Sabreena M., MA. My parents are from China. I was born here. The fact that I look like a Chinese person shouldn’t override the fact that I’m American. I always get this question (from strangers who just come up to me) whenever I tell them that I was born here.
Juliette A Clancy, Culpeper, VA. Since I am half Asian and my eyes are the only Asian thing about me, people think that I’m automatically straight off a boat from China. I AM 50% SOUTH KOREAN AND 50% IRISH. Get to know me before judging me for what I look like.
Wen Wen Yang Dallas, TX I tell people I’m Chinese-American. My parents are Chinese, born and raised in China, while I was born and raised in the United States, so I think the term Asian-American is accurate. I am straddling the divide, but leaning towards American – I’ve never been to China and do not […]
Yilan Miao, Selinsgrove, PA. Maybe we should improved the inaccurate term “racism” with the much more accurate and potentially productive term “stereotype”. As American people always think, I am really good at math and this is the beginning of the third month for me to study in a small town of America. As you can […]
Katelyn Crombie, CA. I never cared about race until I was in college. Before then, I was adopted from China and grew up in a family that taught me to love everyone, regardless of appearances. I was also blessed with attending a high school that was racially diverse, despite our predominately white neighborhood, and these […]
Julie Germany When I visited family in China, my cousin called me a “banana.” White inside, yellow outside. She explained that it was a result of my growing up abroad. Race discourses, though diverse, are not unique to America.
Claire Wallick Moy, Maplewood, NJ. This is what I was asked in 1998 when I moved to NJ. Our 3 children look much more like their father than me. so many girls have been adopted from China in this generation, but not boys. A white Jewish woman with an Asian looking boy is outside of […]
Enkhsolongo, Chicago, IL.
Jay Bailinson Napa, CA In lived in Oakland CA. during preteen and early teen years. I belonged to a Boys Club sponsored by the Chinese Presbyterian Church in Oakland’s China town area. I played on sport teams in a church leagues sponsored by this church. I was one of two white boys on the team […]
Carissa Lew, CA. Being born in America but having my heritage from China leads me to believe I should choose one or the other. Many people question me about how “connected” I am to my heritage, but truth be told..I’m not very in tune with my Chinese culture. It’s difficult to discern who I really […]
Lex, Syracuse, NY. I’m originated from Shanghai, China, currently doing a PhD at Syracuse University. Unavoidably, I have been welcomed with the question “where are you from” on a daily basis. It seems that not many people actually cares about the real answer: Shanghai — people generally don’t care about that corner of the globe […]
Alex Webster, Japan. African American male English teacher abroad; lived in China, currently living in Japan.
Alba Isabel Lamar, China. The idea of beauty has, for many years, been defined by western ideology and western media. Women of color are both fetishized and rejected but seldom has my experience been that those in power look to judge us based on the content of our character.
Cheri’ Chambers China Race is a classification system based on physical traits, such as skin color, made up in an attempt to claim superiority. We are all members of the same species whose genetic material is over 99% the same. Each group of us living in different parts of the world, exposed to different environmental […]
Kasumi H University Park, PA I came to the USA to attend Penn State as an undergraduate student in 2010. I was born in Saitama, Japan and grew up in Shanghai, China. When I arrived, it felt like I was turned into a spokesperson for all Asians. Before, I was just a person, a girl, […]
Shen Lin Philadelphia, PA I’m originally from mainland China but spent most of my developmental years in Europe. After moving to the US I realized the extent to which people are able to connect so deeply with their racial heritage and express their opinions so freely in this country is enviable by the standards of […]
Anonymous Hong Kong, China I’ve always thought white guilt was condescending and offensive towards people of extra-European origins. Do we really need to see more movies like Avatar and The Help and campaigns like Kony 2012? I’d like for formerly colonized peoples to have more autonomy and be able to speak for themselves.
Anna Catlin Baker, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges I was adopted when I was 1 year(s) old from Southeastern China by a single Caucasian woman. I found out later in life that my birthparents are actually Vietnamese. I was raised “white”, American, but I look Asian. When […]
Anonymous. Omaha, NE “Excuse me, what’s your nationality?” “I’m from the U.S.” “No,” he chuckled, “like, where are you originally from?” “I was born and raised in the U.S.” “You know what I mean!” “You’re talking about ethnicity…” I offered. “Yeah, whatever. Like, where are you really from?” “I’m Chinese.” “That’s what I thought!” I […]
Dennis Searcy, AR I know a man, a white man, who is upset lately about the possibility of the Redskins changing their name. He thinks it’s silly for Native Americans to complain about it, that they should feel honored, that he would feel honored if he were in their position. I tried explaining to him […]
Barbara Lewis Madison, AL It has been said that one thing that makes this country great is that any child can grow up to be president. This is not true for my daughters. Because of the “natural-born” clause in our constitution, my daughters, who were born in China but legally adopted into the US by […]
Angel Liu Los Angeles, CA I’m an international student studying in America. Since I was born and raised in China, I have an obvious accent when I speak English. People can easily guess where I come from and my ethical background is very simple. I identify who I am very clearly, but when living such […]
Sheree King Johnson City, TN My kids, adopted from China, now ages 14 & 16 not only don’t look like me, but deal with issues I never had to deal with. Although they are very like me in religious beliefs, morals , and character, they look at the world through minority eyes, but have a […]
Mike Chen Chicago, IL My wife and I were both born and raised in New York. Our parents immigrated from Asia in the 70s, and are all naturalized citizens. We speak fluent English without an accent. We have always identified ourselves as Americans. This question comes up disappointingly often, typically asked in a few variations […]
Anonymous Ann Arbor, MI The year was 1997. I was part of a small committee selecting MBAs for highly sought-after internships in China. I wasn’t prepared to be tested on my passionate belief that skin color doesn’t matter. But I am white. And when another white colleague said, “this candidate is African American, he might […]
Carol Sacks, Santa Barbara, CA. My nine-year-old daughter, who is adopted from China, is reading a biography of Muhammad Ali for a book club project. Last night, she asked me what the word r-a-c-i-s-m meant. Her question, this birther nonsense, are reminders that race continues to be part of our national conversation.
Krystle Smith Newark, NJ Race can be compared to the Great Wall of China. When it falls, we grow.