Britt Verstegen, Socorro, NM. I grew up as a blonde, blue-eyed kid in an interracial family within a racially diverse neighborhood of inner-city Detroit. My step-father is Black and my sisters are biracial. Due to my family composition, I became aware of white privilege at an early age. For example, I knew in third grade […]
Donna Reiss, Brownstown Twp , MI. Its Christmas time in Detroit, 1961. I was 3 years old and in the bank line with my Mom. There were 3 black men in front of us in line, talking and laughing amongst themselves. I had never seen, nor let alone been exposed, to people who didn’t look […]
Seydi, Detroit, MI. While growing up in Senegal some refer to me as dark as the buttocks of a cauldron, iIwas proud to be as dark as the stone of the Kaaba filled with love and light, often i dreamed to be blue-black as those vailant fishermen Lebou, Niominka or Guet-Ndar tauting the Sun Ra […]
Amanda Nelski, Los Angeles, CA. People like to put other people in boxes. “Where are you really from?” they ask. I used to answer Detroit. When they asked where my parents are from, Detroit was not suitable either. “You don’t look like you’re from Detroit.” After some banter I would eventually confess my lineage is […]
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.
Carrie Hunsinger, Wilmington, DE. I am a 1/2 first generation American. My Mother is American (Detroit) and my father is Dutch (Holland). He’s been here almost 60 years and he still speaks with a heavy Dutch accent and therefore I speak English with a bit of a Dutch accent. When 9/11 happened I was in […]
Joyce Fidler, Toluca Lake, CA. In 1956 I was in first grade, my mother was Japanese-Hawaiian, and I knew nothing about WWII. I didn’t realize my mother was part Japanese, nor did I know why anyone should care. Years later in high school I failed to grasp why students on my Indianapolis school bus would […]
Emmett Crawford Jr., Detroit, MI. Because of my resume and my phone voice, I was given an interview for a job.
David, Detroit, MI. To the cops, I am “white”. To many others I am “not” black. I don’t try to pass and I don’t try to compensate for it by “acting” black. I am very direct about these issues though. I am a black guy. How much more direct can I be? I’m not adopted. […]
Rashad Brown, Detroit, MI.
Kimberly, Detroit, MI. I was just listening to Talk of the Nation with Celeste Headlee discussing Navigating The Lines Between Ethnicity And Identity and I could relate to notion of being biracial and adopted into a white family and having to explore my identity through education and exposure to other black people. I’ve learned that […]
Aku Kadogo, teacher South Korea I am an African American woman from Detroit, MI. I have lived in Australia since 1978. My daughter is African American Australia (Caucasian father). My grand daughter’s father is from Thailand. I am currently living and teaching in S. Korea. I have spent many years with Indigenous people in Australia, […]
Barbara Fought, Jamesville, NY. Faculty The most impacting cultural experience for me related to race was when in the 20s I lived in Detroit, a majority-black city.
Hadsim, Chicago, IL. Grew up in Detroit. 1970s. Did time in the Nation of Islam for 2 years. Father was discriminated against at work (thus the NOI). My mother just didn’t like white people. I’m was raised to hate them. And 40-plus years on, my parents’ anger left a residue that difficult to watch off. […]
Anastasia Rogers, Detroit, MI. I am a firm believer that everyone, no matter if you’re a man, woman, or something in between, black, white, Asian, or a different race, should be treated equally and with respect. That being said, I often find myself making snap, harsh judgments about people that I’ve never even had a […]
Norris Howard Detroit, MI Over 50 people in this bar and you approach the only group of black men and ask them a drug related question. You don’t even see your own ignorance.
Kiwana Johnston Detroit, MI One of the things I’ve hated hearing the most is, “I didn’t know dark skinned people could be pretty until I met you”. It is a double sided insult that smells of self-hatred when expressed by other black people & cruel ignorance when expressed by other races. It’s as if people […]
Sylvia Anderson Albuquerque, NM Raised in Detroit, parents liberal, family on both sides of civil war. Grandfather said “The south likes the black man and hates the black race, north likes the black race and hates the black man. My six words relate to a trip south in 1963. I desperately needed a restroom and […]
Danielle Hayden Detroit, MI My freshman year of college, a boy at orientation (with whom I had only recently become acquainted told me that the only reason I had gotten into the University of Michigan was because of Affirmative Action. This wounded me deeply, and I became obsessed with proving to everyone how intelligent I […]
Jenifer Daniels Charlotte, NC As child, I was labeled ‘talkative’ and a ‘trouble maker’…when all along I was really gifted and left to languish.
Markeisha Miner Detroit, MI
Glenn Oliver Detroit, MI University of Michigan Law We have to figure out how to create a society where people are comfortable living and working around people of all races.
Daniel Varner Detroit, MI The University of Michigan Law
Jerome R. Watson Detroit, MI University of Michigan Law
Rev. Kathy Bird DeYoung, Aurora, CO. I was raised in metro Detroit in one of the white northern suburbs. Now I live in the most integrated city in the nation, Aurora, Colorado. My city of origin is more integrated now, thankfully. But, I still wouldn’t want to return. I’m frustrated by this new ethic where […]
Cynthia Detroit, MI Growing into my African heritage in America, I love to wear my hair how it naturally grows. I get the stares of disapproval but we all must remember i’m not here for your approval. Please, ask before you touch.
Nathan S Detroit, MI With all of the talk of racial tensions in the US today, it is important to remember that the only difference between the commonly accepted races is skin color and, sometimes, facial features. Beyond that, people are all largely the same. Studies have been made showing that the vast majority of […]
Quinn Woods Detroit, MI It’s always bugged me, that when it comes to filling out “race” on things such as applications, the only thing that applies to me is “white”. Others get to check their origin. African american, Asian, American Indian, Hispanic, Hawaiian Island or White. I’m not just white, I’m half Polish, a quarter […]
Submitted via Twitter: @shannon2818
Taesha Detroit, MI I think almost every dark-skinned black girl goes through a phase (that hopefully she grows out of) where she doesn’t believe she is beautiful in this ideally white society. But what can you expect when she is emerged in a society that constantly bombards her with the ideology “the lighter the better?” […]
Mary Detroit, MI My dad was born in 1906 and would say this about perhaps the first black female anchor on a Detroit TV station; I can’t remember her name. I hope I replied “why can’t you just say she’s pretty?”
Ginny Adams North Platte, NE I learned this from my parents while growing up in Detroit; 60* years later I still find myself struggling not to react this way.
Bomani Kyasa Detroit, MI We are Designed to Benefit from the Fruits of Our Own Labor. Anti-Life forces structure socio-economic conditions to to turn People and Specific Races into drones via a pernicious objectification process. Living is about pushing or obliterating the boundaries of the imagination; so that, that the Creative Human Spirit can Soar […]
Crystal White Detroit, MI Growing up with a fair complexion in a place like Michigan is harder than most would think. With Detroit being pretty much the only city inhabited by African Americans until recent years, living in the suburbs was a difficult life. From being called the n-word in elementary school where I was […]
Matthew Neal Detroit, MI Nothing about who I am, where I am from, what I look like, and what I have done will ever have an effect on how much GOD has loved me. I love him because he loved me first.
Robert Whitley Renaissance High School class of 2013 Detroit, MI
Zachary Terzich Ann Arbor, MI After July, 1967’s race riots, my grandfather and thousands of other white families abandoned the once “Paris of the Midwest”, Detroit, MI for the safer suburbs. To this day the suburbs are stable and mostly white, while the city itself is in decay and almost entirely black. Good people on […]
Kimberly Siple Detroit, MI This quote from The Black Socialite Blogspot helps explain my choice. ”although the ”one drop rule” law was ruled unconstitutional in 1967. So anyone identifying themselves as ”Black” today is doing so out of cultural and political choice-especially when they have the option as ”passing” for something else.” posted by The […]
Kimberly Dorsey, Detroit, MI. I am bi-racial and have been raised in a white family inside Detroit. I have suffered many racially motivated injustices in my travels and it makes me angry when people pretend race doesn’t matter. It matters when you are the one being discriminated against.
Faith Darnell Detroit, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan
Fred T Black Detroit, MI After so many years the atmosphere created by the Lynch papers among people of color, is finally dissipating. More and more groups are beginning to work together to improve society. A foundation of trust is being built.
Lynne D. Green Detroit, MI Understanding Race Project – University of Michigan That’s what we hear in America and I haven’t seen any evidence of it yet!!!!
Andrew Detroit, MI Following baseball exclusively on the radio (in the 90s!) from the suburbs of Detroit as a seven year old I just assumed all of the players were white. So that’s another little, scary outcome of hypersegregation.
Dolly Szymanski Fort Wayne, IN Both of these quotes are things my mother heard or said The first quote – my mother was a child playing at the home of a classmate who happened to be black. Detroit, MI 1920’s.
Carmen Davis Portland, OR I was a very young child from the Midwest traveling with my mother by train to Detroit in the 1940’s. There was an African American couple on the train with a wonderfully packed picnic basket. As a very gregarious child I was eager to explore the car. My mother told me […]