White husband, still a Nubian Queen

Kavisa, Brooklyn, NY. My parents raised me to be extremely proud and knowledgeable of my African American and Caribbean heritage. My love for Africa intensified further after spending 2+ years living and volunteering in Tanzania. In the mist of becoming fluent in Swahili and embracing East African culture I fell in love with my future […]

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I’m an Arab named Dave Hall

Dave Hall, Brooklyn, NY. I get my name from my Yankee (English-American) father, whose ancestors arrived in Boston in 1630 but I get my complexion from my Arab-American mother. People do a double take when they first meet me after only hearing my voice on the phone. And new friends quickly learn that I am […]

I am grace, power and inextinguishable

Ryan Brooke Taylor, New York City, NY. Collected from: WITNESS: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties at The Brooklyn Museum My experience as a black male artist is directly related to the sacrifices and gains made by those who participated, in any and every way in the civil rights movement. They have made me […]

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I am not the exchange student.

Mellini Kantayya, Brooklyn, NY. I am an actor and writer who currently has a book out (humor essays) about the entertainment industry. I include a chapter about race, and there are many many six word race cards I could have created. But being mistaken for the exchange student and many other like encounters are what […]

Art in the face of racism

Christopher McBride New York City, NY Brooklyn Seeing that exhibit really brought about a strong reaction emotionally from myself. As a musician, seeing the visual art side of things was really powerful.

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Race is imagined. We’re all sneetches

Lincoln, Brooklyn, NY. Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches Had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches Had none upon thars. Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

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Pale freckled redhead burned by words

Marie Farrell, Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in San Diego, California where the sun shines all the time. I was the kid that never tanned, just freckled and burned. I was also raised by an Irish mother so there was a lot less love than fights and tension. I recall a day when I bravely […]

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I feel invisible, while standing out.

Aman Agah, Brooklyn, NY. I am Iranian, Irish, Azari, and German. Being Iranian means being called Arab. I am not Arab. Being Iranian means being part of a group of people that so many don’t know – even if I say “Persian” – and yet I am part of a group labeled terrorist. I am […]

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He’s my dad, not the gardener.

Kelly Stuart, Brooklyn, NY. I was five when my mother married my stepfather, Alfred Brown, Jr. in 1980. My stepfather, or, as I think of him, my father, was 21 years older than my mom and had already raised a daughter by the time he met me, but that didn’t stop him from getting a […]

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Never belonging. Puerto Rican or American?

Lorna Hagen, Brooklyn, NY. I am Puerto Rico born New Yorker that moved to the US when I was 12. Somewhere in the plane ride over I lost something – I have no shared childhood experiences with my North American friends (lullabies, games, etc.) and no shared adolescent experiences with my Puerto Rican friends. It […]

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Anymore, afraid of what we represent.

Michele Wiemer, Brooklyn, NY. We have been in our neighborhood for coming on ten years and in that time it has changed from ‘Bed-Stuy’ to ‘Clinton-Hill’ to ‘Fort Green East’ as the realtors slowly remade and gentrified neighborhoods. Each economic surge carved out new districts and displaced our neighbors. The most recent insurgence of peoples […]

I’m afraid of muggers and police

Jose M Moreira, Brooklyn, NY. What I mean to say is, I am afraid that one person that has the concept of robbing, stabbing and killing me can snuff my life out probably slower than someone that is suppose to ‘protect and serve me’ might just take said life so much more quickly and amazingly […]

Racists Are Not Always Bad People

Michael Havis, Brooklyn, NY. I think the word racism no longer defines the conversation we should be having. The image of racism in America is of the KKK or southern slave owners with whips. Being racist and being a good person are not mutually exclusive. Racism today isn’t being a part of lynch mobs or […]

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Only been victimized by other whites.

Michael Ponsler, Brooklyn, NY. I’ve enjoyed an extremely diverse social life, dated & married interracially and on countless occasions have been the only white person within a crowd, community or family gathering. I have never been harassed, harmed or threatened by a person of another race. However, I have been rejected, assaulted and/or threatened several […]

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Not THAT kind of Black Girl.

Lateefah Torrence, Brooklyn, NY. At the corner bodega, I’m one of those Black Girls who the Middle Eastern owner must watch from his elevated podium behind the bullet-proof glass. On the subway, I’m a Black Girl on WIC who can give Russian ladies directions to the welfare office. In the taxi, I’m the Black Girl […]

It has given me such hope

Malcolm Long Corley New York City, NY Brooklyn It is amazing how people lived and fought during these times. Seeing the black and white pictures almost gives the viewer the same experiences of whats happening in the pictures.

It reminds me freedom is possible.

Mickey Lambert New York City, NY Brooklyn In a time that most people think of as a “post-civil-rights” era, in many ways, we are more tied up in injustice and inequality than ever. These images and sounds are a reminder that social justice looks like something more encompassing.

MY FLUIDITY IN THE AFRICAN DIASPORA.

OTI OBOH New York City, NY Brooklyn I’m Nigerian born raised in the US and find my fluidity in my identity as Nigerian, as American and as Nigerian-American flow in the different spaces I occupy. The Civil Rights allowed for more expansion of African people to occupy different parts in the world.

When will we see the light

Jeannie Coicou New York City, NY Brooklyn The story behind my six words is that in this world there are forces that benefit by keeping the masses asleep. Realizing that we’re all a human family. Separation and devision is merely a tactic and as long as we don’t see each other as brothers and sisters. […]

Kindergartner fearing my future interracial marriage

Christopher Hollowell Hornell, NY I am now a 29 year old white homosexual man living in Brooklyn NY but growing up in a small town in Western NY I distinctly remember ruminating in church over the differences between my family and myself. My most vivid memory was the thought “I wonder how everyone will react […]

Stand up, don’t be silent, Fight Continues

Amy New York City, NY Brooklyn The power of everyday people to stand up and not take racism, sexism, anti-semetism, homophobia as okay. We must fight and always speak out. We cannot be silent, even when it seems like the hatred is focussed on “others” because we are all humans and one person being put […]

Are you sure you’re not black?

Dave Mowers Brooklyn, NY I live inbetween black and white neighbors, my boss is a Phillipino woman, I shop and eat in black and white owned stores and restaurants in my neighborhood. Orthodox Jews sign my paycheck. I teach students from around the world. My boyfriend grew up in a small town in Texas in […]

¨Still happens today, just disguised differently.”

Jamila Best New York City, NY Brooklyn Whereas my ancestors dealt with the troubles of blatant racism, today, Blacks may find themselves in a position in which we are still facing racism, it’s just coded differently. Sometimes, it’s in the face of a disgruntled white employer who may depict you as an angry Black woman, […]

The Civil Rights Movement is Different

Tiana Icesis Bryant New York City, NY Brooklyn My six words are like the Civil Rights Movement is different from any other subject, more independent, it’s a Lone Ranger. All the other things people say that’s important are not really because they are backed up with some things. People back everything up that’s important to […]

My family and school are interracial.

Jaxon Isaac Stams New York City, NY Brooklyn In my school, there are more non-Caucasians and are of multiple races. In my family, my grandparents on my father’s side are interracially married, including my Uncle Ron, who is Trinidadian. On my mom’s side, my mom’s aunt is married to a man from Yemen.

It made my very existence possible.

Karen Palmer New York City, NY Brooklyn I am the child of two teachers, the grandchild of a police officer, a seamstress and two farmers, all African-American and alive during the Jim Crow era. I could never have become a college graduate, world traveler, journalist and school founder without their many sacrifices and the example […]

I knew that these things happened, just not on this level.

Rachel K. McCain New York City, NY Brooklyn Hello, I’m Rachel. I’m eleven years old. Thanks for sharing this wonderful art and information with everyone. I know my story was more than six words, but it was important to use all the words.I was taught about the civil rights movement in school, but the teachers […]

Well behaved for a black kid

Alisha Ragan New York City, NY Brooklyn My six words come from practically every field trip and public outing I have taken my students on over the past 7 years. Both teaching here in Brooklyn and teaching LA, people have told me my kids are ‘well behaved for black kids’ or ‘so nice for Mexican […]

United we stand divide we fall.

Rashawn Love New York City, NY Brooklyn Only when people stop stop see the difference in each can we build a foundation that can’t be broken by fear of others,the hate of the unknown, and the greed of personal gain.

Hometown never knew anybody unlike me

Scott A. Hall Adel, IA Growing up in a small Midwestern town the entire population of the town looked like me, acted like me, worshiped like me. It wasn’t really until college that I was able to truly experience diversity of culture, race, nationality.

Mass Incarceration, Stop and Frisk: #NewJimCrow.

Ray G New York City, NY Brooklyn The Black Liberation struggle did not go far enough — did not uproot oppression, disassemble power structures, create a new state power of the people — did not make revolution. We are seeing how all the successes of these past struggles have been reduced and reversed, and the […]

We-all bleed red. So don’t judge

Nathalie Gregoire New York City, NY Brooklyn All my life I have been judged. When we see black people we automatically think they are thieves. When it comes to whites we think they are perfect. So many times we try to hide our identities, our race in order to fit in with society. But when […]

News flash: you’re not really Mexican

Amanda Zamora Brooklyn, NY As the youngest in a large (seven children!) Mexican family, I was always jealous of my brothers and sisters for having strong Spanish first names. Mine was too easily anglicized: Amanda. So in the 6th grade, I took the opportunity to switch to Mercedes, my middle name, hoping to claim more […]

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To forgive is not in me

Gary Dunn, Brooklyn, NY. I find it extremely hard to forgive those who where responsible and benefited from the enslavement of us.I want to punish them the way they punished us. Make them strip naked, beat them, separate them from their families, deny them education, jobs,businesses. Make them feel inferior and back it all up […]

diversity is a sign of progress

Saira New York City, NY Brooklyn An immature nation is still afraid of racial tolerance and hesitant to move on to a state of love and acceptance. With time, the nation learns and grows. The result is a community in which all are free to contribute to its progress and maturity is thus reached.

Proudness that reflects a profound sadness

Stacy N Knight New York City, NY Brooklyn The “civil rights movement” has not ended nor has the history eluded my development- It is my current reality. I vividly remember the first time I was called a ni**** at age 5 and the most recent experience of being called “black devil” at age 28.

boldness, fight, outspoken, never, give, up

Lydia George New York City, NY Brooklyn These activist have shown me the power of their boldness and how reluctant they were to stop their movement in the midst of adversity. Its encouraging even today to use those characteristics to fight injustices still today in our society.

The Butter Pican- Pana Rican :)

Danixa Carr Brooklyn, NY I am Panamanian and Puerto Rican. My mom is Afro-Panamanian (her roots are mixed as well) and my dad is mestizo. Growing up, I’ve always identified with my Panamanian side and considered myself to be Latina. However, I had one life altering experience in Panama. I traveled to Panama in 2010 […]

White women are NOT MY allies

Jill T. Brooklyn, NY Though I keep hearing that as women we have common causes, common concerns, etc, I’ve learned that I should never count on white women as my allies. Color privilege trumps everything else therefore.

How little I truly knew about it

Mary ann Shannon New York City, NY Brooklyn I am enlightened, embarrassed, humbled and grateful as I engage and experience this collective. Truly allowed me to revisit a part of my own history with a different perspective.

A fight that still continues today

Austin McKenzie New York City, NY Brooklyn Even though we as a society have progressed in terms of race and how we treat one another there is still a way to go many of our schools are predominantly one race and are over or under funded according to the prison system is systematically racist and […]

“You probably don’t speak English”

Michelle Liv New York City, NY Brooklyn As a person of color, it still angers me that mainstream society still regards what is “white” as “normal” or the status quo. I hate being judged on my racial appearance and assumed that I do not speak English because I am not white. These words were uttered […]

Tornado of human culture fans flames.

Greg Huebner New York City, NY Brooklyn I was really struck by a piece in first half of the exhibit, with the two ‘crosses’ in a red center surrounded by black figures walking or getting sucked into the center of a vortex that they could not escape. When cultures are mixed together confrontations arise and […]