James Edward Harrah, Boonsboro, MD. My Father passed long before I grew interested in our family history. Upon the birth of my son, this was the response from an Aunt when I began tracing my family tree. It’s interesting how something most likely out of convenience and considered scandalous over 130 years ago, represents so [...]
Tim Lumpkins St. Louis, MO
Bonny Hanan Cottonwood, AZ I am not a racist and I know this sounds bad. However, I grew up in a very small town that was largely controlled by racism even in the recent past. It was so bad that Black people didn’t live here for very long when they did try to move in. [...]
Tania Rose England I love being a black woman. If I had to do it over, I would. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
Kristine Pfister New York City, NY Brooklyn
Robert Crosman Anchorage, AK Explanation: I was a good liberal, with the milk of human kindness in my veins, when a black student I viewed as marginally disruptive called me out in the middle of a class on Renaissance literature, calling me a racist because I was trying to ignore his too-frequent questions and comments. [...]
Juanita Shields Tuscaloosa, AL People Say That Mistakes Are Lessons Learned, But When Does Those Lessons Become Permanent? When Will This Society Realize That We Can Benefit A Million Times More From Each? We’re Supposed To Be A Nation, United, Standing Together For A Common Good. If You Want Your Country To Be The Best, [...]
Tanya LaTortue New York City, NY Brooklyn
Kurt Andersen Brooklyn, NY
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 [...]
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…
Andea Robinson NY If nothing changes, nothing changes.
David Bennett Park City, UT I am a criminal justice consultant. I was working in a major southern city and an elected official said to me, “How do you expect a white person to come in here and have any credibility.” This is NO different than what the whites did to the blacks that is [...]
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 [...]
Gwendolyn Simmins Hope Mills, NC There are customer service people who give change by placing it on the counter instead of placing the change into the customer’s hand. My response to this is not silence. I say: I handed you my money. Place my change in my hand, please.
Rayna Delaney Pharr, TX This occurred to me in 1969 as I started college. I was a naïve white girl from a rural all-white neighborhood. Had read a lot about Blacks and their struggles. I was surprised when I sat down next to a group of Blacks and they ignored by attempts to start a [...]
Jim Evangelista Eugene, OR This was a saying my grandfather, Ludovico Spadafora from Palermo, Sicily, often intoned. He had many pearls of wisdom and this one stuck with me and when I heard about your project, I thought to share it with you. It’s given me a measure of acceptance, peace and compassion in many [...]
Katy Osterholm Spokane Falls Community College Spokane, WA
Steve Williams USA I was 12 and working in my Dad’s gas station in a small town in Nebraska in 1968. I had never seen a black man before. As soon as I laid his change down instead of handing it to him directly I realized he was no different. But too late.
Robin Bass Brooklyn, NY I’m glad for the progress made…but frustrated that we still have so far to go
Chad Oiastad Madison, WI Just that I’m glad social norms have changed. Anyone who views my mixed race kids as anything other than just kids is now the outsider, at least where I live. It’s better this way.
Jillian Hiscock Submitted via Twitter: @jhiscock
Spencer Kragerud Boise, ID
Deanna Y. Cho Ann Arbor, MI
Carissa Stouwie Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan My butt is very sun burnt, and not willingly. I am a ginger. I have white skin, some could even say translucent. I tan so that I can blend in, so that people don’t ask if I am albino, or if the carpet matches [...]
Taine Stoll Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project, University of Michigna As a scientist, I know that there is no biological proof to our perceived differences in race. However, coming from a multicultural family, I have personally witnessed the differences that skin tone can have on your interactions and ways you are treated. I hope [...]
Kristina T. Sanders Sumter, SC A regular day at work turned into an eye opening experience. I had helped a customer pick out a pair of shoes, and it was time for him to purchase them. The customer was a tall middle age Caucasian gentlemen. I gave him his total and he pulled out the [...]
Brian Konz Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan
Molly W. Denver, CO I am a 6th grade teacher and my class has been reading Fire From the Rock about the integration of Central High School in Little Rock in 1957. This six-word story was written by one of my students in response to our reading. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/fire-rock
Tracy Sutherland Vernon, CT
Ann H. Baltimore, MD I am always amazed and mostly saddened that people will use slurs or other hateful speech and assume I agree with them. “What can you expect…”?, “those #$% are buying up all the stores and gas stations”. I am so glad to have reached the age where I no longer let [...]
Tom Bethesda, MD When my (white) mother worked at NAACP in the 60′s my Dad infamously questioned her sincerity. Mom died a decade ago. Dad spent last weekend walking precincts for Obama in NH. Hope and change indeed.
Lisa K. Durham, NC Duke University
Phyllis J. Jones Columbus, GA
Anonymous Oakdale, MN The Serenity Prayer is used by many different kinds of recovery groups because it helps focus ones strength on the issues one can control and helps to let go of those one cannot control. Its a tough prayer to apply all the time, but the one part I can always apply is [...]
Jacqueline M. Fleming St. Paul, MN
Kara Cordell Oklahoma City, OK Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Amye New Orleans, LA As far as we come and as much as we make progress it seems as if we keep falling into cycles of racism even if the names and dates change the racism stays the same.
Erin R. San Antonio, TX For too long I was unaware of my own racial privilege (as a white woman), but thanks to my graduate studies, my mentors, and my conversations with friends it is overwhelmingly apparent that slavery exists today in the US. To believe in a post-racial US is to ignore one’s own [...]
Hope CA We can and must do better if we are to create the world worthy of our collective sacrifice
Tristan Moritz Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation