Diane Smith, Anchorage, AK. I was the only white girl in my 6th grade class at Windsor Hills Elementary School in Los Angeles. I wished so much that I looked like my classmates. My greatest compliment back then (the 1960s) was that I might be white on the outside, but I was black on the […]
Robert Crosman, Anchorage, AK. Explanation: I was a good liberal, with the milk of human kindness in my veins, when a black student I viewed as marginally disruptive called me out in the middle of a class on Renaissance literature, calling me a racist because I was trying to ignore his too-frequent questions and comments. […]
Gene Tagaban, Ruston, WA.
Agnes Farmer, Chugiak, AK.
Nancy Simpson Martin, Anchorage, AK.
Diane “Bunny” Fleeks, Fairbanks, AK. My father arrived here in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1959. My mother and I “came into the country” (as we old farts call coming to Alaska to stay) in 1960. I grew up here, left after high school and moved back nearly 20 years ago. African-Americans have been part of Alaska’s […]
Melinda, Ephrata, WA. 50- year-old woman born in the south, grown in Alaska’s wildness, married too young. Courageously moving from isolation to a warmer world. Race goes deeper than color and texture, it’s how we love or don’t, what we teach or don’t, it’s chilly and it’s warm and it’s all degrees between. Race isn’t […]
Alberta Jones, Juneau, AK. Alaska Natives and American Indians are often just an asterisk (*) in higher education and other data. We are collectively, trying to build our critical masses and be a voice that is often unheard.
Stan Pitts Anchorage, AK I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and was 10 years old during the fateful year 1963. My father was a Birmingham Police officer terribly conflicted between upholding the law and the treatment of the civil rights participants. My trusted adults and role models, the church leaders, scout masters, and teachers, taught […]
Charity Son Anchorage, AK I was disappointed that this seems to even surprise a congenitally blind white woman I work with–“I didn’t know you were black!.” Happens on the phone as well. In person, black people, white people, all kinds of people seem to resent the way I speak. What does it even mean, to […]
Megan McBride, Anchorage, AK.
Sara Proffett, Healy, AK. I am Russian, Scottish and Spanish. I’ve always been kind of tan and I have light brown hair. I’m short but not stout. I’ve always been made fun of for being a tiny little girl. I am a mix of different races so I was never really made fun of for […]
Diane, Fairbanksm, AK. Images of Alaska never show Black faces, but yet in Fairbanks, the state’s second largest city, the Black population is equal to that of Alaska Natives. We have been effectively erased from our own history and present day lives. I work with tourists and a day doesn’t go by when I don’t […]
Kristen, Two Rivers, AK. Grew up in the 60s in south Georgia. As a child, I didn’t know there were differences. I didn’t know to discriminate. They tried to teach me, but I don’t think I ever really learned.
Lee, North Little Rock, AK.
RW Wells, Little Rock, AK.
Sherri, Juneau, AK. As hard as I try to see people as people, not black or white or Asian etc., I can’t seem to deprogram my brain. I remember the day I was helping at a school giving enrichment lessons to a group of advanced students. When they came into the room there was one […]
Eric Moore, Anchorage, AK. “I get it” cuts three ways. First, I understand this is true. Second, I am in most ways the example of a person who is privileged and this has brought me opportunities, second chances and more. But Third can be an exasperated “I get it” because no matter the advantages I’ve […]
Donna Hanson Bella Vista, AK My ancestors were slave owners and themselves indentured servants and sharecroppers. I’ve worked on my family genealogy for over 14 years and find both the goodness and harshness of humankind interwoven throughout the generations.
Lynn Schaefer Conway, AK As a university-level ESL teacher, I interact with students from all over the world every day. I am well read in the areas of cultural differences and intercultural communication. Yet recently I have come to realize that I don’t know as much as I could about different cultural groups within my […]
Marne Eggleston Conway, AK More than anything else, I want to be understood as a person, and I deeply desire to understand others as individuals. Whatever our differences, I hope that when I make contact with another person that our interaction leaves us both with mutual feelings of respect, peace, optimism, and of our necessity […]
Toolie, Anchorage, AK. To the black community, I “act” too white to be like them. To the white community, my skin is too dark to be like them. I am black. I am not black enough. I am too black. No matter where I go, I can’t seem to fit in anywhere. All my life […]
E. Andre Thorn Anchorage, AK
Lydia Taylor Memphis, TN I was born and raised in Alaska. When I was 4, my father got out of the Air Force and accepted a job as a State Trooper in Dillingham, Alaska. He moved from Anchorage to Dillingham first, to start his job as we as find us a place to live. We […]
Anne Ward Masterson Anchorage, AK Growing up Black, White and Cherokee in NH in the 1960’s and 70’s made for some painful tensions. In Kindergarten other children would see my mother and tell me she couldn’t be my mother. People would ask me ( and really, still do…) What are you? On the days I […]
Jewel Nies St. Charles, MO I grew up in SE MO, the Bootheel. 20 miles from Arkansas border. Very southern town. My neighborhood bordered a black neighborhood. I had a black friend that I had played with for years. When I was around 9 or 10 my Mother came to me and said the neighborhoods […]
Emily Wood Anchorage, AK Growing up in small town Minnesota where the local summer celebration was “Swedish Heritage Days” could be awkward for a girl with a white dad and a Native mom. My parents raised my brother and I to celebrate the fact that we had two sides to us, that we lived with […]
Cindi Lagoudakis Petersburg, AK I’m still shocked by this verdict. And it’s sad and ironic that George Zimmerman, in playing judge and jury, has sentenced himself to eternal suspicion and judgement of others.
Alice Lynch Jonesboro, AK This is what my father said when I ran up to the water fountain with no line in the big downtown Houston department store. I was small enough not to see the sign above it that read “Colored”, but old enough to read it when he grabbed my arm harshly and […]
Louis Moore Anchorage, AK
Vamori Burgheim Anchorage, AK Survivors of genocide, we are still here.
Lori Draper Seward, AK People have stated that colorblindness is good. Really??
Erin Murphy Barling, AK I grew up in a mostly African American neighborhood outside Miami, Florida. My friends never made me feel out of place but the other 60% of the students at the schools I attended sure did. My great-grandparents were immigrants -on one side of the family I was third generation American. That […]
Mena Sawyer Fairbanks, AK Assignment for class 342 Why are we so afraid to speak about race? If we never talk about it and pretend that it is not there, nothing will ever change. On the other hand, am I ready to be confronted?
Linden Montague Anchorage, AK