Kenton Mobley Louisville, KY The world sees a black man, and that is all that matters to them.
Kenton Mobley Louisville, KY The world sees a black man, and that is all that matters to them.
J. Robert Kinnison Yuba City, CA
Patrick Battle Forest Park, IL I grew up in mixed environments and have had always had friends of different and mixed races. Still, I find that our culture encourages the notion that, no matter what your background is, if you live America – being Black is some sort of cause for unwarranted attention. Whether that […]
Christina Lewis Halpern New York City, NY The strange thing about race in the western world is the strong need to put people’s identities into boxes. I have a complicated identity, which led to people helpfully telling me what category I fit in, including making up some words to describe me. I’ve chosen to describe […]
Renee Reives Lorton, VA Sometimes I feel stuck. I’m black and educated. I feel like a unicorn based on what so many people perceive and say about black people. I am expected by black people to endure a “struggle” I was not born into. Even misinformed white people that think they are helping feel the […]
Nicole Collins Bronzan Rahway, NJ I’m a mutt — black, Native America, Irish, you name it — raised all over the world as a military brat. I consider myself black, but depending on where I am (and how tan), I get all kinds of questions, though substantially less so in a diverse city like NYC.
Micah Bailey Los Angeles, CA
Janice Lowe New York City, NY My mother, Dr. Willa Lowe was one of the first black English teachers in several high schools in New Jersey, Washington, DC and Ohio. She was part of that first wave of school integration in which talented African American teachers were hired before African American students were admitted. She […]
Dauda Ladipo Nigeria Grew up and live in both the US and Nigeria. Because of my mixed racial heritage I got used to being viewed as belonging to the local racial minority in both places, even though I didn’t identify culturally with that group. Whereas, the half of me that was local was in fact […]
Alesano Nakhid-Schuster Auckland, New Zealand Im black and bi-sexual. Enough said
SaMantha Shields Houston, TX I’ve been all over the world and I’ve been called pretty much any race you could think of. It drives me crazy that when people meet me they assume I’m mixed or of a different race. A lot of times I’ve heard, “You’re so pretty though.”, “Your eyes are so light.”, […]
Kim L Taylor Pomona, CA This thought is the result of being watched while shopping, particularly clothing stores. I do not appreciate the feeling of distrust from clothing store owners, especially when I am contemplating on spending money in their store.
Lauren Anderson Kansas City, MO I’m not sure what I would consider myself. The only thing that I know is that I am brown-skinned, but light-skinned. Many believe I am mixed with another race or other race(s), but my parents are both Black. I’m not really sure what it means to be Black or where […]
Scott Kraenzlein The New York City, NY Born to a (white) Canadian mother and a (black) African father in Canada I was adopted at birth by a white couple who divorced when I was 2. My mother married my stepfather, a German national, when I was 7 and we moved to Germany. I spent my […]
Will Chiang New York City, NY Brooklyn
Michelle Martini, USA. When it came time to choose my daughter’s first baby doll, there were only dark-skinned dolls left in the specific brand/style I wanted. Thinking it didn’t matter, I bought it. She has since chosen her own doll — also dark skinned. I’ve gotten a few comments. Most people seem to think we’re […]
Michele Ypsilanti, MI My darling boys are Chinese and Black but look more racially non-specific; even while I lived in northern CA, what people think of as some sort of center of tolerance, people constantly assumed that since I was Black I was their nanny. Even though they are older now, I still get surprised […]
Joel Anthony Murray, Sr. Westminster, MD Iranians in DC thought I was Iranian. A Tunisian on a train with me to NY thought I was Tunisian. A Pakistani in Baltimore thought I was Pakistani. A Vietnamese coworker thought I was Middle-Eastern. A Nepalese coworker thought I was Indian or Pakistani. I work with people from […]
Natalie Mariam Pattillo Alpine, TX It always seems that my ethnic background becomes a guessing game at dinner parties. Even strangers will come up to me and ask me “what are you..wait, let me guess…egyptian, hispanic, black.,? Usually, I want to say “I’m a human” but I allow the guessing game to continue until they’ve […]
Sope Lanlehin Columbus, IN Though Nigerian by birth, I still get this said to me quite a bit.
Lily O’Hara New York City, NY Brooklyn
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 […]
Elizabeth S USA Is he on the basketball team? Does he play football? I’m white and in an interracial relationship. Whenever someone new sees a picture of us together that’s usually the first thing they ask. No, I’m sorry just because he is tall and black doesn’t mean he can dunk or played sports in […]
Brandi N. Scarlett Lansing, MI When people ask me what ethnicity I am, I get excited. I am so proud to be mixed race. My mother is white and First Nations, and my father is Jamaican. However, I always make sure to tell people no matter WHAT I am, I identify as being black. I […]
Brelynn Evans Riverton, UT This sentence came from the idea of the phrases: “the difference between the two are black and white” and “the similarities make for gray areas.” The black and white race has such little impact on the different characteristics of a person that the difference is just a huge gray area. Regardless […]
Champagne Girten Miami, FL
Tien-Cheri Ellis Grand Rapids, MI
Hugo Rojas New York City, NY Queens
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.
Kehinde Yemen I sat down at a store today in the middle of Mumbai and a cute little girl about two years old was walking by with her grandma. She took one look at me and refused to come any further. I smiled at her encouraging her to take the few extra steps but she […]
Dinah Paulos San Francisco, CA My family originates in Ethiopia, and I am the first generation who was not born there. So what does that make me? I am the true definition of African American. My family is from Africa and I was born in America, thus making me an African American. When I tell […]
Liam Michael Scott North Las Vegas, NV
Marc Dumas Chicago, IL Growing up going to integrated schools, I’ve always been told this. My response, as drilled into me by my parents, was “Of course I do. This is what black sounds like…from my mouth.”
John P. Moultrie Ormond Beach, FL It’s taken sometime to get to this point, but we are finally together. Sixteen years ago, we met and at that moment, I knew she was the one for me. But that was not the case for her. Years later, through heartache and divorce for both of us, we […]
Beatriz McNabb NJ Too often I get asked the infamous question, so what are you? I make them guess and never do I get the correct answer. People generalize that all Peruvians look Indian (Inca descent) so when they see me, they are shocked and follow by TELLING me, I must be mixed. Well yes, […]
Devika Lee Chapel Hill, NC I see your expression. When I say the first three words, and your eyebrows go up because I don’t speak in ebonics. I’m sick and tired of people watching me closely when I walk into a store. I hate when the media makes my entire race look stupid. I’m black. […]
Jeffery Sweet Kenosha, WI I am white and my wife is black. We have a son who is the most beautiful person in this world. I hope he grows up to understand that race isn’t an issue, just a fact of life and a reason to try harder to show people that look, I am […]
Katrina V. Cromwell Pearl Harbor, HI My father is Hispanic and White and my mother is Black. They met in high school and they have been married for 28 years. I knew nothing about racism until my father sat me down as a kid and told me about things that my parents went through in […]
Dominique Columbia, SC
Carolyn Hipkins Largo, MD All my life I’ve been told that I have “good hair”. Its very soft and with a loose curl pattern. If I straighten it or put a relaxer in it it looks like Caucasian hair. But let the humidity go up. My hair reverts to its natural curly state. I spent […]
Cassie Babcock Bowling Green, OH
Jean Carver Seattle, WA
Bonnie F. Xenia, OH Labeling my sons black, when I am clearly white, disregards and disrespects who they are and who I am.
Nichole Cleveland, OH
Chadwick Campbell Berkeley, CA Being black and from Louisiana, searching for my family past my great grandparents is very difficult. Finding people who were, literally, not legal citizens of this country is a very difficult endeavor.
Dennis Friedman Kirkland, WA
Ernest Henson Longview, TX African first question Black man’s last
Lisa Roy Denver, CO I have done lots of genealogy research and DNA tests on my family. Most African Americans are mixed race. My great great great great great grandfather Thomas’s Buckingham was white and married a Black woman in the late 1700s. I am their descendant. Yet my family has a hard time accepting […]
Paul Houston, TX Hypocrisy.
Harold Svignor New York, NY Humans inherently think in “Me up – You down” terms. We are innately tribal, and somewhat hostile to “the other”. That proclivity has created not only tribal strife, but war, sport, and many other human traits. It is universal and cannot be overcome….except by religious self denial. Non-caucasians have yet […]
Rhonda Frederick Chestnut Hill, MA
Lamia Barrington Federal Way, WA Although we (North Africans) are considered Caucasian, I always choose African American or Black. How is that possible that we are white? We clearly are not and what gives the government the right to label us as such? I truly believe that we are the group that’s discriminated against the […]
John Johnson Portland, OR They will never let you forget you are black. I doesn’t matter where you go or what you do. First and foremost you will always be black. If you are at the beach you are a black man at the beach. If you are in an antique store you are a […]
Edward O’Neill Queens, NY
Robert Sowards Austin, TX I’m sure it’s simply a cultural thing. Even so, I find the baggy pants that show part of a young black male’s but crack, and “shorts” that go down to the ankles on the one hand but sag below the crack, to be a bit disconcerting, and even intimidating depending on […]
Ken Cincinnati, OH “anti-racists” are not pushing diversity on to Black countries “anti-racists” are not pushing diversity on to Asian countries “anti-racists” are not pushing diversity on to Arab countries
Hunter Holland Smithtown, NY For four years, the purpose of my existence was to earn an acceptance letter to Princeton University. As a result of circumstances that I cannot control, I type this, still frustrated, from my dorm room at the University of Southern California.
Jackie Tieu Beaverton, OR As an Asian American I am left out of conversations about race all the time. Conversations about race are centralized on blacks and whites. Asian issues are rarely talked about and not acknowledged enough. I am not white and I am not black. I am Asian.
Sonia Kang Northridge, CA Are you their mom? As a biracial mom (Black/Latina) married to a Korean man with children who look more Asian than anything else, we are often looked at with curiosity. They look at them then at me. Is she the nanny? Who can she be? Whether at their Korean language immersion […]
Leyitha P. Achoute Philadelphia, PA I don’t like to be identify as a African American, it get me mad. I’m “black” skinned, but I wasn’t born in America nor Africa. I was born in Haiti, an island in the Caribbean. Every time I’m filling a form, I just check the box that’s says other race.
Julie A. Perkins NV I’m 22 years old, half African America, half Caucasian. Because I’m black, I have been racially profiled and discriminated against because of my gender and skin color. But I’ve also had the terrible taste prejudice from many black people due to my mother being white and me not being full black. […]
Tiffanie Luckett Greenbelt, MD I was adopted at nine months of age. My parents are black. My biological parents were Caucasian and black. My parents expected the world to see me as black (or “other than white”), and raised me accordingly. I was raised to see myself as black, and I find it unsettling/strange/uncomfortable when […]
BURTON DAVIS PRICE Greenwood, MS Becoming a black professional gives one a large chip on their shoulder. This chip can be so heavy at times that it makes your life miserable. You always question other peoples actions towards you, which can make you paranoid.
Danya Granado Aurora, CO If you must place me in a racial category, then call me black. And no, I’m not offended when you say it. My family is from Trinidad and Tobago. I was born in England. I have a Hispanic last name. I get a lot of questions. Culturally, I feel as though […]
Catherine Durham, NC The question we get ask almost everyday, what what ethic do you belong to? why do we get ask these question? Do race still mater? Just think about it wouldn’t it be nice if race didn’t matter? Today in society we are being categorize in groups that by the color of our […]
Morgan Cooper, Stockton, CA. In 2007, when my ex husband and I were expecting our baby girl, we jokingly called her “Blackanese”, a term I still use endearingly. Most simply put, I am half Black and half White and my ex husband is half Japanese and half White. Never in our wildest dreams did we […]
Ana W. Los Angeles, CA Black is beautiful, and being an educated black woman just adds embellishments to the race.
Douglas Rice Fruita, CO I struggled for four decades to find some sort of racial identity…I’m bi-racial by my DNA, but having been raised in white culture where white people called me black I’ve never identified as white, and having been raised in white culture I didn’t “experience” black culture so I don’t Identify as […]
Caitlin Grames Sterling Heights, MI Race, gender, heritage, and all other innate traits we are born with are only secondary to our life experiences. Our stories make us who we are as individuals. And you can’t capture a whole history with just “black”, or just “white”.
Yuka Nakamura Des Moines, IA Drake University
Paco Romane, San Francisco, CA. I grew up in an all white racist small town, with a hispanic nickname (paco), a white mom, and a black step-dad who’s last name was White. It taught me a lot including I believe there are two different kinds of white people: those become “black” around black people and […]
Bill Doyle Valparaiso, IN Wish I could be there with my Eugene Cousins.
Haylie Roggenbuck Spokane, WA
Peter Kim Los Angeles, CA Heard the phrase “majority minority” on the radio the other day. I know exactly what they meant and I have heard it many times before, but it irked me. Used to express when an ethnic minority is greater than 50% or outnumber the “majority.” The implications are that the majority […]
Hassan Hodges Ann Arbor, MI
Jeannie Graves Seattle, WA This was my first realization that I held prejudices. Once I knew that, I could work on it. I hope I’m (a lot) better now.
Kellie Devine Tulare, CA
Hao Nguyen Durham, NC I wanted to say… Black Vietnamese. Speak english, spanish, vietnamese. Eat suong kho, pho, and corn dogs. Words that describe my mixed race/heritage children. Having to choose only 6 words, I had to put them in order of words that most describe them. Having to choose what comes first — black […]
Lu Ann Joplin The Villages, FL I was in junior high, she was in high school. I’m white, she’s black. She asked if she could sit with me. I said sure. It didn’t occur to me it could be a problem. I really got the treatment everyday when she got off the bus. The bus […]
Joe Heafner Submitted via Twitter: @heafnerj
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 […]
Anne Lincoln, MA I was asked by Admissions if I would agree to having a black roommate. I said yes, but when she learned of the request (I never knew how), she was angry–at the school, and confusing to me, at me. From that moment on, there was only anger. I was naive and woefully […]
Pamela Marshall Milwaukee, WI Life long experiences in dealing with racial ignorance is taking its toll. Being light enough that whites assume you are one of them has allowed me to hear racist comments that would have not been spoken, had they known they were in the presence of a black woman. Then my struggle […]
Dennis Jack Higgs Saint Peters, MO I was raised in West Texas in the 50’s and 60’s. Although racism was rampant around us, we were not raised to be racist. I am now in my mid sixties and still to this day, one incident, when I was about six or seven years old, that lasted […]
Mat Johnson Submitted via Twitter: @mat_johnson
Emma S. Sunderland Bountiful, UT
Spencer Wiggins Nashville, TN Fifty years after the March on Washington and 5 years after electing the first black President of the United States we are not living in a post-racial society.
Joan Harris Springfield, PA
Carolyn Kay Conover Harrodsburg, KY It was 1964 and Mary and I had been friends since starting 1st grade together. We’d buy milkshakes at lunch. I’d buy chocolate and she’d buy vanilla. I really liked Mary. This year, Mary and I were going to go to 4-H camp together. We were so excited. We signed […]
Valerie Fanarjian Great Barrington, MA
Toya James Albuquerque, NM I am first generation biracial Black/White, aka multiracial like everyone else if you go back far enough. Also: “Is your father in the military?” inferring why else could you be in Albuquerque.
Phenix Nunlee Dover, DE Grew up in the suburbs as an African American Male. People want me to act in a way they expect a person of color to act. While not realizing I am who I am and I am a person of color. They do not realize personality is not bound to race.
Twanna Robinson Thomasville, NC In Sunday school one morning, a new child asked me why my skin was so dark. I told her it was because I am a black person. She looked at me for a minute and said nothing else to me for the rest of the hour. When her mother, picked her […]
Vanessa Uzoh Dallas, TX My freshman year of college was the first time I actually had to think about how identified myself within my own racial community. I didn’t know how to handle this and other questions that people asked me, but I knew that I definitely wasn’t going to let the opinion of others […]
Kim Pribanic Bozeman, MT He could be pink with purple polka dots and I wouldn’t care. Is he a good man? Does he treat me with respect? Does he treat himself, his friends, and his parents with respect? Those are the things that count.
Kathie D Dones-Carson Flint, MI
David San Francisco, CA Policing blackness is when other African Americans determine what views are acceptable and then deintergrate or cast out fellow African Americans who do not share the same view.
Bill Geraci Blue Island, IL Six? Who needs six? I can do it in five. Ask if you’re interested. (FYI: Mom and I were white and this was (fortunately) a long time ago.)
Kevin Blackburn Las Vegas, NV I remember the first time I ever saw any difference in skin color was in 3rd grade. I had invited my school friends, who were mostly black, to my birthday party. My stepdad found out and told me they couldn’t come in our yard. I told them I wasn’t having […]