Kazandra Vanessa Trejo, Bowling Green, KY. I was born in beautiful Los Angeles, California. A state full of fields and Latino immigrants who have labored their lives away to prove a better future for their children. To be a Mexican-American that is aspiring to obtain a degree from a university makes me feel like the […]
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 […]
Angela, Manchester, NH. Since I was a small child, I have thought black people were more beautiful, more brave, more…everything than whites. I am white and grew up in a very white state. I always felt other than everyone else, and thought that being black must be wonderful. I didn’t realize until I was older […]
Kelly Le, Chelsea, MA. Sometimes I feel like the only way I can feel beautiful is if a white person tells me I am.
Julie Long, Pioneer, CA. When I was 8, we moved from a big city to a small country town, where there were, maybe two other families that weren’t white. I had no idea at 8 years old what race was. I never even differentiated a difference based on appearance, but I remember being suddenly shocked […]
Ralanda King, Philadelphia, PA. Born and raised in the city of brotherly love, but I’m full of sisterly affection, I not black but brown and beautiful. the heart can see what our eyes can’t or refuse too. but, don’t charge it to my skin, but to my heart.
Amy Hueitt, Gastonia, NC. I am a single mother of two children, one who is 8 with Autism, ADHD, and developmental delays. My daughter is almost 6 and typical. My son is black, white, and Mexican. He appears to be just Mexican. My daughter is black and white, she looks white. I am black and […]
Treylieus Curry, Denton, TX. Everyone has a story and their road my not be pretty or easy to navigate but the destination is freeingly beautiful.
Leah Wright, Cartersville, GA. My mom is my hero because she stood tall against her racist family and refused to pass on the fear and hatred my ancestors clung so tightly to. She raised me with the understanding that we are ALL God’s children. That is why I don’t understand so-called Christianity today. So much […]
Rhiannon Watkins, Centennial, CO. Why are magazines always filled with white and light-skinned women? I have never in my life had a shortage of skinny, white girls to look up to in the media, but where are all the black and brown models? Why am I automatically considered prettier than any other girl because I […]
Mary Karpen, Grand Rapids, MI.
Geoff Cormier, Amarillo, TX.
Sandi, Brooklyn, NY. When I was growing up in DC, a lot of times I used to hear that black hair was untamed, unmanageable and dirty. I stopped accepting those lies when I stopped perming my hair years later and learned to accept my beautiful natural hair.
Anonymous, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX.
Blake Coffey, Van Nuys, CA. In a world where being mixed is supposed to be looked at as beautiful, it’s not as easy when you are. People automatically assume that all mixed people are supposed to look mixed just like they assume all Mexicans are brown. I’m born to a mixed black/white father who looks […]
Ellise, Riverside, CA. My race is not what you see, It is what I feel. Do not let your stereotypes fool you, I am happy, beautiful, and peaceful about who I am. I use to be angry with who I was. I have been told “I was pretty for a black girl” all my life. […]
Emily Vallies, Spokane, WA. I am happy to participate in a project like this. It is very important to me that people start realizing their privilege and start working to make this country a better place for diversity to blossom.
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. Often black women are told that we shouldn’t pull any more attention to our lips because they are sooooooo big! We have to stop feeding into the Eurocentric ideas of what is beautiful!
Elon Race Card Project, Isabella Cannon Room, Center for the Arts
Debra Cope, Alexandria, VA. Adoption is beautiful, and I really don’t mind helping others navigate the awkward preconceptions that accompany it. But this phrase just burns me because it equates my spunky, lively child with an object . She’s not my toy — she’s my daughter!
Jamie Coppa, Asbury Park, NJ. As a music teacher with an almost entirely black and hispanic student body, I was met with stories of oppression, lack of food, disrupted sleep, abuse, incarceration, and even the murder of the loved ones they so deeply cared for. I will never forget the beautiful music my students expressed […]
Julie Newell, Lubbock, TX.
Jean-Luc LaCosse, Corvallis, OR.
Gilberto Tapia Jr, Salinas, CA. I grew up within a mostly Hispanic/Latino community. I remember growing up, others would keep their distance because of my skin color as if it automatically made me some type of criminal. The media portrays beauty as being light skinned with blue eyes, but I would not change my skin […]
Maynard Hearns, Santa Cruz, CA. The black story in america is very simple: we were slaves, and then we weren’t. We were never given freedom, or equality. When we begged for it, we were lied to. When we Marched on Washington and pleaded our case, we were shot in the back of the head. When […]
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 […]
Emily, Perris, CA. I have NEVER been so proud to be a Filipino-American. My culture is my everything and I would not trade it for the world. Being the handful of Asians at my school makes me even more unique. I want to promote diversity, I want people to be okay with the color of […]
Maria Roach Bowie, MD My children are too young to understand racism. They see people in three categories: family, friends, neighbors. But I see the moms who fearfully pull their children off the playground when my family arrives. There are good people and bad. Judge by actions, not by skin color!
Robin Massengale, Washington, DC. This country was founded on a profound falsity the vestiges of which remain today. That falsity? That whites are superior and blacks inferior, and therefore, slaves, second class, exiles. But look at us!!!! LOOK AT US!!!! LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE DONE FROM WHENCE WE COME! Not only do we matter, […]
Jessica Hernandez, San Juan Capistrano, CA. My little sister were born light skinned versus me who was born brown. My parents like to bring that up all the time, saying that because she is light skinned, she’s going to get all the guys. Because she is light skinned, she will be beautiful. So what about […]
Kathy Mercado Temecula, CA I do not know what it is like to be pulled over by the police because of the color of my skin. I do not know what it is like to be called degrading names because of my ethnic background. I do not know what it is like to be profiled […]
N’Quiisha Edwin, Miami, FL.
Elaine Oyzon-Mast Avondale Estates, GA Filipino, German, English, Irish, supposedly with a touch of Cherokee and Iroquois. The melting pot serving up three beautiful boys.
Brittany Bown, Burbank, CA.
Kadeem Thomas-Evans, Columbia, SC. When I hear the word race I feel strange it’s like there making it seem like your different from every one else just because of the color of your skin. Race is an ugly because its a shame that people were categorized just in the past and now for the color […]
Lesli Weston, Ann Arbor, MI. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes For more interesting conversation about Eleanor Estes and The Hundred Dresses visit: The Back Seat Book Club
Brea Miles, High Point, NC.
Ntwali Gaju, Riverside, CA. It amazes me how difficult is for us people to accept and appreciate how God made us and other around the world. For example, I am black, and I come from Africa. In my country, you are considered more beautiful if you are light skin than dark skin. So, I always […]
Ciara Chavis, Greensboro, NC. I am proud of me, who I’ve become and I will continue to grow. I am also proud of where I come from and grateful for the path my ancestors has paved for me. I am beautiful, unique, and gifted . This will forever be true, and my race does not […]
Conor Gollegly, Syracuse, NY. Student ’15
Irene Li, East Lansing, MI. You’re not just a tree, you’re a tree in a forest. You are not a fish, but a fish in the ocean. You are not an individual person… but a person as part of a community. You have value as part of this beautiful network!
Anastasia Peterson, Pittsburgh, PA.
Unique Martin, Murrieta, CA. I say I’m black because that is how I identify myself. It’s just that simple. I say I’m beautiful because for many years in my childhood, I thought I was ugly. No one ever said I was, but how I was treated, discriminated against because of my skin color, the diversity […]
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 […]
Valerie B. Williams, Jim Thorpe, PA. I was born a WASP but now have a muti-ethnic, multi-racial family. It’s our present and future. Diversity makes us special. Love is all that matters.
Deborah Haught Riverside, CA California Baptist University CBU HIS311
Karen Than Myaing Silver Spring, MD In this photo: what do you get when you mix an Israeli, a Trinidadian, a Jamaican, a Caucasian, a Burmese and an African American? Our beautiful family. We are Jews, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist. We are female. We are male. We are children. We are human. We do not […]
Keysha Charles Baltimore, MD From the day I was born my skin told my story. It told all that I was, all that I could be, and all that I’ll never be!
Diana Zhang San Francisco, CA
Kristen Stephens Adelphi, MD My skin is special, not because I am light but because it is mine. Love the skin you are in!
Akaya Windwood Oakland, CA Hated hearing that. I must have heard that 100 times when I was young.
Tien-Cheri Ellis Grand Rapids, MI
Jermaine Lowe New York City, NY Brooklyn The people and the culture will always be copied, subjected and hated. Luckily, we will endure and continue to influence and inspire those on both spectrums on love and hate.
David E. Spence NYC, nY A concept I made and copyrighted this for a children’s book and character I made for my daughter 23 or 24 years ago. I wanted to convey to my daughter Aria the importance of everything and everyone in her life whether black, white, etc. gay/homosexual, different religions, rich/poor or anything […]
Vera Mosiychuk Seattle, WA
Grace Bowling Eugene, OR It’s rough being different. Human nature/society/whatever tells us differences are bad. They truly aren’t and as cheeseball as it sounds, the sooner we start valuing what is inside each other, the better.
Bill Doyle Valparaiso, IN Wish I could be there with my Eugene Cousins.
Sylvia Kronstadt Salt Lake City, UT For 60 years, I have wished I were black — or at least “colored.” This may seem outrageous to those who suffer every day from racism, but I long for the vibrancy, authenticity, dignity, style, spontaneity, sass, smarts, sexiness, depth, grace, resiliency and honorable history that I see in […]
David Beed, Spokane, WA. Spokane Falls Community College
S.W. Spokane Falls Community College Spokane, WA
Sue Johnston Seattle, WA UW-Madison
Taesha Detroit, MI I think almost every dark-skinned black girl goes through a phase (that hopefully she grows out of) where she doesn’t believe she is beautiful in this ideally white society. But what can you expect when she is emerged in a society that constantly bombards her with the ideology “the lighter the better?” […]
Suzy Spradlin Oakland, CA My beautiful bi-racial granddaughters have helped me shed the fears of difference. I recommend the experience!
Angela Flynn Providence, RI Of course it’s true, but on some level I can’t help but think they wouldn’t draw as much attention from perfect strangers if they were only black or only white. I also know for a fact that my biracial daughter will have a more positive experience in the white world than […]
Giselle Henry Torrance, CA The first person who taught me that looking more like my African ancestors than my non-African ancestors made me ugly was my mother. She didn’t say it directly, but she said by telling me to pinch my nose so it wouldn’t be so wide. She said it by saying how “pretty” […]
Jacqueline Hunter Ann Arbor, MI
Andrea Smith Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan
Norene Lealamanua Portland, OR My very white family was confused by my choices until they fell head over heels for my exceptionally smart, beautiful brown children!
Johnny Barmore Cincinnati, OH Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Andrea Mills St. Louis, MO