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.
B B, Flathead Indian Reservation, MT. One may change; one may relinquish imposed ideas of self. Maybe every day; maybe every hour. Maybe never. I searched the Race Cards for the keyword “sorry”. Of the 32 six-word uses of the term, 22 were ironic, 8 were apologetic, and 2 were preceded with the word “not.” […]
Rebecca Hammons, Eugene, OR.
Nancy Foye-Cox, Akron, OH.
Randy, Richmond, TX. Dividing ourselves is counter productive. It will not be easy, not everyone will be on board. Love, respect, communication, and unity has to be the formula for change.
Kate McFerrin, Oak Park, IL. I recognize we need to change; the US is, without question, systemically racist. However, as one individual, I don’t feel like I have great power to change much. It’s hard to feel hopeful.
Andea Robinson NY If nothing changes, nothing changes.
R. Johnson Jackson, MS I love this place I call home because my family’s roots are strong here; however, it seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same! #WHATTHEHELLISGOINGONANDDOESANYBODYELSENOTICE?
Alexxus Sidney, Kent, OH. In order to alter the way in which our society operates, WE have to step up and allow ourselves to be heard. WE can no longer talk about these matters, WE have to act. More importantly, WE have to work together. Change cannot truly take place until WE come together as […]
Autumn Segrest, Highland Heights, KY. As a white woman from suburban America, it can be hard to understand the struggles of the countless people who were not born into whiteness. Their experiences with racism and prejudice shape their identity as much as my privilege shapes mine. But through education, whether it be traditional schooling or […]
Kristina Weems, Virginia Beach, VA. In order to implement any real change, we must take off our blinders and cure our cultures ignorance. Love needs to prevail! 🙂
Hannah, Norfolk, VA. I chose this quote from a popular John Mayer song because it so relevant to where we still are today. This song, created in 2006, is more relevant 10 years later than it was then and that is a problem. And even though I am not a minority, the hate in this […]
Stanton Lawrence, San Antonio, TX. Throughout my professional life, I have experienced efforts to devalue or negatively assess the contributions of blacks in the work place. These efforts are greatly elevated when the individual is strong and confident. It takes me back to the era when we had to “be put in our places” because […]
Laurie Winchester, Houston, TX. Treat everyone and everything the way you want to be treated…..yes, it’s that simple.
Kurt Andersen Brooklyn, NY
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. […]
Rebecca Crea, Coral Springs, FL. We can’t change what we won’t acknowledge.
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 […]
Carrie Powell, Charleston, SC.
Anonymous, Portland, OR. Honestly, the change had to come from within. I grew up in a very white area and my parents were raised in a way that was unacceptable and I had to change myself and their views. So I say, it comes from within because if you truly believe things should change, it’s […]
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
Pat Grauer, DeWitt, MI. We are the comma. We are the now. We are the small point between great ancient forces and a future of positive change in human relationships.
Adrienne Lau, San Francisco, CA. Let’s try to make a change!
Lisa K. Durham, NC Duke University
Miriam Mayteson, Columbus, OH. White privilege is everywhere, but so many of us white people can’t or won’t see it. How can we change that?
A., USA. I work in an area with a lot of Hispanic or Latino immigrants from different places. I have not had many good experiences with them. For awhile I just tried to excuse their behavior as not knowing or understanding the cultural differences but it’s getting harder. Before I continue, yes I know there […]
Zahnyah, Philadelphia, PA. I am me, I act the way I act because that’s just me, I am going to be me forever so if people don’t like it they need not talk to me or they might as well as just get used to it. I’m not going to change unless I feel as […]
Tim Lumpkins St. Louis, MO
Karen W. Gronau, Perry Hall, MD. I taught elementary school for four decades. I saw a good change over the years. My classes became more integrated. More importantly, over time, many of my students did not see color in their choice of friends. Change is way too slow though.
Elizabeth Johnson, Arlington, VA. There are so many things I wish I could say but am worried they will come out the wrong way. I want to say I see you’re struggling. I want to say I see racism among my friends and within my own family. I want to say it’s wrong. I want […]
Elizabeth Gonzalez, Hodgkins, IL. I am proud of living in my neighborhood. I did not choose to be born a Latina or living in this neighborhood but no matter how bad it is I still love it. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my life.
Tara Saltzman, Evergreen, CO. My teens arguing in favor of de-degrading(?) the word n*****, inspired by conviction that changing the influence of words (no longer receiving the word “n*****” as having negative intent or implication), changes relationships. wondering if they are empowered by the innocence of youth and lack of historic understanding AND regardless able […]
Morgan Lavandowska Minneapolis, MN As a 21 year old white woman, I have the privilege of being white that gives me power to do what others can’t. Instead of abusing that power, I prefer to try to help bring positive change to the world and, hopefully, help bring equality for all.
Jillian Hiscock, Submitted via Twitter: @jhiscock.
Katherine Finn, Virginia Beach, VA. I do not look good for a white girl, or look good because I am white… I am me, and my race does not change or affect that.
Danielle R, San Francisco, CA. Someone in response to their friend’s racial slur at a party… How about you can’t say that stuff anywhere? Racism hasn’t been defeated, it has moved behind closed doors. Change won’t happen if people only call their friends out when they’re worried that someone will hear. Just because there’s no […]
Tyheim Price, Philadelphia, PA. I am proud of my skin color. I would not change it even if I could. I am proud of it regardless of what others say.
Jason Eng, Hong Kong. As a kid I looked more Chinese, and I identified as Chinese, because all my relatives looked Chinese and I was proud to associate myself with the subculture of Asian America. As I got older my appearance changed. Now I think that one should be able to identify as one chooses. […]
Tiffany Wysocki, Middletown, NJ. Monmouth University As I travel the world, I have found one truth: we are all innately equal in our drives and desires. We are driven by love and survival. We want the best for our families. We want to feel loved and have the opportunity to love. That’s it. That is […]
Kara Cordell Oklahoma City, OK Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
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. […]
Nicholas Thomspon, Denton, TX. We discussed racism in my freshman sociology class. “Institutions are racist” is not an original thought of mine, but I do fundamentally agree with the idea from a sociological perspective.
Karen Bernod, Brooklyn, NY. Fear and ignorance drives HATE. The World continues to change becoming more diverse. CHANGE is always good. LOVE conquers ALL!!!
Louise S. Malone, Albuquerque, NM. My family were originally slave owners in South Carolina. I watch the point of view change with each generation.
Kaylee Doney, Las Vegas, NV. I think these words could go for anyone but I chose these words because being white, along with other races, means people expect you to act or be a certain way. Well I say this is not how it should be. Everyone should be able to act how they want […]
Conzuelo De Luna, American Canyon, CA. I might not look like other Mexicans, but just because I’m pale, with lighter hair and eyes doesn’t mean I’m different
Danielle Rosati, Hauppauge, NY. I am tired of being blamed for blacks feeling not good enough. If you feel a certain way it’s within yourself. And only you can change that. I’ve been pulled over for no reason !! Arrested .. I have felonies .. I’ve been hit and beaten by cops!! You want equal […]
J. Morgan, IL. Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, et al. Why do we let so many disrespect our President for his race?
PRMediaHostRenee, Submitte via Twitter: @PRMediaHostRene #ShiningALight #BlackLivesMatter
Denali Lukacinsky, Honolulu, HI. People look at me and assume all kinds of offensive things about what black people are supposed to be like, they come up to me and explain all the ways that I’m “different”, and “better” and “not like them.” Well guess what, I am like them. Don’t lift me up by […]
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…
Eva Dotti, Long Beach, CA. This is the best way I can be the change I want to see. I don’t ever want to be a racist and not know it, so I always make a conscious effort to remind myself that racism exists, and every action can help erase it.
Cassandra, Cleveland, OH. The process I went through to identify those six words is by realizing the six words that mean the most to me. What I mean by this is that those words explain who I am in short for everyone. I thought about what I felt was most important to me and, what […]
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 […]
Jordyn Ducotey, Seattle, WA. Recent events have really made me challenge my own thoughts and the perceptions that I have been taught. I consciously make an effort to expose myself to the injustices that are occuring in the world around me. I actively seek stories and look into them instead of listening to what my […]
Logan Money, Summerville, GA. As southern citizens, we are often accused of being racist, homophobic, and resistant to change. Some are, but not all of us are. Most of my friends are minorities and that includes homo/bisexuals. as a matter of fact, most of the major towns are culturally diverse.
Betruth, St.Paul, MN. We need to have so much hope for those who choose to see the love and peace in the world. While also seeing all the perspectives and opinions of others. Our cultural differences can lead us a stray from all the facts. I will not be burdened by the pigmentation of my […]
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.
M’Karyl Gaynor, Decatur, GA. I am 52 years old and I am from the Midwest (Rockford, IL) and while there was not an absence of racism per se…my friends and I were fortunate enough to grow up in a community where our families, communities and educational experiences allowed us to experience integration at its best…I […]
Brent Vuglar, Houghton, MI. Just like any controversial subject where people do not see eye to eye, people tend to be close-minded to others opinions. This development of tension plants a seed of anger to one another. I myself grew up in a not so very diverse suburb, and when I was younger I believed […]
Hope CA We can and must do better if we are to create the world worthy of our collective sacrifice
A dialogue about diversity: JHU hosts 11th Diversity Leadership Conference NPR correspondent, keynote speaker Michele Norris stresses importance of discussing race, diversity issues to ‘create change and comfort levels’ by Amy Lunday Michele Norris spent much of her career as a journalist trying very hard not to be the person who was always talking about […]
Dawn Fleming, Lansing, MI.
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 […]
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
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
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 […]
Dr. Kitty Oliver, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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 […]
Tristan Moritz Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation