Neither This or That, but Also

Rena Joy Dunbar, Eugene, OR. Our Black and White bi-racial identity was questioned even before we emerged from the womb. What ‘race’ would we turn out to be? Which ‘race’ would we choose? These questions and the dual nature of our identities continue to challenge perceptions.

Base your Judgment on the inside.

Colby Finch, Eugene, OR. Im Colby Finch, 16 yrs old. I grew up in foster care, and in the system, I met a lot of people who were colored. I made a connection with another youth. His name was Devonte, and my foster parents at the time were uneasy about people of color. I brought […]

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Witnessing people confusing anecdote with fact

Deborah Robinson, Los Angeles, CA. I grew up in profoundly white Eugene, Oregon, where I’d laugh at banners emblazoned, CELEBRATE DIVERSITY. “What, as long as it’s not here?” I’d wonder. Yet the whiteness of my hometown did not mean it was a racially hostile one. I nurtured no ill will for folks from different walks […]

Self-image shattered living in South.

Carol Salami-Goswick Eugene, OR I’m a white woman who was born, raised, and lived in CA until I was 54. I was in college during the 60’s and was sympathetic to the black folks struggling for equality in the South. In my 30’s I had a serious relationship with a black man. I worked in […]

Raised mixed, married mixed, had mixed.

Alisha Partlow Eugene, OR My mother is red haired, blue eyed Danish/German. My father, dark haired, brown eyed Mexican. I married a man whose biological mother was a 6foot blonde of Swedish decent, and we assume his father was African american. Our offspring consists of a 22 year old, red haired, green eyed freckled face […]

Photo courtesy of Devin Ream Photography, www.devinream.com.

I don’t know why I’m white.

Eric Braman, Eugene, OR. University of Oregon Eric is a performer from the group Rehearsals for Life. As part of the University of Oregon’s Identity Project, students from the University of Oregon Rehearsals for Life group organized and performed a skit that mirrored the theme of Michelle Norris’ “Race Card Project.” Their act touches on […]

A missplaced comma, in fluid sentences.

Anil Oommen Eugene, OR University of Oregon I am brown, a Malayalee, a person of Indian descent in a primarily white setting. This is often awkward. It is not unusual for me to feel like a misplaced comma, in the fluid sentences of white experience. Only when I limit what I say and refrain from […]

Curious about differences and common ground

Holly Simons Eugene, OR Since I was very young, I’ve been curious about people’s experiences, lives, ideas, and hopes. It’s what inspires me to travel, read, and continue to learn throughout my life. I’m drawn to find common ground with people who are dramatically different from me. And this old truth guides me: the more […]

I’m not Mexican because I’m brown!

Tammie Cordova Eugene, OR People think because I have olive colored skin, brown eyes, and brown hair that I’m Mexican. Not that there is anything wrong with being Mexican but that is not my ethnicity. I am Navajo, Portuguese, and some Scottish, Irish, and Cherokee and probably some other but I look more Navajo and […]

God has made us all BEAUTIFUL.

Grace Bowling Eugene, OR It’s rough being different. Human nature/society/whatever tells us differences are bad. They truly aren’t and as cheeseball as it sounds, the sooner we start valuing what is inside each other, the better.

Liberal yet never felt at ease.

Susan Eugene, OR After a lifetime of feeling uncomfortable around most people, white or of any race, my face now defaults to a doubtful distrustful set of creases in the presence of strangers. Sometimes I feel like telling the rare black person I see off campus that I’m awkward around everyone, but it’s also true […]

We are all shades of brown.

Paul Ruscher Eugene, OR Explore Identity It is time to ignore appearance…it facilitates judging others. I am a father of 11 including 5 adopted kids and I love them all and wish others did. but my biological kids (Caucasian) have always been more accepted than my darker complected ones (adopted from India and some from […]

Acknowledging whtie privilege — just the start.

Shannon Rose Eugene, OR Explore Identity People have so much baggage about privilege. So often people act as though it’s the end of a conversation. That somehow acknowledging the privilege that comes with just being seen as white means that you didn’t work hard for what you have, or that you don’t deserve it. I […]

You’re White, You Can’t Be Hispanic

Erica Shofner Eugene, OR Explore Identity Being mixed race is a blessing and a curse. I don’t have to deal with the unfortunate social stigma that comes with being Hispanic in America because of my light complexion, but I’m deprived of acceptance by the Hispanic community for the same reason. I thirst to experience that […]

Too white to be Asian, too Asian to be white.

Sara Higgins Eugene, OR Explore Identity “I’m not interested in living in a world where my race is not a part of who I am. I am interested in living in a world were our races, no matter what they are, don’t define our trajectory in life.” – Kerry Washington (Behind the Scenes of Scandal […]

What color is THIS one, Daughter?

KT Holbrook-Yanit Eugene, OR What my white father asked because I dated young men of several ethnicities. I have to admit I was sad but relieved when he passed away the year before I married my non-white husband. Now I feel he would have grown up had he gotten the chance to meet his beautiful […]

Ain’t no n***** Santa Claus, kid

Rebecca Lee Hammons Eugene, OR My race card goes out with deepest apologies to and admiration for the nine black students who first integrated the formerly all-white school system in Brookhaven, Mississippi, in 1967 — especially to the youngest of them, a fourth grader whom I taunted with these words. If I could only take […]

Watermelon on black colleague’s desk. 2012!

Anonymous Eugene, OR This was done as a practical joke. The most frequent question I have heard is not about why someone would do this, but how on earth someone could think this was funny. My generation is in their thirties, and living on the West Coast I have sometimes needed to explain the history […]