Kabao Lee, Sacramento, CA. I am Hmong and I am proud. I think it pretty much explains itself, but there are many people I know growing up who do not embrace their culture, needless to say I am proud of being Hmong. Even though many people do not know about the Hmong people, I am […]
Hunter, Birmingham, AL. What does race mean to me? When I think of race I don’t think about skin color. I think about culture, religion, and values. Today many people do not understand what it means to have a specific culture. Even though we seem to make claims about it every day. Truth of the […]
Marvin Hardy, Ferguson, MO. Born in and raised in Saint Louis, it’s amazing how much an African-American male has to give to make a success of himself. From a early age in the 80’s, I was told never to travel alone south of Interstate 64. This was the barrier that separated predominantly poor AA’s from […]
Adrienne Zimiga, Minneapolis, MN. I was born and raised on the Pine Ridge reservation my first 12 years. Upon moving from Batesland, SD to Castlewood, SD my caucasian grandmother was concerned that my brothers, sister, and I could face social problems being part Native American (iyeska: mixed blood/race) in an all white community. She told […]
Karen Dahn, Athens, OH. I went to Liberia as a Peace Corps Volunteer right out of college in the late 60’s, after having grown up in Montana and gone to school in Colorado with very little exposure to non white people. Being in Africa was a life changing experience. I did not intend to do […]
Sandy Mayer, Los Angeles, CA. I was surprised that our daughter’s Guatemalan foster family lovingly called her Chinita but understand that this is accepted in some Latino cultures. Growing up in a bi-cultural household, my sisters and I were called “cosas de la vida” by my Mexican mother. My husband and I are determined to […]
Elizabeth Swenson, Hacienda Heights, CA. I went to school in NC were it was predominately black & white in2006. My husband and the majority of my friends are Hispanic or Spanish descent. I never really though racism exist coming from LA, CA were its divers. But here I saw people say nasty things, dirty looks, […]
Shannon Harris, Ashland, OR. We need to open up the idea of what it means to be “American.” American is all of us and all of the different ways that we experience this country.
Shagun Doshi, Naperville, IL. Coming from a predominately rich, white suburb, and not being rich and white has been an interesting experience. While there is a lot more diversity within my community compared to many others, there is still a lot of hostility. The divide between white and every other race is very prevalent; as […]
David Chen, New York, NY. I grew up in China listening to artists like 50 cent, Tupac, Snoop dogg (lion), and Jay-Z. I have every one of Jay-Z’s songs memorized and for a Chinese kid, that wasn’t easy. For as long as I can remember, I was fascinated by African American (is this the politically […]
William O’Lynnger Deep River, CT As the world culture swirls together, the flavors are lost.
Kristina T., Oklahoma City, OK. I’m half Native American and half Mexican. I have 3 tribes’ blood that runs through my veins along with Mexican blood. Most people consider and see me as one or the other. I speak and know my Mexican culture, but when it comes to my Native culture, I’m completely lost. […]
Mariah Frisk, Morris, MN. Being from a small town in northern Minnesota, I haven’t been exposed to much culture in my day. My sophomore year of high school, I took a trip to New Orleans with my church for the 2012 National Youth Gathering. We were there to help the community recover from Hurricane Katrina. […]
Anonymous, St. Louis, MO. I truly believe that for me, the down sides of being black would be worth a full sense of acceptance into the beautiful culture of hip-hop and rap that I identify with at the soul level. I’m hated for that and I understand why.
Emily, Perris, CA. I have NEVER been so proud to be a Filipino-American. My culture is my everything and I would not trade it for the world. Being the handful of Asians at my school makes me even more unique. I want to promote diversity, I want people to be okay with the color of […]
Alan Hill Minneapolis, MN Why don’t veterans speak of their experience? Because of the culture barriers to understanding. Military veterans don’t yet understand (as a population) that they have a different culture than their country, a separate, distinct, yet invisible, identity. The worst part is they are disconnected from it and therefore unable to express […]
Angelyce Serrano, Coram, NY. My whole life people has seen me as “that black girl”. That is not the case. I am Puerto Rican, Black-American, Taino, and Spaniard. Yet, for whatever reason my whole cultural background is ignored and I am just labeled as black. Going to Catholic School from 4years old to 18years old […]
Jennifer Leyla Rincones, Detroit, MI. A Latina with a vision to help advocate for all brown and black youth who endure the injustices of the criminal justice system.
David Brady, Portland, OR. Travel to see new cultures and experiences? I do. But, we can experience the richness of culture here if we look past appearance. Listen, let others’ stories speak.
Heather Melberg, Renton, WA. I am born and raised in Seattle. Lived in Japan my junior year of high school. Fascinated with all races and cultures and our stories of now and the past.
Georgianna Wong, Topeka, KS. When my son, George Wong was playing baseball, I had a woman tell me how handsome my son was and then asked, “How long have you had him?” It always hurt me when people would think I adopted him even though my last name was Wong. Then I had a good […]
Laura Leon, Riverside, CA. My father was full Puerto Rican and very proud of it. He always taught us to be proud of our culture, especially me because I am “whiter” than my sisters. Over the years I’ve been accused of lying about my culture due to my fair skin, a concept I never understood. […]
Emily, San Francisco, CA. I love how there are so many different cultures, and I want for people to keep celebrating their cultures. However, when it comes to deciding who has it harder or who is to blame for present issues, I think that we should focus not on how we differ, but how we […]
Arleigh Worstell, Ceres, CA. I come from a long line of hispanic women who married white men (myself included). Through the generations, even while some of us get lighter, we haven’t lost the culture we were raised with.
Tamara G. Cincinnati, OH When thinking of which six words I would use for The Race Card Project I had to ponder for a bit. I automatically thought of the fact that I am Jewish. Being so, I often get questioned about what holidays I celebrate or why we do certain things. Going to BGSU […]
REPOST: AtlanticLIVE online – May 20, 2015 Atlantic national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates and NPR host and special correspondent Michele Norris have a conversation about Norris’s Race Card Project, Coates’s noteworthy Atlantic cover story, “The Case for Reparations,” and how the conversation about race has evolved in the past year. See more from New York Ideas 2015: […]
REPOST Lannan.org April 15, 2015, Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer, journalist, and educator, is also a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. His recent piece titled The Case for Reparations intricately and provocatively traces the history of racism in the United States from slavery to recent examples of housing discrimination. The […]
Delaney Rodarte, Prescott, AZ. When I was much younger I was darker skinned and people saw me as Mexican, but now in my later years, especially since I have gone to public school, people see what is now pale skin and refuse to accept me or admit that I am native american and men won’t […]
Erin Miller, New Berlin, WI. No one has ever asked what country I’m from. It’s assumed I belong in the United States. Although I have various European countries in my background, Germany, Sweden, Norway, I have never had to be aware of them anymore than I have had to be aware of the air I […]
Lorna Seidel-Owen, Outside USA. My mother is from Mexico. She married my father in 1959 and came to live in the United States. The plan was for my dad to eventually work and live in Mexico. She never planned on staying here for the rest of her life. Although she never planned on staying here, […]
L. A. Elliott, Rockwall, TX. Submission collected from Pro Publica: Segregation Now Series Every person has a story, a culture, a past and especially a future. If you ignore person’s race in an attempt to be colorblind and inclusive, you’re actually taking away their story, their culture, their past and especially their future. Instead, build […]
Kelly Cutler, Portland, OR. Our beliefs play a powerful role in the discussion of race, especially in the world of education. In my view, the system of education suffers from a “believe gap” related to students of color, rather than students of coloring having an “achievement gap”. When are we going to unpack our believes […]
Brittany Carney, Washington, DC. As a person that is three quarters African American and one quarter Japanese, I feel that culturally I’m the other away around.
Robert Falcon Birmingham, AL Grew up in Birmingham in the 1960’s. My father never gave me cause to judge anyone else because of skin color. He always emphasized that it was the content of their character that really mattered. When I turned 16 one of my good friends introduced me to his family, his neighborhood, […]
Lora-Ellen McKinney, Renton, WA. I am not my color, though I am in some ways what my color represents in America. I am, by this definition, an African American first because this what people see. I also identify with African American history, culture, family structure and faith practices. But alone in my house where I […]
Anaisa Sanchez, Riverside, CA. Ever since I was a little girl, my mom made sure I knew about all the Mexican Traditions within our culture. Of course growing up Mexican you always listen to everything your respectful elders comment on. However, as I’ve gotten older, I question everything that crosses my path. For example, there […]
Andrew Beer, Philadelphia, PA. As a white male, I am lumped together with the rest of white America, but white isn’t a culture. My family came to the U.S from the State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs before WWII from Dubrovnik, but no one seems to even think that I’m not a descendant of the […]
Angie Cruz, Los Angeles, CA. As a person of brown skin color and Latin heritage, I am often spoken to in Spanish by strangers with the assumption that I only speak that language. It can often be demeaning when people assume that because I have a culture different than the “majority”, I am automatically categorized […]
Alex Liu, Columbia, MD. Culture, inmigration patterns, history – it’s all very nuanced. Confucius did boil down the success formula though…what do ya’ll think?
Jennessa Cairo, Los Angeles, CA. I believe it’s important to know who we are, and to learn and respect our cultures all over the globe. But growing up I never saw race, I just saw people as equals. Sometimes I just don’t understand why is matters to people.
Lucie C., San Antonio, TX. I was born in Texas just this side of the river. I’ve lived in Texas all my life although I’ve traveled a lot. One day while traveling through the Texas Hill Country, a gentleman, perhaps Pakistani perhaps Indian (I know NOT to call person either because I might be off […]
Michael Greene, Philadelphia, PA. Kudos to Ms, Norris for bringing the kindling for when it comes to race there have been, are, and will be fires figurative and literally of every imaginable combustion. Growing up I watched and was part of the Civil Rights Movement from the first time I was stopped and frisked by […]
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 […]
Cassandra Coats, El Cajon, CA. I grew up in a very multi-cultural school where being white was the minority. I was never teased for it, but I felt like I was missing out. I spent most of my childhood wishing I could be Asian, or Native American, or speak Spanish, etc. Sure, I have red […]
Raquela Petre, San Francisco, CA. I am half Filipino and half Swedish, Swiss, and German. However I was born in Hawaii and grew up around second- and third-generation Japanese friends. I decidedly learned Japanese in school and studied there for a year, yet I know close to no Tagalog. I also studied in England, where […]
James Scott, Upland, CA. White people have done more for people not like us than all the rest of humanity combined. Arabs, Jews, and other blacks enslaved blacks for thousands of years. Whites for 200 before we ended the African slave trade. Stone age people were displaced all over the world. For the most part […]
Leah Pepion, Kaysville, UT. Slowly, generation by generation my Blackfeet culture is being lost, stolen, given up, handed over. Will the Native American culture be buried beneath the earth, beneath the rivers, lost in the sea of suburbs and tv? Can I fill my bones, skin and body up with enough of my delicate culture […]
Sarah Diggins, Berlin, MA. I’m almost entirely Irish by heritage (my dad’s side is 100%), but I never really clicked with the culture. I grew up loving Celtic music, looking at gorgeous landscapes of the Irish countryside, and hearing stories about my Irish cousins and ancestors from my grandparents. But when I went to live […]
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 […]
Pamela Russell Bejerano, Portland, OR. As a white girl growing up, I always felt I had no culture. As an adult, I realized that what I was seeking was a racial identity. But I am discovering daily that this racial identity is not just Scottish and Norwegian, but part of a society that unfairly awards […]
Ryan, Arlington, VA. Like many first generation Americans who have tried to “blend” to American culture so deeply, it’s hard to know what your racial identity is when it seems you’re a stranger in both cultures…
Angelina A., Allentown, PA. I myself always get asked about questions about my racial and ethnic background and it never has bothered me. I usually always say I am half Dominican and half Chilean, then I go on to explaining that my dad is from Chile and my mom is from The Dominican Republic. Although […]
Keville Bowen, Chester, PA. I’m a Black man of three countries. Born in Trinidad, moved Canada and ended in America. Though I have little memory of Trinidad, my recollection of Canada and America are vastly different. I was only know as a Trini in Toronto and as I gained friends, I referred to them as […]
Kevin Stordahl, Seattle, WA. Every time I fill out important documents they ask for my “race” and every single time they do I wonder a couple things; one, why do they need to know that? And two, where is my category? I have never considered myself one race or another. I have always just felt […]
Misbah Ahmed Submitted via Twitter: @misbabaa #theracecardproject
Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Denver, CO. Being light skinned and Mexican has been the hardest thing to navigate in life. A dark skinned mother and an Anglo father gave birth to a light skin mestiza.
Eliana Rodriguez, Winston Salem, NC. I hate the feeling of rejection from the Caucasians I grew up with and the Hispanics that come from my culture. Ive always felt alienated from the white students in my schools but it hurt even more to find out that people from my own culture didn’t accept me cause […]
Rose Collins, Syracuse, NY. Highschool Student ’16 I believe that if we don’t appreciate our differences or acknowledge the fact that we are all different, then we will repeat the prejudice and pain we’ve seen in our past. We all have different stories and cultures, and if we don’t acknowledge that then we will be […]
Rebekah Epling, Ripley, WV. Appalachian people are treated in this country as second-class citizens. It is perfectly acceptable for mainstream media to characterize Appalachian people in ways that would incite outrage and not be published were it about another minority group. Just because the majority of Appalachian people are white, does not mean it is […]
Brenda Ward, Schaumburg, IL. The color of our skin has nothing to do with who we are. It is where we live, who raises us, our family traditions, our geography. We try to peg the differences on color because it is easier to see and understand and our lack of interest in exploring and appreciating […]
Jenna, USA. Every culture or race seems to have this deep inter connection with their skin color and culture and heritage. People seem to embrace their ‘uniqueness’ and take pride of where they are from and who they are. I am white. I am proud to be white. But why do those words sound so […]
Brianne Hittenberger, USA. It is the end of me, and I of it. My German last name belongs to me, my disabled brother, and my female second-cousin. My brother and I do not necessarily expect that we will marry, or that our cousin will keep our name if she does. When my brother and I […]
Jan Spooner, Tucson, AZ. As a white American, I don’t have a strong feeling of culture. My African American, Jewish, Native American and Hispanic friends can all talk about a strong cultural background. Their stories reflect their heritage and what it means to belong to their ethnic group. What is my culture and what are […]
Janice Mendoza, East Lansing, MI. I moved to Michigan from Southern California in middle school. I was very shocked to find out that there were not many Latinos in my new area. I felt very out of place. I am current student at Michigan State. I loved the idea of diversity when I got accepted […]
Katherine, East Lansing, MI. My last name is very unique. It is a Croatian last name and my mother’s maiden name is Croatian as well. Whenever people ask me about it, it makes me happy because no matter how many times it is misspelled or mispronounced I realize that those aren’t things that matter. My […]
David H Willis Jr., Lansing, MI. Culture is the collective shared belief system for a group of people. Different cultures can respect, value and grow by sharing. Racism occurs when this breaks down.
Damola Adebayo, Chicago, IL. It’s unfortunate how frequently the term “ghetto” is used so flippantly to describe undesirable, often “characteristically” African-American, aspects of culture. Makes me cringe every time I hear it.
Elizabeth Las Vegas, NV Because I have white skin, people automatically strip me of any heritage I have. Please don’t mistake “white” as the absence of culture. My family have lived through many wars, prejudices, struggles, and also victories.
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 […]
Alec Marchant Ashland, OR As a white male who finds much inspiration, pleasure and interest in cultures other than my own, I sometimes worry if I muddy the lines between appreciation and appropriation. Through my studying and relationships with these other cultures, I know I have been guilty of appropriation on at least one occasion. […]
Destiny Baker Raeford, NC The only thing that defines how you are as a person is you, not your past, culture, and especially not race.
Lea Houston, TX Be aware of what is happening not just in your inner bubble but in the world. Know your rights. Know your culture. Know your voice.
April & Bill Ledford Carrboro, NC Native Americans and their contributions to US history, heritage, music, culture, food, customs — along with the often ignored, horrible American Holocaust — are still swept under the rug on a continuous basis in the media, history books, and everyday American society. The fact we have an NFL team […]
Wendy Stokesbary Cedar Rapids, IA I went to middle school with lots of African american students and noticed the boys seemed to admire my curvy figure- I was flattered, not frightened, because no one ever tried to hurt me. I grew up with a curiosity and respect for diversity, and partly because of my professional […]
Don Rackley Chattanooga, TN I know “minorities” who have succeeded as well as anyone on the planet. I also know white people who have failed miserably. It’s not about the Race; it’s about the Culture you choose to accept. I was part of an “interracial” marriage for 13 years, and I got to see how […]
LISA DEL SOL New Your City, NY AS A CARIBBEAN THIS STRUGGLE IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF MY CULTURE AND I OWE SO MUCH TO THOSE WHO HAVE COME BEFORE ME, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OF MY FUTURE ENDEAVORS AND MY SUCESS.
Scott A. Hall Adel, IA Growing up in a small Midwestern town the entire population of the town looked like me, acted like me, worshiped like me. It wasn’t really until college that I was able to truly experience diversity of culture, race, nationality.
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 […]
Greg Huebner New York City, NY Brooklyn I was really struck by a piece in first half of the exhibit, with the two ‘crosses’ in a red center surrounded by black figures walking or getting sucked into the center of a vortex that they could not escape. When cultures are mixed together confrontations arise and […]
Reynolds Tenazas-Norman New York City, NY Brooklyn I realized that art was a major part of the political story and it was uplifting.
Netanya Stein Caldwell, NJ You cant pretend to be someone you’re not. you are who you are; our background shapes a large part of our cultures, traditions, and day to day life.
Jermaine Lowe New York City, NY Brooklyn The people and the culture will always be copied, subjected and hated. Luckily, we will endure and continue to influence and inspire those on both spectrums on love and hate.
Joe Phoenix, AZ As a white, native born second generation Arizonian I sometimes feel slighted by inept decision making by our elected state and local officials that gives our great state a bad image. We have numerous cultural backgrounds here that make us unique but that can also sow seeds of resentment.
Eric Arellano Denver, CO Being Mexican has always been tough love for me, I have been bullied and given a stereotype that labels me as a gardner, a trumpeteer with a Mariachi Band, or a Peleta Man who sells Ice Cream out of carts. I am none of these, I am a dancer with a […]
Dianna Pategas Sandy Hook, CT I’ve always felt a strange longing for more cultural identity. My family doesn’t have strong traditions or ties to any particular heritage which has left me with a certain emptiness. I marvel at people who have strong racial and cultural identities. I think this is why I have an appreciation […]
Tara Conforto Sharon, MA I was adopted when I was less than 3 months old and raised in a non-diverse area of NJ. People have always made assumptions about me based on my Asian appearance, such as saying that I’m so respectful because Asian children are taught to respect their elders, asking me for Asian […]
Jean Millard Milford, MI I wanted to be part of the black culture around me because I could see the tight family ties they had. I was bullied by the kids I wanted to connect with. I remember when the first black family moved into the neighborhood. I was shocked by the comments I heard […]
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.
Fleetwood Wilson, Seattle, WA.
Charles George Pickett, Spokane, WA. As a child of twelve I worked after school, on weekends, and all summer in a scrap metal yard, and was the only white employee. All the black men became my mentors and family. When the race riots came I could not understand what they were about.
Douglas Rice Fruita, CO I struggled for four decades to find some sort of racial identity…I’m bi-racial by my DNA, but having been raised in white culture where white people called me black I’ve never identified as white, and having been raised in white culture I didn’t “experience” black culture so I don’t Identify as […]
Barbara Rodriguez, Florence, SC. Yes, they both are Cuban. The look of shock never ceases to amaze me. Is it because I’m blonde and have green eyes…yes! Is it because of where I live…yes! Growing up in New York, everyone I knew could tell me about their heritage. My neighborhood was a perfect melting pot […]
Lance Remington Stuart Rood Redlands, CA Sometimes I feel like I have no identity. White american? what is that? Irish? German? Dutch? Danish? I want to be able to identify with those around me. I love learning about people. Their heritage, traditions and culture. By knowing someones race or races I can then proceed to […]
Anonymous Chadbourne Residential College