gwynn oak 1

Wrong race wrong day for fun

Reginald Leroy Johnson, Randallstown, MD. On my birthday in June 1963 my mother decided to take me to Gwynn Oak Amusement Park as birthday gift… We rode on the #28 bus…leaving the city the air was so sweet and clean, I saw ducks, and trees. I was so overwhelmed by this beauty…that I thought we […]

wedding-2

Si Senor! I am US citizen

Heidy Avila Murillo, Baltimore, MD. My marriage is biracial, I am Hispanic and my husband is a Caucasian born in Maryland. This year after obtaining my US citizenship, my husband and I decided to have three days vacations in Canada. We visited Niagara Falls, Toronto city, and since I love Diego Rivera’s artwork, we decided […]

Why Are We The Only White People?

Maureen Forster Philadelphia, PA I was maybe 6 yrs old when My Dad, Stepmother, older sister and older brother were in Baltimore on a little family trip. We stayed at a Holiday Inn or something along those lines and were out in the pool. I grew up in a small city with much diversity but […]

Baltimore collage

Mom said I never saw color.

Corrine Ferrell-Macatee, Baltimore, MD. Me, bad bangs, my best friend, little girl with braids, my cousin, cute little Japanese girl. My nana and sister are here too, it wasn’t til I was in my early teens I even realized we weren’t all white, black or Japanese.

New option at doctors – Eastern European

Anonymous, Baltimore, MD. When people discuss race, they seem to refer to only people of color. I always check Caucasian on forms. At the doctors yesterday, there was a new option, Eastern European. It felt like a better fit for me. Just because my skin lacks pigment, doesn’t mean that I am the same as […]

“You are white. I blame you.”

Mike B., Baltimore, MD. Time and time again, I have been approached by someone of a minority group with the statement “You have oppressed my people for centuries. Last time I checked, I have only been alive for 22 of those years. These people think because of skin tone and articulate speech that I had […]

I was mugged by a “victim”

Jonathan Osmundsen, Washington, DC. I appreciate some of the coverage that’s focused on the Baltimore riots, and issues that influenced an explosion of pent up anger. That frustration is valid, those wrongs must be corrected. Here’s the “but”… I’ve not heard one NPR story that mentioned the burning of a 60-unit building by rioters, which […]

I-Tally

I am Both, Not Just One.

Laura N. Weston, Baltimore, MD. About 80% of the time people assume (mostly men) I am Puerto Rican even though I am half Caucasian and half African American. I stress to everyone who thinks it is important enough to ask me what I am that I am Mixed or Biracial and I state with what. […]

Six humans running Lincoln Memorial steps

Nancy Eliot Corrsin, Baltimore, MD. Somewhere in Japan is a snapshot of a black man, an oriental man, and a white man galloping down the Lincoln Memorial steps arm-in-arm with three wildly various white women, one petite in shorts and dark braids, one sleepy-eyed blonde earth-mother, and me in bib-front overalls. I think we all […]

They’re Shocked When I Speak Spanish

T.W., Baltimore, MD. I am White, non-Hispanic, but I go to Mexico on a regular basis so I have worked really hard to speak decent Spanish. I’m not fluent, but I can get around, and I have a believable accent. So back in the U.S., there are times when knowing Spanish comes in handy. I […]

TODDS-PHONE-223

Be mighty whitey not humble honkey

Todd Johnston, Baltimore, MD. Tired of the violence and racism towards productive working white folks that gets swept under rug and buried by the media. Why am I racist for wanting the same respect as blacks, it’s ok for blacks to preach and say black power yet I’m scrutinized for just writing this. Recent web […]

bag1-300x145

Father failed his brown bag test.

Derrick Warren, Baltimore, MD. I remember my father talking to me about his college days in Missouri. There was this fraternity on campus that would require their prospective pledges to pass what was said to be a brown bag test. Essentially, if you were darker than the brown bag, you could not get into the […]

Diversity’s a condition. Equity’s a goal.

Kevin Moreno, Baltimore, MD. When they happen at all, discussions about race too often devolve into indictments or defensiveness about one’s individual experience. But combating racism has as much or more to do with examining legal, policy, and other systemic structures than with changing individuals’ minds or attitudes.

comb hair

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 […]

“M’ pa rele blanc,” I replied.

Emily S., Baltimore, MD. A phrase in Haitian Kreyol which means, literally, “I’m not called ‘White’” or “My name is not ‘White”. It was a phrase I became accustom to shouting back to calls of “Blanc, Blanc, Blanc” everywhere I went, by Haitian children and adults alike. I almost hadn’t noticed my skin color up […]

iXK8Yn47EpsjU1

To boldly go…guess the rest

Blair Brown, Baltimore, MD. “To boldly go where no one has gone before.” These words have defined the human experience long before they were ever spoken aloud or put down on paper. I am neither interested in,nor feel the need to rehash our past in this country. Frankly what I do know is much more […]

CN

Your husband’s black? But you’re Asian.

Nina Ball, Baltimore, MD. When people first meet my husband and/or see a picture of us together, the surprise is obvious. I’ve had a few people outright tell me that they just assumed he was Korean. More often than not, I get the question, “What do your parents think?” When they find out that, like […]

Can I color Barbie’s skin brown?

Heather Dalby, Baltimore, MD. My Little was 9 years old when she asked me this question while we colored with crayons. She is a brilliant character with an abundance of self confidence, so her question surprised me. Her family is from everywhere; the US, Great Britain, and the Caribbean to name a few. Her skin […]

But I have a black friend.

MK, Baltimore, MD. A few moments in my “coming into adulthood” stand out as I am navigating the world of race. I remember probably 10 years back now that in conversation with my mother-in-law in a less-than-intellectual blue collar town her speaking of how racism towards white people was apparent in the area. She noted […]

Raised to be racist it didn’t work

Michael Bowser, Baltimore, MD. I found that there is no time in my day to hate or dislike another human being, regardless of race, color, or creed. I believe this behavior is instilled in many through others at a young age, and before the individual has the opportunity to make rational decisions for themselves.

Being An African American Feels Powerful

Chelsea Delaney, Baltimore, MD. I have read different race cards that elaborated so much about the downsides of being my race, about being an African American and the disadvantages of it. I do believe that both sides need to be explained, but I want to focus more on the positive. Focus more on how liberating […]

I am always missing some of me

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 […]

I owe Blacks white race debt.

Charles Alleman Baltimore, MD I frequently ache at the countless ills my race has committed against other races through centuries, particularly against the Black race. I will never be able to undo even one of these crimes, yet I have pledged my life to providing as much good as I can. It is often unappreciated, […]

I recognize my privilege in life.

Anonymous, Baltimore, MD I am a middle class American female, who, through feminism, was able to come to terms with my real place in this society. Through my ongoing search to define what being a woman means to me, and being an active participant in the debate community, I have come across many pieces of […]

Underachievement does not equal African American

Anthony Galloway Baltimore, MD In being African American it’s always perceived that’s blacks are a product of an inter-city environment with negative tendencies. Even if thats true you don’t have to be handcuffed to them. Achievement is from individual drive and not based on race.

That’s so typical of you people.

Angela Ogbonna Baltimore, MD I chose these six words because I find myself following this learned behavior. As a Nigerian, I even hold other Nigerians to a certain high standard because that’s what we are taught as children and what’s expected of us. I feel that no matter what your ethnicity is people will always […]

remains-of-chero-nottoway

My Ancestors Bones Not For Museum

Sonya Williams, Baltimore, MD. I grew up in a unique area of North Carolina in what is referred to as a ti-racial community. My Indian family are the Cheroenhaka Nottoway and Meherrin Indians of Southeast, VA & North Eastern, NC. When I went to college, during a lecture in my anthropology class, the professor was […]

Mexican, Italian, Persian, what are you?

Rebecca Rodriguez Baltimore, MD This is a picture of my brother and I. Constantly he gets accused of being Arab, Mexican or Italian from Caucasians, “White guy” from African Americans, and Persian from Iranians. My story falls somewhere along the same line. We both grew up Latino (Guatemalan to be specific), and even then – […]

The more denial, the more racism.

Mary Clark Baltimore, MD People who feel that the current state of race relations are not that damaging/not that big of a deal/brought on by deserving behavior of minorities need to make conscious efforts to become aware of what perpetuates racism and race division in our society and the very large part that privilege plays […]

4 –BLACK CHILD SHARES TOY WOW

ROBERT EDWARD NOEL Fairfield, CA AGE 4 DARK BALTIMORE EVENING AS MY MOTHER AND I WERE STARTING TO GET INTO OUR CARE A BLACK CHILD MY AGE WALKING BY WITH HIS FATHER APPROACHED ME, AND REACHED OUT HIS TOY FOR A FEW MINUTES SHARING IT WITH ME AND THEN WE PARTED. 68 YEARS LATER THAT […]

Asian me: hated by Blacks. WHY?

Neil A. Sookdeo Baltimore, MD With six degrees, four from grad schools in the USA, I cannot compete fairly to teach African or Caribbean history in which I have a Johns Hopkins doctorate. I have NOT even experienced such race hate even in apartheid South Africa because I look Asian. I know fear feeds racism. […]

I accept but don’t embrace, racism?

Christine Brown Baltimore, MD I live in an urban multicultural neighborhood and upon reflection I realize I have not truly embraced this neighborhood as my home. I question my own distance not to my direct neighbors but the neighborhood at large. When walking through the neighborhood I avoid group of teens or greet with a […]

Not what you think I am.

Briana Ciccarino Baltimore, MD “Are you Latina/Hispanic?” this is the question I often get when meeting new people. I appreciate the compliment and wish I was Latina, but I’m white. How can a white girl look Latina? Not sure. Like so many others, I am a mix of many heritages: I am Italian, Polish, German, […]

Ellerman-Portrait

Don’t think of you as Asian…

Dan Ellerman, Baltimore, MD. I was adopted from S. Korea at the age of 3 by a German/Irish couple. I grew up in a white household and neighborhood and went to predominantly African American schools in Baltimore city. The words I chose were told to me by my family and friends with the best intentions […]

Last name Smith? But you’re Asian.

Trish Broome Baltimore, MD My father is white and my mother is Korean, so I grew up with my father’s last name, Smith. On the first day of teaching orientation they called my full name, Patricia Smith, so I raised my hand. I clearly remember the woman sitting next to me say, “You’re Patricia Smith? […]

Don’t cry. Mama loves your curls.

Hilary Roberts-King Baltimore, MD Children’s books and Sesame Street make multi-cultural living look so easy. Of course I want my daughters to be proud of their beautiful biracial hair. Of course I genuinely admire my daughters’ beautiful curls. But it is so much more complex than that. It’s not just hair.

I struggle with ignorant white people.

Mark Parker Baltimore, MD I write this as a white person myself. And as someone who has always lived and worked in incredibly diverse communities and cities. I am the leader of a religious community, and a leader in a neighborhood, which includes a healthy percentage of folks that fall into this category. I feel […]

This snowflake is in my seat!

JR Baltimore, MD I am white and an Ashkenazi Jew. I was brought to this country by my refugee parents from Soviet Union when I was 18 with no preconceived notion about race or racism. I heard these words about 10 years later. They were shouted into a phone by a black man on Light […]

Watching my children negotiate racial identity

Kim Y Edmonds Baltimore, MD The issue of race has evolved but we in the US are still struggling and clearly uncomfortable. Those probing questions that my children get (What are you? Which parent is black? Are you Puerto Rican? How did you get blue eyes? That blond hair could not have come your Mom, […]

White trash is white for nigger

Lucille R. Coleman Baltimore, MD I was born in 1927 in Indiana where we were white trash during the Great Depression. I know it is easier to escape white trash than nigger but still it wasn’t much fun. Lu

I don’t hate who you hate

Ann H. Baltimore, MD I am always amazed and mostly saddened that people will use slurs or other hateful speech and assume I agree with them. “What can you expect…”?, “those #$% are buying up all the stores and gas stations”. I am so glad to have reached the age where I no longer let […]

Tan skin, hazel eyes, long hair

Kat Baltimore, MD My mother is black and my father is white. Out of their children, I am the lightest & whitest looking. Plenty of people assume that I am white and treat me differently. My mother raised me by herself, I went to majority black schools and lived in majority black neighborhoods for over […]

But you’re not white, white.

Anonymous, Baltimore, MD It was intended to be a compliment from a African-American woman to myself. I took it as that in the moment. Later I wondered how would it feel if someone said “But you’re not black, black.”