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I’m not colored I’m an American

Ralph Brown (Coach~B :)), Dallas, TX. My six words are in response to these six words: “We don’t allow colored in here” which were said to me on March 19, 1963 by a young female movie ticket clerk at the Majestic Theater in Dallas, Texas. I was attempting to see the world premiere of “How […]

Where will we wash colored clothes?

LaLana Martin Gold Beach, OR When I was 9 years old, our mixed-race family (Asian/Pacific Islander and German/French) was on vacation in the southeast. With six of us there was a lot of laundry. We stopped at a laundry mat and I hopped out of our camper to help Mom with the wash. A sign […]

My great-grandparents said, “oriental” and “colored.”

Noah Johnson Wicomico Church, VA While sitting around the dinner table with my mom and grandparents, we began to talk about the Race Card Project, which led into many interesting conversations, one regarding the evolution of racial slurs. We talked first about the racial slurs that I am familiar with as a teenager, and then […]

Multicolor family: pink face feels darker

Paul Berry Palo Alto, CA In my 80 years, I’ve been married twice, have three children, five grand children– and among all of them, I’m the only one that Americans call “white.” My first spouse was described on our marriage license as “color: ed”; the second, on her US immigration papers, as “color: yellow.” So […]

Too old to play w/colored girlfriend.

Jewel Nies St. Charles, MO I grew up in SE MO, the Bootheel. 20 miles from Arkansas border. Very southern town. My neighborhood bordered a black neighborhood. I had a black friend that I had played with for years. When I was around 9 or 10 my Mother came to me and said the neighborhoods […]

Shocked! Separate restrooms in Georgia airport.

Nancy B. Riley Scottsdale, AZ I was 15 and on my way to a cousin’s wedding in North Carolina. On a stop-over in Augusta, Georgia I saw restrooms labelled “White only” and “colored.” Raised in Kansas City and living in Arizona, I had never, ever seen such signs. It scared me!

Don’t dance with him, he’s colored.

Carolyn Fitzpatrick Sarasota, FL He picked me to dance in 8th grade, because he thought I was a good dancer. I was flattered and thrilled. Mother didn’t see it that way. She said: “you were the only white girl dancing with a colored boy.” She didn’t get it that we were just happy children having […]

You think I’m Black. I’m not.

Omari N.F. Santa Barbara, CA Race is something we made up and nothing good has come of it (valiant struggles to overcome its many ills notwithstanding). 20 years ago I’d have been called Negro, 40 years ago ‘Colored’ and today Black. Truth is I am none of the above. There’s only one race, human. My […]

Don’t drink out of THAT fountain!

Alice Lynch Jonesboro, AK This is what my father said when I ran up to the water fountain with no line in the big downtown Houston department store. I was small enough not to see the sign above it that read “Colored”, but old enough to read it when he grabbed my arm harshly and […]

Mommy, will blacks stain the pool?

Nancy Bonnet Steelton, PA My question at age 6 (1959) when told that a black neighbor friend could not swim in the city park pool. I’m sure that according to the era I would have asked “colored people.” Later when the pool was integrated, I was shocked to see that Bobby’s color did not come […]

I had never felt so uncomfortable.

Jennifer Ashland, KY I am from a small city in Kentucky… people automatically think “Do you have your teeth”, “Do you wear shoes”, “She hates “colored” people”.. while all of these are simply uneducated guesses. I truly didn’t realize how bad racism was until I got older and in high school. I went to a […]