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
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 […]
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is perfectly acceptable for mainstream media to characterize Appalachian people in ways that would incite outrage and not be published were it about another minority group.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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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, […]
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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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
Ashley C Canada The colour of my skin does not define who I am, and colours can often be misleading. When people ask me “what I am” I tell them I am human. I am a product of my environment. I am a piece of my mother, my father, my grandparents, and my extended family. […]
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?
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 […]
William Lee Posey, Jr. San Diego, CA DNA test indicates I am 13% Sub-Saharan African which is the same DNA of African Americans. Since my heritage is from the Southeast United States, this should not be surprising. Some people, both black and white do not want to believe or accept that a white person raised […]
Susan A. Chicago, IL Stereotypes that are now labeled as racist, actually have nothing to do with race. Actually, it is cultural difference which causes problems. Culture is what forms differences in values, ways of speaking, ways of dressing, whether people talk in loud voices or quiet voices, what people eat, what their cooking smells […]
Karen Duke Hyattsville, MD Light skinned black people experience the racism from within and outside our culture.
Diama Gabriel Miami, FL I’m in between waters. I’m not African American for the black Americans, and I’m not a Latina for the Latino community. I’m a proud black Puertorrican woman who moved to USA 13 years ago. Upon my arrival to the States, I lived in a mainly African American community in Miami but […]
Scott Auden Colchester, CT “Race” is an arbitrary collection of cosmetic features with no reality beyond the cultural.
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 […]
Sue Rushfirth Sudbury, MA It strikes me that one way of assessing just how evolved we are as a culture would be to consider the reaction of most people to a trans racial adoption with black parents and a white baby.
Anonymous Burke, VA As a child of two culture I was always on the outside of both.
Mark Fitchett Morristown, TN
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.
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 […]
William O’Lynnger Deep River, CT As the world culture swirls together, the flavors are lost.
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 […]
Darcel Reyes Yonkers, NY I am a nurse and the concept of cultural competence is taught in nursing school and addressed in mandatory inservices in healthcare organizations. I am now a doctoral student and find that the topic is being researched to death. But white cultures get a pass on cultural competence. We only have […]
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 […]
Tamara Oneida, KY I don’t think that white Americans should have to apologize for being in the majority in this particular country, nor should they feel bad for having their own unique culture. I think people should just live their lives and quit worrying about whether the majority approves.
Published on May 16, 2012 by Mercedes Barragan Inspired by Michele Norris, some very ambitious employees at Cascade Engineering wanted to know how its employees felt about race. We created race cards similar to the ones Norris uses and passed them out to employees at Cascade Engineering. Over 100 employees expressed their personal feelings around race […]
Submitted via Twitter: @zerode San Francisco, CA A quote from jazz critic Albert Murray. More about Albert Murray: Taken from http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/murray-albert-1916 Albert Murray, an African American novelist, jazz critic, professor, and essayist, was born in Nokomis, Alabama on May 12, 1916. His birth parents were Sudie Graham and John Young but he was adopted by […]
Aracely Coronado Philadelphia, PA As a Latina born in San Francisco, CA, educated with wealthy white kids, I learned to navigate their world, it was easy; learn their ways, be like them to get ahead. That’s what I was taught. My family provided the real culture, the language, the authentic Latina-ness in my blood. But […]
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…
Alexis Brown Philadelphia, PA I think race and culture are used as synonyms entirely too much. I think the distinction between race and culture is important, and that we must stop using one word when we mean to use the other. I am an African-American woman, proud of both my race and my culture. Although […]
Holly Clegg Ann Arbor, MI Culture makes us who we are; our roots make us who we are. We are defined by our interactions, identified by our achievements. But we are not who we are because of race.
Connie Mortara Tewksbury, MA Growing up I didn’t “know” I was Mexican American (we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us). It wasn’t until I moved east that I discovered that I am so very very Mexican. But its not my color that speaks to my background — it is so much deeper. Family, […]
Katherine Rand Submitted via Twitter: @itsalldhamma
Emily Laske Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I lived in a small city that was 94% white, with minimal exposure to the concepts of race and racism. Coming to the University of Michigan was an extreme sort of diversity culture shock for me, and through my courses I have gained knowledge […]
Amelia McConnell Panorama City, CA Sometimes as a white person I feel that my race lacks culture compared to other cultures. When I continue to reflect on it, I know that we still have culture, but the traditions feel a bit generic. Until recently, instead of defining the white race as one big group, people […]
Stephanie USA I have visited the countries of my ancestors and I may have similar features, but that is where the similarities end. Americans have a unique, rich, and varied culture that I am proud to be from this country. I am American, pure and simple.
Jordan Bo Delaware, USA My experiences living in foreign countries have given me a unique worldview, yet those experiences as well as my mixed ethnic background have allowed me no culture to call my own.
Katherine Liu Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I dislike it when people say that they don’t pay attention to the color of one’s skin, or they’re essentially “color-blind”. There should be no PREJUDICE or DISCRIMINATION toward anyone on the basis of their skin tone, but race creates cultures that have their […]
James Drake Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan
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, […]
Alicia Riddick Helton Seguin, TX
Jason Smith Long Beach, CA I sometime catch people off-guard when I ask them what they mean by saying “your the whitest black guy I know”. What does that mean? Is there some kind of way I’m supposed to dress, talk and act. I think there is a underlying most of the time unintentional racist […]
Matthew Duris Fresno, CA Race has no basis in biology I hope it’s OK that I did a number of them, each one encapsulates a bite-sized chunk of the construct of the human mind that is race. Much like other constructs of the human mind, such as time and money, race both mesmerizes and beguiles […]
Jasmine Elizabeth Smith Oklahoma City, OK “But I’m White. I don’t have a culture I identify with.” I often hear this rueful phrase during discussions about multiculturalism with my non African American friends. I think Americans need to redefine the meaning of the word ‘culture’. Culture does not refer to ethnicity or nationality, but should […]
Robert San Francisco, CA Fear of outsiders is not the same as hate for outsiders. Urban cultural stereotypes popularized and promoted by the very individuals in that culture have played an important role I creating fear. It’s not the reason but it is irresponsible of us not to talk about it.