Joelin Nordine Sacramento, CA
Joelin Nordine Sacramento, CA
Fatima Abdel-Gwad Sacramento, CA Yes, I’m Muslim. Yes, I’m American. I’m really from America.
Mari Bailey Temecula, CA I am Japanese. I married to American man. However, when I tell people that Im married, people ask if Im married to Japanese guy. I answer, ‘no Im married to American guy.” well….that is not enough for some people. Those people have to know which Ethnicity he is, DOES IT MATTER? [...]
Joan Hamilton Berkeley, CA
Brian Batista Elk Grove, CA
Zack Sacramento, CA
Hannah Strickland Sacramento, CA
Natalie Perez Sacramento, CA
Christopher Bland New Orleans, LA Recently I’ve been studying my history, my essence, that extends beyond what was taught in school and at church. I remember learning more about my race’s detriment and disabilities over our triumphs and royalty. From Kemet up until now, we possess more powerful stories than we know about and every [...]
Charte Stuart Riverside, CA
Michael Quintana Murrieta, CA I’m not really offended by anything people say for the most part. Could be for a number of reasons. Could be the fact that I live in Southern California, or maybe because people don’t know/don’t care what ethnicity I am. But I know one thing for sure. I am Japanese and [...]
Micah Bailey Los Angeles, CA
Katelyn Nicole Volz Hemet, CA “You know they say Gingers have no souls right?” “A Ginger gains a freckle every time they steal a soul.” “Do the carpets match the drapes?” Does ANYONE know how tired I am of hearing that? Yes, my hair is red, yes it’s natural, and yes I am Irish. Does [...]
Linda Sharples Riverside, CA Whatever I say will be deemed racist as I am white. Very few of us are of one pure race any more. Can we just call ourselves humans and move forward?
Boka Agboje Los Angeles, CA
Tricia Redlands, CA I am a Mexican American that grew up in a home that did not speak Spanish. Both my mother and father were Mexican Americans born in California and their parents didn’t speak Spanish in the home as well. One time I asked my grandfather why he didn’t teach his children Spanish. His [...]
Miguel Ramirez-Cornejo Riverside, CA As a kid I was told that because I grew up in the barrio that I would become a cholo. I would grow up to be in a gang, do drugs, and end up in jail. I heard this from other kids and even adults. But as I grew I used [...]
Tina Bradford Chino Hills, CA Being raised in a home where “White is Right,” I only had one thing I could do. So I went on my own path of development. Creating myself into the black sheep of the family. Why would I do such a thing? So my children could learn we do not [...]
Amanda Ardessi Diamond Bar, CA Although being discriminated against is still a real problem, I think we often forget that everyone, regardless or race or color, have their own battles to fight. I think we get caught up in race too much, and that at the end of the day, who we are is shown [...]
Judy Gumbo Albert Berkeley, CA I learned this slogan directly from Kathleen & Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale & Emory Douglas. Eldridge used to call my late husband Stew Albert his “best white friend”; Eldridge gave me the name Gumbo because Gumbo went with Stew; a name which allowed me to establish my own identity.
Lisa Lee San Francisco, CA Asian Americans are constantly reminded that they don’t “belong” in America, despite their contributions of building up this great nation. We are reminded in ways big and small, such as the seemingly harmless remark of “but you speak English so well!” The Civil Rights Movement paved the way for all [...]
Diatra W Stearn Pacoima, CA I do things to show that I am free such as traveling, going to civil rights museums to learn the true history and economically support causes to help us maintain civil rights gains.
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.
Sandra Hamilton Pomona, CA
Jeff Schaffer Los Angeles, CA Seeing this exhibit reminds me of the sacrifices made by our predecessors, and inspires me to continue working for a world in which all are cherished for their diversity, and there is equal opportunity for all.
Dylan Pomerantz Santa Cruz, CA Even though we have made great strides in equal rights for all citizens, there is evidence that we have much work to be done. Striking down of parts of the voter rights act as well as mass incident such as katrina show that there are parts of our society that [...]
Lisbet Mingo Oakland, CA What it feels like to share everything with those closest to you–except the color of your skin. And how that changes everything…
Lauren Lola Newark, CA Why are people always so curious about what my racial makeup is? They treat it like it’s a game- like they’re going to win a prize if they get it right. The overly asked question “What are you?” often is directed at me by individuals who are just meeting me the [...]
Tim Fall El Macero, CA I refuse to believe that complete understanding is barred because of the color of a person’s skin. There may be other factors that interfere – culture, economics, religion – but not the amount of melanin in one’s epidermis. Being in a mixed race family and raising children who are navigating [...]
JS CA Brought up to believe my Mexican heritage was secondary to my white heritage. Didn’t learn Spanish, didn’t learn culture. As a young woman I identify with being Mexican only when I am allowed to. For example, on a jury questionnaire, I check “white” because I fear I don’t have “enough” Mexican ancestry to [...]
Ann Elizabeth Hemphill Quartz Hill, CA Born in ’46 in Midwest, visiting with relatives in Florida each year, adult years in California. From my early childhood to present, I’ve witnessed the persistence of racial prejudice passed on through the generations. I’m reciting 5 generations, from my grandparent’s to today’s youth. I spend time instructing teens, [...]
Delia Moreno Valley, CA I am so tired of others expecting me to know every bit of Spanish, simply because I am Mexican. It is assumed that just because one is of the Mexican heritage they should know the Spanish language fluently. I do know a little bit of Spanish to kind of get me [...]
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 [...]
Marika Oakland, CA People often ask me “What are you?” or “Where are you from?” which is par for the course for people like me who are ambiguously brown looking, which is how I’ve come to refer to myself. Over time I’ve noticed my attitude toward other people who ask these questions changing. I used [...]
Charlotte Wong Santa Cruz, CA I am half Chinese, and half sort-kind-of-European. I don’t know what kind of European. I never knew my father, who was white, and my mother never knew his true ethnic background, aside for him being white. My mother would always say “your father would say he is like Heinz Ketchup” [...]
David Brandon Sumrall Riverside, CA I grew up in a family that was always racist, but as my cousins and I have grown, we now have four mixed children, two gay people, and one handicapped child. To say that my family has changed is an understatement. Through each of these people, we have learned to [...]
Chaudie Sacramento, CA I was raised to hate white people. However, as I grew, it only pushed me towards them. I couldn’t and will not trust my own race. I’ve been burned too many times. I work hard to be aracial, and picked my Portuguese husband so my children will have a better chance in [...]
Ernest Nelson San Bernardino, CA
Daniel Krishnan Altadena, CA
Danielle Guardado San Francisco, CA “What are you?” A simple question; yet, I had no answer. Every time I am asked this question, my response is always different and trying to explain to people that there are other countries in Latin America besides Mexico– “Wait. Where’s Nica-how do you pronounce that again?” –can get quite [...]
Jose S. Dominguez Salinas, CA
Maria Fuentes San Francisco, CA The beauty about living in San Francisco is that every ethnicity group you can think of has its own community. Latinos, especially Mexicans live in the Mission, Blacks live in the projects on third and in the Western Addition. Asians live in the Sunset and whites live in pretty Victorian [...]
Haylee San Francisco, CA I’m Irish and Puerto Rican. I have dirty blond hair and blue eyes; however, the texture of my hair doesn’t “fit the rest of my features.” Naturally my hair is coily and “nappy”. When I wear it natural people refer to me as black and my Puerto Rican side comes out. [...]
GERARDO O. SALINAS, CA Money controls everything. More powerful than race but has no value other than the one we give to it.
Euthimios Saites Marina, CA
Sura Tewolde Menlo Park, CA I just feel that whether your skin is white, black, yellow, blue, green, whatever! Your skin color should not make you any more important, superior, valuable, desirable, etc. than anyone else. It should not determine whether you will be a doctor or a garbage man. It should not define what [...]
Suzanne Koch Sunnyvale, CA First and foremost, I’m a mom. Being a mom to a child who doesn’t look the rest of our family is both the simplest thing in the world and the most complicated. Falling in love with my son, who is adopted and has brown skin, was as straight-forward as any Mama/Baby [...]
K. Lynn Santa Barbara, CA I do national survey work. I read the question: Are you latino or of hispanic origin? A respondent will say, “Yes, I’m Mexican American.” And then I read: “For this survey, hispanic origins are not races. What is your race?” They are asked to choose from a printed list of [...]
Nikolette Joseph Union City, CA People always ask me what is my ethnicity. I respond saying Fijian and they look at me like what the heck is that. I explain to them that its an small island next to Hawaii. ”Ohhh okay” as they say. The Fiji water , that’s where you come from? So [...]
Jose Cabrera San Francisco, CA Can you not tell that I am different? From looking at me you would not be able to tell that I am vegetarian, that I care about the environment, and my grades. You would assume that I am Mexican, but then again aren’t all Latinos Mexican? You would assume that [...]
Kiesha Ireland-Tran San Francisco, CA I am an African American girl, yet I grew up scared of black people. I felt that I was unsafe and didn’t belong with them. An adult in my life lead me to believe these things that changed how I perceived myself and others. People identified me as ‘white’ despite [...]
Talha Baqar San Francisco, CA Being a Pakistani-American, you feel neither here nor there. Here you are a terrorist hell bent on destroying the country, and there you are some American traitor that is basically destined for hell.
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 [...]
Caty Salas Oakland, CA Being a guessing game gets old. PC-ness has cut down on questions like “What are you?”, “What color are you?”, and “Is that really your hair?”, all of which used to sincerely baffle me when I was a kid. Now they just ask me where I’m from. Endlessly. I am from [...]
Cristian Amaya Mountain View, CA Most of the time people in general assume I’m Mexican because of my brownish skin color and because i speak Spanish. I never get offended by it because Mexico is a great country, but I fell is somewhat stereotypical that people assume you’re from there just because of your appearance. [...]
Katherine Pan San Francisco, CA
Roberto Union City, CA Just because your Mexican u didn’t cross the border.
Carla Los Angeles, CA This comment is what I often heard from many people, including my own regarding my daughter from birth until about 8 years of age. I believe people actually thought they were complimenting her and maybe even me….someone who is for the most part unmistakably of African ancestry. Sometimes I would take [...]
Dae-Hyun Jin Los Angeles, CA Being Asian American, or Asian (fill in the blank), means higher expectations and standards from society. And not in the traditional sense, such as our strong cultural values and morals rooting from ancient Chinese philosophy; but, rather, a new-age philosophy that has effected our own native culture. To clarify, I [...]
Jennifer Ng San Francisco, CA
Devin C. Hughes San Diego, CA
Michelle Hill Oakland, CA Our family is so fortunate that my great, great, great grandparents were not separated from each other and their children during slavery. Because the family stayed together, we have a family Bible, pictures and records that document their lives in this country. My great grandmother, Mama Lizzie, was born in 1870 [...]
Jessica Cedillo Monterey, CA
Mayra Cramer Menlo Park, CA I’m a brown typically Hispanic looking upper middle class woman living in an affluent suburb of San Francisco. I’ve allways had a hard time fitting in because I was raised in “white” neighborhoods and went to elite and desirable schools. My third child is fair and people in the street [...]
Katie Hana Kuyama Northridge, CA I’ve always thought it weird to add “American” to my identity when my ethnicity is indeed Japanese. I’m a second generation Japanese living in America, but people always emphasize that because I live in America, I MUST add “American” to my identity. Not necessarily. In paperwork or community involvement, I [...]
Alma Castro Riverside, CA
Nicole Miller Highland, CA Because I am German, does that Make me a Nazi??? Why do I always have to be related to Hitler??? People are cruel. Regardless of whether they know they are being cruel or not… I catch myself judging by race sometimes. I don’t mean to do it but the stereotypes are [...]
Pinkish Jim Seal Beach, CA I was raised hearing this idea expressed many ways. My parents bought into all the racial stereotypes in the 50s and 60s and yet they had black friends. Their friends weren’t like the rest of them. They were different. None of the African Americans we actually knew fit the stereotype, [...]
Thi Thumasathit Palo Alto, CA I’m Asian-American. I was born in Thailand, but immigrated here when I was 3 months old so I speak perfect accent-free English. Since the age of 4, I grew up in Hull, Iowa, population 1,500. Invariably, I am asked (even in the Bay Area), “Where are you from?” After I [...]
Amanda Kotyuk San Jacinto, CA My father was a cowboy, born and raised on the horse ranches of Melrose New Mexico. He was a mix of Irish, Italian and Cherokee. My mother on the other hand was Puerto Rican. Her parents and grandparents were born on the island, as was she. My skin is tan, [...]
Amanda Hemet, CA I know how it feels to be judged only on the color of your skin. In 8th grade during the LA riots I went to school just like any other day. When I got there I was confronted by a large group of students who began yelling at me. This quickly escalated [...]
Justice Poppe San Francisco, CA It seems that everyone is calling for “tolerance” and “acceptance”, and yet do they realize that when they call us bigots, racists, homophobics, sexists, etc. they are succumbing to the same intolerance they charge us with?
Lori Petrehn San Jose, CA
Jessie V. West Sacramento, CA As a little girl i was always told “you have such pretty hair” and then with that i was asked what are you? As a kid i never thought about it until I got older.It wasn’t until I was in High School that that phrase used to bug me. At [...]
Robert Amore West Hollywood, CA NYC Born, High School North Shore Long Island, University Evanston Ill., Manhattan Resident for 20 years. Moved to Los Angeles in 2005. To my shock not once but at least 6 times asked the above question. Why anyone would be asked this question is disgraceful. Observing Race discrimination and prejudice [...]
Ravit Ortiz Mountain View, CA Our 6 year old daughter is trying to find her way with culture and beliefs that feels best for her. I was raised by my Jewish Afghani mother (who is came out when she was 40) and my father who is Moroccan (Was Jewish, now Atheist) . My husband was [...]
Joanne L Perron, MD Pebble Beach, CA As an OB/GYN, I have had the privilege to take care of many different women and their families from all over the world and there are no fundamental differences between them. Race is a social construct, not a biological certainty.
Jacqueline Reyna Oceanside, CA
Georgia Gausdioso Encinitas, CA
Andrea James Andrews Fresno, CA Our personal family legend includes Bull Connor from Alabama. My grandfather was diagnosed as Schizophrenic but that didn’t stop Bull Conner from killing him either before or right after they took him to the Colored Hospital for the Insane. Have an irrational hate for anything “Alabama” since then (born and [...]
Alec Dughi Castro Valley, CA I am always asked if I am Asian. And the answer is yes, I am. I think the politically correct term would be Chinese American, but sure, I’m half Asian. But I’m also half white, and the two races are constantly fighting to rule my life. I don’t really fit [...]
Regina Mason El Cerrito, CA I discovered my great, great, great, grandfather’s narrative, Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave, following clues my Aunt Katherine gave me about an ancestor’s connection to the Underground Railroad. No one in the family knew that a relative had written his life story. It would take me years corroborate [...]
Richard Stein San Juan Capistrano, CA Judah Philip Benjamin, QC (August 6, 1811 – May 6, 1884) was an American politician, lawyer, and slaveholder who served in cabinet level positions in the Confederate States of America, including Secretary of War and Secretary of State. It was a shock for me, a Jew, to learn that [...]
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.
Jane Medina Orange, CA My daughter Annie had just turned 21. So she, my husband, my son, and I put on our cocktail party clothes and went to the fanciest restaurant in Orange, California to buy Annie her first drink. As our car climbed the steep hill where the restaurant sat like a crown above [...]
Nayeli G. Velez Los Angeles, CA I didn’t understand how to take this comment growing up. Now, I cringe when people say it. I see now it’s a comment on my race and culture. A racist comment disguised as a complement.
John Matlock Long Beach, CA This is the answer when I’m asked what my background is. I used to just say “Mexican” but the question and subsequent answer has become increasingly complicated in today’s multicultural landscape.
Curtis McCullom Irvine, CA Being a black male from Mississippi, my father taught me that in order to succeed in white American, I had to be the best in all my endeavors. If I was applying for the same position as a white person, I could not be the same. I had to be better. [...]
Maria Smith San Jose, CA It’s a bizarre little problem to have. Especially in California.
Mara Davis Bermuda Dunes, CA I have one mixed grand-daughter and i love all of my grand-children. Love is not shaped by skin color but by the quality of the interaction between 2 people. This is my family now and I strongly resent anyone mocking us because one child appears different. One day, a new [...]
Craig Woolmington-Smith Orinda, CA I was raised in a military family where discrimination was everywhere and a highly respected way of life, but the discrimination was based on one’s rank and nothing else. This was true up and down the ladder from Privates to Generals and was my first introduction to meritocracy, although we didn’t [...]
Anonymous San Francisco, CA
Alex Mickle Manhattan Beach, CA
Kunal Fremont, CA Sometimes, the internet is the only way to get a fair hearing without the prejudice.
Jennifer Blankenship Grand Terrace, CA
David Q. Booker Chula Vista, CA This is a fantastic project. For some time I have been trying to come with my 6 words but I’ve struggled. Not sure what happened but as I was listening to a segment on Morning Edition, regarding the March on Washington commemoration, it just came to me. I was [...]
Christopher Saldaña Seattle, WA While I was helping my ex’s father move from California (my home state, from which I have since moved), he took a break to talk to some neighbors. He then decided to say the new state he was moving to was better because it “didn’t have as many Mexicans”. While I [...]
Samantha D. Los Angeles, CA I’m from Eastern Europe and I find America’s racial diversity very interesting and exciting. That being said America is entirely too focused on the label of race – from job applications, college applications, scholarships, to nearly every government form. The principle of the question really bothers me and I usually [...]
Madison Hallroan Cotati, CA
Ashlee Barnes Marina, CA Applications always ask for you ethnicity, but why does it matter ?