lauren Qualters, West Chester, PA. For my race card project I chose the phrase “Too white for my own good” which is most certainly a true statement, in both humerous and negative ways. I am certainly very sterotypically “white” but not in an intentional or discriminatory way. My traits are my own and they embody […]
Katriel Hampton-King, Chicago, IL.
Alex Webster, Japan. African American male English teacher abroad; lived in China, currently living in Japan.
Natalie Ngong, Louisville, KY. Sometimes in this world not having the voice that is expected of you as the race you are, creates a need for insults. In some people’s minds you are not truly the race you appear to be you act like another race simply due to the way you converse. This should […]
Anonymous, MN. Can’t draw to save my life. Picture up for interpretation.
Aimee Mallery, Rochester, NY. My daughter is Native American on her father’s side. When faced with a form for daycare, I had to choose whether to label her Native American or Caucasian. They insisted she couldn’t be both.
Christy Braddock, Silver Spring, MD. Marc Quarles’ 6 words spoke to me when featured on All Things Considered this morning: ‘With Kids, I’m Dad. Alone, Thug’ I am a white mom of 2 children of color and 2 caucasian children. When I am with my black children, I feel visable in all race communities in […]
Vishwa Dhuleshia, Shrewsberry, MA. I started Kindergarten knowing how to say only two things in Enlgish: “my name is Vishwa” and “I have to go to the bathroom.” I spent the first 3 years of Elementary school going to ESL classes while my classmates took spelling classes. Those few years I had to face the […]
Bob Johnson, Colverdale, CA. It saddens me to see so may people using accusations of racism against them as an excuse not to take responsibility for their own actions and lives. You cannot improve yourself by hating or blaming others. Of all the races, whites are by far the most conscious and careful about not […]
Megan Hogan, Havertown, PA. I don’t see color in a bad way but I do see it. I don’t see what is wrong with that. We all need to start embracing ourselves and others more. I should be able to recognize the color of someone else and celebrate and be able to inquire about it. […]
Gianna Donovan, New York, NY.
Cedric Bedford-Chalale, Oakland, CA. Black people play the race card because that is the only card dealt to black people by white America. It’s a reality….
Deb Hamilton USA This is the title of Bob Dylan’s song about the assassination of Medgar Evers.
Mark Loup, Williams Bay, IL. This is one of the reasons I’m glad I left Chicago, one of the most segregated big cities in America. The tension just seems to overwhelm intentions. I live near the resort city of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, and while I’m sure there’s plenty of racism here, there’s less tension. […]
Jessica Cooper, Glasgow, KY. The first time I met an African-American individual I was three years old. My mother and I were walking down an isle in the supermarket and I looked up to see a little girl with the prettiest hair. She had braids with beads and ponytails and I loved it. My three-year-old […]
Joy Owopetu, Manassas Park, VA. What does this even MEAN? I have heard so many times that I sound like a white girl from the valley. It has caused me to experience unfriendly behavior from coworkers who thought I wasn’t “black enough” and I have gotten outright laughed at in public by ignorant individuals who […]
Eliana Rodriguez, Winston Salem, NC. I hate the feeling of rejection from the Caucasians I grew up with and the Hispanics that come from my culture. Ive always felt alienated from the white students in my schools but it hurt even more to find out that people from my own culture didn’t accept me cause […]
The Rev. Kate LUfkin Day, Syracuse, NY. I am a white woman age 60. I chose the word “impenetrable” even though I sometimes experience moments of black-white mutual understanding, because I have found that the divide is so huge and daunting. It is better since my growing-up years in the sixties, but it is very […]
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. […]
Sydni Booker, Philadelphia, PA.
Fess Makame Justice, Oakland, CA. This is a quote by Shakespeare who helped organize the Bible.
Jason Michlig, Kansas City, MO.
Mariel Joana Alvarado, Portland, OR.
Celeste Havis, Jacksonville, FL. Science and religion alike informs us that the concept of race is an illusion. Why do we continue to hang on to this antiquated concept when it only serves to divide us? I have dedicated my life to building positive human relations and now it appears to me that we are […]
Santana O., Philadelphia, PA. I’m asked by new people commonly, “Wow, you look so Asian! Are you Asian?” I’m also asked, “You’re really pale, are you Caucasian? Are you sure you’re black? WOW! You’re Puerto Rican & black. That explains it.”
Mary Carroll, Columbia, SC. I am biracial and adopted into a white family. Growing up in a very southern affluent area, people were always asking me if I was paid well to look after the child and if I would work for them. When I would tell them that the child was my sister, generally […]
Frank Manuel, Montgomery, AL. Liberals own Guns too.
Renee Yates, Evanston, IL. Being black in America means that every time you feel slighted or unfairly treated in the larger society you have to wonder “Is it because I am black?” It’s demoralizing and exhausting.
Leonard Ting, Cupertino, CA.
David Norwood, USA. (Not sure what the rule is on contractions I first realized I wasn’t afraid of black people when I was in grad school in Denton TX. A friend and I had just been out at the clubs and were finishing the evening at Whataburger, as was typical in that place and time. […]
Meharry Medical College Psychiatry Program Trainee, Nashville, TN.
Srushya Krishnan, St. Louis, MO.
Erin Powell, Washington, DC. “Are you sure your dad is really black?” “If you imagine her with curly hair, you can tell she’s mixed.” “You look straight white, nothing else.” “Ugly half n*****.” Just a taste of the both disparaging and conflicting comments I’ve received on my YouTube vlog about my personal experience being biracial. […]
Renee Yates, Evanston, IL.
Jason Gist, Beaverton, OR. I grew up in public housing where it seemed like I was the lightest kid around. From an early age I knew that blacks had a color complex amongst themselves. Ideal beauty for a male ment being dark, female light. The further down you went in opposition to that ideal was […]
Gavin, Summerville, GA. People think they are better than other people just because of their race.
Julie, Summervile, GA. Yes I`m from the South and i`m a redneck but that`s not all of me. My mother`s father is a Native American and what I know of my father`s family his mother was italian. My mother`s mother`s mom was German. So here I am in the South all types of mixed.
Bryce Barrett, Summerville, GA. I am Asian-American and that means Asian jokes. People call me Wasian when I say am part Asian, Thai in particular. Im not offended by it and sometimes I play along with them. It sometimes gets on my nerves that that say “Hey Wasian!” instead of my name. :L
Zarriya Johnson, Kansas City, MO. We are humans first. Our race is just something we as humans created to determine how a person should be and act in society. It’s a trend that needs to stop.
Alex Cummings, Weston, CT.
Catherine Tiger, Kansas City, MO. I’ve been to many pow wows and I love to explain to my friends what it is that we do their. It was one day when a man over heard my friend and I talking and he asked if Native America’s dance around a fire and really think they can […]
Tac Mohamed, Miami, FL. I’ve heard it from friends, co-workers and many in between. Other variations include: You’re pretty smart for a black man. Is that a compliment?
Nell Kuhnmuench, East Lansing, MI. Not now – I am trying to learn each day without getting defensive.
Chi Sherman, Indianapolis, IN
Pedro Morel, Providence, RI.
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 […]
Messiah Williams, Camp Hill, AL. I’m a young black man from Alabama trying to inspire other blacks to be more productive in society.
Maribel Padilla, West Babylon, NY. I’m in Suffolk County, NY, a predominately white, conservative, suburb in NY and I can’t stand the ignorance anymore!
Zach Brutsché, Sedona, AZ.
Carla Washington, New York, NY.
Henry Phillips, Anytown, OH.
Thank you for this opportunity. I have tons to say but wouldn’t know where to start.
Sunny G. Sampson, Albuquerque, NM. I managed to obtain one degree, still paying for it. Have attempted two other degrees. The debt and the education happened, but the piece of paper eluded me. In one case because of direct racism, accused of cheating because I had a 3.6GPA. In both, economic difficulties did me in. […]
Robert F., American Canyon, CA.
A. Odell Richardson, Pittsburgh, PA. America’s greatest export to the world…! Distinguishing people by the color of their skin with “white” at the top of the food chain…!
Amarah Reed, Bowling Green, KY. I hate the term when someone uses me as mixed, or they say I act a certain race. I am a human being, I shouldn’t have a label because I act a certain way.
Samantha, Cincinnati, OH. I work in Planet Snoopy at Kings Island, and it horrifies me how many times parents will ask this or have their children wait, just so that they will not sit by someone of another race. I hate seeing how the children are being conditioned to hate others because of their skin.
Isabella Fioretto, Park Ridge, IL. Many people assume since I am 100 percent Sicilian that I have relatives in the mafia. None of my relatives or people from our small town in Sicily are involved with the mafia.
Sean, Chicago, IL. We try not to see color but color fills our life. Embrace it.
Melanie Brown, West Chester, PA. Whether you are of African decent, European, Asian, Caribbean, Latino, etc… We breathe the same air.
Anthony Charles Bradburn, Crystal Lake, IL. As a Dominican, it’s easy to get lost in nationality. The truth is I have a rich, beautiful Black line of people before me. I am honored to stand with them and cull their strength. The truth is I have white, Spanish Imperialistic blood in me. The truth is […]
Nathaniel U. Jackson, Partlow, VA.
Noah Clayton, Lakeland, FL. In the past year I have started be become really fond with Bass fishing. I caught my first Bass towards the end of 2012 and ever since then I have become “hooked”. As I was watching videos on YouTube and doing a little research on techniques and places to fish I […]
Sandra Durbin, San Diego, CA. It was hard. I was smart, black and female, 18 years old in 1966. I joined the U S Navy, because they promised me college. I give the govenment 3 years, and they give me four years of college. It was horrible. I was given a Captain’s Mast, at 8:30 […]
Felicia Sullivan, Lowell MA.
Amaia Diaz, Chesapeake, VA.
Carl DuPont, Coral Gables, FL. How many times have I heard this? One million. One many times has it prevented me from being hurt? Zero.
Fred Sullivan, Saddle Brook, NJ. There is a major difference between seeing color, and othering. I want people to affirm our joint unity without discriminating against me for my particularity.
Katrina Varga, Schaumburg, IL.
Rebekah Epling, Ripley, WV. Appalachian people are treated in this country as second-class citizens. It is perfectly acceptable for mainstream media to characterize Appalachian people in ways that would incite outrage and not be published were it about another minority group. Just because the majority of Appalachian people are white, does not mean it is […]
Dianne Goodwin Brant, Cambria, CA. My Dad used to travel to South Carolina in the late 50s-early 60s. He told me of the segregated bathrooms, water fountains, etc. I cried myself to sleep at the injustice. Things are changing, but not enough to suit me yet.
Christoph Wagner, Los Angeles, CA.
Kayla Eckhoff, Denver, CO. I was just a year old when I was adopted, I was born in India and grew up in a small town in New Hampshire. For the most part I had a normal childhood, especially growing up in an all white community. Went to school, made friends, played school sports. Though […]
Rachel Robbins, San Francisco, CA. When I was child, we didn’t really have the commonly held words and concepts regarding the identities of biracial people the way we now do. So I was understandably a bit confused by my biracial family. My mom and aunties are biracial, and my own father was out of the […]
Liz Kelly, Cleveland, OH. The big insight happened when I couldn’t understand the language no matter how hard I tried, although it was English. Knowing it was deliberate. Realizing “This is what marginalized people feel all the time– knowing they are hated without anyone knowing their thoughts or feelings or who they are.” Later I […]
Autumn Battani, Los Angeles, CA. People only identify me as black. And that doesn’t make sense to me. Even when I was little, and we would fill out forms for tests, I would ask my teacher what I was supposed to do. The papers always said you can only choose one, but I’m two. And […]
Steve Jones, Durham, NC. I grew up in a segregated community and the concept that African-Americans (of course, not the word that was used) were inferior. It took a long time to get out of that mindset and even longer to acknowledge the privilege that comes with my white skin. It’s a privilege to be […]
Mike Wenli, Tulsa, OK. I am White. I will never apologize for my existence.
Elsa Alonzo, San Antonio, TX.
Daniel Robbins, Seattle, WA. No matter how liberal and progressive I might claim to be, no matter how many workshops I’ve been to or essays I’ve read about privilege, I still hear my inner voice express pleasant surprise when I see a minority doing well at something. Whether I see a minority excelling in business, […]
Alexa Fay, Seattle, WA. I dance at a predominately black dance studio, and anyone who sees my friends there is quick to point out that I look different from everyone else. I wish they cared more about my personality than my skin color.
Elisa Mader, Seattle, WA.
Charles Aloisio, Atlanta, GA. An African-American friend at the Y has encouraged me to get in touch with my African roots since I’m Sicilian Italian as well as Neopolitan. I have often thought of my roots since Sicily was occupied by the Moors for several centuries.