My race is not my nationality.

Linda Morris, Shawnee, KS. Growing up, I got teased a lot for being a fair-skinned black girl by kids who would assume and make sure I knew that one of my parents surely must be white or another nationality besides “black” (ah, kids). When I became a teen and young adult, I would get asked […]

You should marry a white man.

Camille G.S. San Francisco, CA Growing up as a first-generation Asian American, my family would tell me that I should marry a white man for economic and social stability. Not only would I have more stability but I would have “fairer-skinned children.” I hated the way they idolized Caucasians as the end-all for my life. […]

Mexican, people assume I speak Spanish

Anonymous Sacramento, CA I am mixed Filipina and Mexican. Parents divorced when I was young, both my parents remarried to racist people who felt the need to share their negative opinions, one against any other race but Caucasian (white step-father) and the other against any other race but Mexican (Fair skinned Mexican step-mother).

Light-skinned Jamaican that dosen’t speak Patois

Renee Wilmot-Graham Severn, MD Americans are surprised when I tell them my family is from Jamaica and even more surprised because I am fair skinned. I guess they assume all Jamaicans are brown skinned. Also I understand but do not speak Patois, which is Jamaica’s every day language.

Really? Because you don’t look Cuban.

Carina Tillan Hallandale, FL My rebuttal to that is usually “Then what am I supposed to look like?” You’d be surprised how often people realize they don’t have (or don’t want to give) an answer to that. And heaven forbid they learn I speak Spanish, almost as if it’s a greater accomplishment for me because […]

Here come the white people….Family!

Robbie Wolfe Chester, VA My mom and us, her children, were noticeably “lighter” than the rest of my family, which were very brown to dark-skinned people. Yet, that’s how we were greeted on Sundays and family gatherings, in front of other family members, friends and invited guests. Running joke? As I got older, I secretly […]