first experience

Prayed God would make me White

Amber Price, Atlanta, GA. I was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I grew up ashamed of my Blackness. I heard the n-word for the first time in elementary school. I prayed every night for God to make me white. At the age of 17 I was told to go sit with the rest of the Blacks […]

NYI TC and MN 2015

In Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates at AtlanticLive New York Ideas 2015

REPOST:  AtlanticLIVE online – May 20, 2015 Atlantic national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates and NPR host and special correspondent Michele Norris have a conversation about Norris’s Race Card Project, Coates’s noteworthy Atlantic cover story, “The Case for Reparations,” and how the conversation about race has evolved in the past year. See more from New York Ideas 2015: […]

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Ta-Nehisi Coates reads from his new book in conversation with Michele Norris at Lannan Foundation lecture in Santa Fe

REPOST Lannan.org April 15, 2015, Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer, journalist, and educator, is also a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. His recent piece titled The Case for Reparations intricately and provocatively traces the history of racism in the United States from slavery to recent examples of housing discrimination. The […]

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You’re mixed with that hair, right?

Khairah L. Walker, Montclair Heights, NJ. My hair is not my heritage. It’s been an issue my entire life, people define me because of it. People hate me for having it, curse me when cutting it. It is not ME. Yes it is my crown but I am my temple. I revel in my blackness, […]

Obama was black 148 years ago.

Kendra Jones, Selma, AL. As a white woman who voted for Obama twice, I found myself wanting to claim him as my own. “He’s half white, I’d insist to myself.” But then I began to think about our past anti-miscegenation laws in the 19th century. An individual with as little as 1/32nd percent African ancestry […]

My blackness should NOT equal fear.

Attalah Shabazz, Richmond, VA. Wipe the slate clean, don’t generalize, there is more to me than my skin color. I am more than what society teaches you about me. Give me a chance, give us all a chance. Throw away all of you presumptions.

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Hey Dominicans! You too are black.

Cristina Reyes, Houston, TX. I chose the six words I wish I could go around the streets of Santo Domingo yelling. I have never understood, in all my years, why the Dominican culture steadily continues to deny their “blackness.” Their children aren’t taught to consider themselves “negro” instead they are to consider themselves “indio.” The […]

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Teacher of black youth, ancestors slaverholders

Ernie Lee Savannah, GA Struggling with my whiteness and my student’s blackness until we connect. I am a good teacher and after a while I don’t color just students who want to learn. It is more of a socio-economic divide, but I will never know what it means to be black as my students will […]

I witness and rewitness history

Melissa Johnson Brooklyn, NY With the continual killing and imprisoning, marginalization and exploitation of the black individual–blackness as an identity is loved and hated all while being continually othered

Blackness is your problem not mine

Victor Bradley Nashville, TN Often the discussion about racism is constructed as a problem with race. As if the problem isn’t with the majority’s racist attitudes, the problem is the existence of minorities. “I don’t see you as Black” translates as “I don’t see you as Black, because if I did, I’d have to either […]

Black people hate black people, too.

Juluis Youngerford, Atlanta, GA. Nobody can tell the truth about race, that is, what they think about their own race or other races, because nobody makes nice distinctions between race and class, or between the different types of racial prejudice and hatred, so they can’t say just what they don’t like about others, and they […]