I always knew I was different.

Coleen Owens Katy, TX We (my sisters and I) were often the “minority” – growing up in a military household and moving often – whether it meant repeatedly being the new student or not speaking the language, we had many rich experiences because we didn’t fit in… we were nomadic for a time, and taught […]

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Chicana Falsa I Am Not!

Amber Nicole Gutierrez, Hemet, CA. Everyone grew up with a different life-style, just because I look of Mexican decent does not mean I am the same as every Mexican stereotype. I am an American and have grew up in the middle of both worlds of “American” and “Mexican”. I understand Spanish and speak some. I […]

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We’re all the same, but different.

Cynthia Parra, Beaumont, TX. Through my profession, I have been given the opportunity to work with university students from marginalized groups and I have become a local social justice advocate. What I have learned is that everyone one wants to be be love, accepted, and not judged. We as individuals, just go about looking for […]

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Latinas with fros are sexy too!

Jeanette Ruiz, Atlanta, GA. Growing up I learned to hate my afro hair. I was the only one in my family with course African hair texture. Although there were others in our Hispanic neighborhood with course hair and dark skin, my mother with straight silky hair made it seem like a problem. She would take […]

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Don’t Worry, we’re not so different

Epifanio Rios, Philadelphia, PA. My name is Epifanio, I am a fourteen year boy who attends the high school SLA. I probably know as much about race as the next guy but I think race is perceived differently by everyone. To me I think race can’t only be defined through your skin tone but were […]

I didn’t know they were different.

Tina S. Walther, Milan, MI. My mother was pregnant with me when she moved from upstate NY to the south in 1962. While the weather was nice the surroundings were challenging – especially for a white, woman, Catholic, with no accent and someone not willing to have a maid or gardener. So it was time […]

Mother gave me a different world.

Mary Horton Richmond, VA I didn’t realize until shortly before her death how different the world my mother gave me was from the one she was raised in. My mother had Alzheimer’s, and in the last few years of her life, she reverted to some of the attitudes and behaviors she had learned while growing […]

Always felt different. All are unique.

Nona Lynn Simons Orangevale, CA My Six Words: Have you ever felt different from everybody else? I have and sometimes I still do! In the fifth grade, I was different because I was part Jewish and my classmates weren’t. They went to church and I didn’t. During the last week of school, one of my […]

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Girls are different? Sorry, didn’t know.

Katharine Corona, CA When I was young I grew up on a street with boys and ended up being a pretty big tomboy. I enjoyed sports, I was competitive and I liked playing with my friends. As I got older I began volunteering at the local hospital and became a fire explorer with my friends. […]

Laid his change on the counter

Steve Williams USA I was 12 and working in my Dad’s gas station in a small town in Nebraska in 1968. I had never seen a black man before. As soon as I laid his change down instead of handing it to him directly I realized he was no different. But too late.

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Different Country Different Prejudice Same Struggle

Domhnall Mac Cann, Northern Ireland. This is my revoke of my yester days This is my chance to repeal, retract, reverse Every broken and unfulfilled promise Truly countermand this incertitude Which I have became accustom with Habituated towards easily and effortlessly Undoubtedly i will mitigate this self hate Seriously attenuate at any means necessary I […]

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Hollywood reminds me everyday. I’m different.

Seema, Chicago, IL. Women already have identity issues because of an extreme and over-sexed image of women in Hollywood. Additionally, women of color are marginalized because of their under-representation in TV, movies, magazines and advertising. As an Asian-American woman, I see very few Asian men and women and when I do see them, we are […]

Our different skins hold one love.

Ty Martinez, Oak Lawn, IL. Black Mexican Korean Italian – sharing the best of each other with each other through similar yet very different cultural experiences. We amplify our togetherness by honoring our own mixed uniqueness.

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My actions aren’t different from yours.

Navid Mehrabkhani, Hyattsville, MD. The purpose of choosing these words involves how my race impact and influence the ways others see me. People assume that’s because of my race, because I’m from Iran, people assume I’m a terrorist. I believe my race should not influence the way others interpret my life or my actions.

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Indian, European, past enemies collide kindly.

Harleen Thind, American Canyon, CA. The reason why I chose these six words are because my mother and father are of different races, my father is European and my mother is Indian. Indians and Europeans were enemies in the past, they despised each other in the worst of ways. My father decided not to care […]

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Just because I’m brown, I’m different

Jessica Hernandez, San Juan Capistrano, CA. My little sister were born light skinned versus me who was born brown. My parents like to bring that up all the time, saying that because she is light skinned, she’s going to get all the guys. Because she is light skinned, she will be beautiful. So what about […]

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Stuck between two races..fitting neither.

Margaret Hayes, Bartow, FL. I am mostly White on my mother’s side. Her family is all Southern. I do not look anything like them nor was I raised in the South so I don’t always think or act like they do. I am Native American on my father’s side. I definitely look much more like […]

Aye, don’t panic, I’m only Hispanic

Joshua Cruz, Salt Lake City, UT. As a Hispanic growing up in Utah, I have lived in multiple cities, each different than the other. From cities where the Hispanic culture is massive, to where I have become the only colored family in the neighborhood. With multiple occasions filled with accusations such as have you asked […]

Not American, not Mexican; something else.

Chuck Lehneis San Diego, CA Born here in San Diego, I find I fit in best. Yet, I don’t identify totally with the culture, by and large. Most of the surfers are white, most of the tourists are white, most of the people who are out and about on a Saturday night too. I see […]

Oh, your English is quite good.

Sandy Jiang, San Francisco, CA. When I was in a different state for a course, we were building a foot trail for a national park and I was talking to the park guide. We were talking for a bit and then he told me “Your English is very good. You have a nice tongue.” It […]

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Race is about culture not color.

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 […]

I’m here to change your stereotypes

Denali Lukacinsky, Honolulu, HI. People look at me and assume all kinds of offensive things about what black people are supposed to be like, they come up to me and explain all the ways that I’m “different”, and “better” and “not like them.” Well guess what, I am like them. Don’t lift me up by […]

1968. Black freshman roommate. Different planets.

Anne Lincoln, MA I was asked by Admissions if I would agree to having a black roommate. I said yes, but when she learned of the request (I never knew how), she was angry–at the school, and confusing to me, at me. From that moment on, there was only anger. I was naive and woefully […]

Can’t You tell I am Different

Jose Cabrera San Francisco, CA Can you not tell that I am different? From looking at me you would not be able to tell that I am vegetarian, that I care about the environment, and my grades. You would assume that I am Mexican, but then again aren’t all Latinos Mexican? You would assume that […]

Being singled out is painful

Lina, Denver, CO. Being here makes me aware of how different I am, that I am female, I am Asian. People would never consider me to partake in their social life. The only people who talk to me are men who want to get in my pants. I hope this is not applicable to most […]

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“What are you? Where’re you from?”

Bettina Sferrino, Oakland, CA. As a mixed race person, I get these questions all the time. The persons asking have a strong desire to know and place the “other,” and a feeling that somehow the persons asking these questions can’t move forward interacting with me without knowing that information. I can’t help but think for […]

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You’re pretty for a Black girl.

Maya Segirah, Los Angeles, CA. As if the qualifier, somehow, makes me different from the rest, which are by implication inferior, and therefore I’m better? I should be pleased with this? What makes people think THIS is a compliment? And why are they invariably annoyed when I point out that this is not a compliment?

The facts stop where feelings begin

John Smith, Las Vegas, TX. Races are diffrent, not only by color of skin, but by brain and how our body is built, its sad but true some races are capable to do better things then others, when the white man whas building rome the Africans where still living in mud houses, and most of […]

Southern Living: Caught Between Different Cultures

Jackie Houston, TX My parents are South American immigrants who were granted amnesty during the 1980s. I was born and raised in Texas. I didn’t have many Hispanic friends growing up. I grew up around many Texas Germans and am now at college in Houston studying German. People are surprised when they discover that I […]

Rejected because love is colorblind.

Paula Morris, Long Beach, CA. A white girl growing up in Orange County, CA, where I was that anything and anyone “different” was “bad”, I have found love with two wonderful men in my life: the first one (who died) was African American, and the second one is African. The happiness both have brought me […]

Race feels different everywhere you go

Sky, Skowhegan, ME. In mostly white places like Maine, I feel like there’s not very much obvious discrimination or prejudice. In 50/50 places like New Orleans, white people seems to live in rich neighborhoods like Uptown and the Garden district. The lower and upper ninth ward is where I lived. Mostly black people live there. […]

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Finally I learned to accept myself

Katherine Porter, San Leandro, CA. I grew up disowned by my racial cultures…too different from White, too different from Chinese. Talked about by cousins, wondered about by strangers, eroticized by college boys, and discounted by the census. Always had to check “other” on the surveys. Felt like I had to be the best example of […]

You’re scared, so I’ll act different

Anonymous, Mechanicsburg, VA. It is hard not to be myself to please someone else who does not really care about me at all. I hate having to be someone different when I am in public so I do not scare anyone else. It would be different if I was ignorant and loud in public, but […]

I am African-American. You’re Black.

Jake, USA. My mother is from Ghana and my father is from New York. I am African-American and it drives me crazy when people who have a distant relative from Africa consider themselves African-American when they have no cultural ties to Africa. Black Culture is different from African Culture.

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Race is irrelevant: I’m just HUMAN

Rabab Ahmed, Stamford, CT. “Where are you from?” is a question I used to proudly answer to when I was younger. Although I always had to clarify, “no, it’s not in India. It’s a small country right next to India.” But as I got older I found the question tedious and sometimes puzzling. It wasn’t […]

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“People are more alike than different.”

Nancy Sale. Pleasant Hill, CA. During my career as a public school teacher this statement (which I made up) was written on a paper banner by my students and hung on the wall of every one of my classrooms for years – I still have the banner even though I am now retired.

Begin: Befriend someone different than you.

Karen Fritts, USA. We talk and talk about race, but most of us stay in their own corners during the discussion. We cannot begin to understand each other from a distance. We cannot begin to trust one another without understanding. Are you willing to foster a friendship with someone different…a friendship that you are comfortable […]

¨Still happens today, just disguised differently.”

Jamila Best New York City, NY Brooklyn Whereas my ancestors dealt with the troubles of blatant racism, today, Blacks may find themselves in a position in which we are still facing racism, it’s just coded differently. Sometimes, it’s in the face of a disgruntled white employer who may depict you as an angry Black woman, […]

The Civil Rights Movement is Different

Tiana Icesis Bryant New York City, NY Brooklyn My six words are like the Civil Rights Movement is different from any other subject, more independent, it’s a Lone Ranger. All the other things people say that’s important are not really because they are backed up with some things. People back everything up that’s important to […]

Ambiguously different from everyone else. Stereotypes.

Jessica Winfrey Portland, OR I am biracial and bicultural and was educated for the first 6 years in a very diverse school on an air force base in North Dakota. After my parents divorced, my mom and I moved into the neighboring town, which was predominately white. I recall being warned ahead of time that […]

Hurt: Mother sent Jessie (black) home.

Joyce Jordan Fort Myers, FL This incident occurred when I was 7 years old. I never forgot it and remember watching her get back on the bus. It changed forever how I feel about race. To me Jessie was a friend. I never even noticed that her skin was different than mine.

LOVE acknowledges and celebrates racial differences.

Suzanne Koch Sunnyvale, CA First and foremost, I’m a mom. Being a mom to a child who doesn’t look the rest of our family is both the simplest thing in the world and the most complicated. Falling in love with my son, who is adopted and has brown skin, was as straight-forward as any Mama/Baby […]

They are different, get over it

Steve Bedminster, NJ Humans are diverse. Not all whites are the same culturally and genetically, and the same applies for Asian, Latin American, Spanish, and Black people as well. In this diverse world you will meet a great deal of diverse people. Most of them will be of different ethnicities than you. This is perfectly […]

I avoid people that are different.

Jill Noeh Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project-The University of Michigan Explanation: I’ve found that throughout my life, I have avoided people who look and act differently than me. I grew up in a white neighborhood that was sheltered from people who were different. At first it wasn’t me purposefully trying to avoid these people, […]

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Different Cultures, But Only One Race.

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.

Mixed Latina two times “different”, lonely.

Mara Andino Los Angeles, CA My parents are both Puerto Rican. My mom has red hair and freckles constantly mistaken for Northern European, my dad is Black and Tiano Indian. Growing up in NYC in the 60’s and 70’s not many people looked like ma and spoke Spanish too. It was a struggle too dark […]

A study of ethnicity in sisters

Miriam Lennmark Tampa, FL If you want to really look at how race affects us, look at sisters. Sisters with the same biological parents, same home, same everything…except the color of their skin, hair, and eyes. Our lives are so different. She looks Caucasian…I look…well, brown. Most people will tell me I look Latin, but […]

Is it because we’re different colors?

Jerry Cordaro Cleveland, OH I’m Caucasian, my wife is African-American, and we’re the parents of two kids. Because of our work schedules, I’m usually the one doing pickup and drop-off, and a few summers ago I was picking them up from camp. My son is light-skinned, and there was a little boy about six or […]

What does skin color actually mean

Gregory M. Foster Sr. Hamden, CT I served in the military with many different races. they were my friends my brothers in arms and my companions in times of despair I never felt they were anything less then another human being!

Different countries, different people, ALL one.

Su Stevens Dallas, TX I spent the first 24 years of my life in Mississippi. My father was from New Orleans and my mother was born and raised in Mississippi. I am Caucasian. My parents believed and taught us that every person was the same no matter what was different about them. At such a […]

No racists here; we are gated.

Peter Goodwin New York, NY We have separated ourselves into separate communities, sometimes with physical gates, often with mental or emotional gates, and so have very little contact with the ‘other’. And we can pretend that that we have no residue of racism in our emotional make-up while never having any contact with people of […]

Can’t forget; brownness makes me different.

Ananya Kepper Santa Monica, CA I walk around feeling like myself, not like an Indian woman in a sea of white people. It still catches me off guard when people ask “Where are you from?” “Santa Monica,” I reply, every time. “I was born in St. John’s Hospital on Santa Monica Blvd.” I make them […]

Everyone’s different, so deal with it

Christopher Sandoval Irvine, CA This may seem like a statement for someone to tell others, but its something I have to privately tell myself. I am a Mexican American engineer highly educated gay man. No mater what avenue I turn to for acceptance I will always stand out. Even in a family with six siblings […]