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I’M African American. Am I African-American?

Dahomey Abanishe, Secrest, FL. As a child in Kansas, I always assumed I was African-American and not because of what I was culturally but because of how I looked. I am Truly a Nigerian American culturally. My father is Nigerian and I was raised eating pepper stew and listening to Fela. No one fried chicken […]

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No white Barbies for this one.

Samantha Williams, Pensacola, FL. My father is black and my mother is Filippino. I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where the majority of my mother’s family lives, I was not as well acquainted with my father’s side of the family. My father stated that they weren’t going to make the same “mistakes” with […]

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Mom, why do they hate us?

Theresa Salomon, Parkland, FL. A few months ago, as my 7 year old son was about to seat next to a class mate, he was told that Blacks should stay on the other side. That sentence changed our lives. My son and I had many conversations about racisms, and throughout I was able to redirect, […]

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“They” should all be like you.

Shelagh Mullings, Coral Springs, FL A white supervisor said this to me in 1965 when I was the lone “Negro” working in a white collar job for a large international corporation in San Francisco. I am a naturalized American with light skin (yellow) who was born in Jamaica, BWI. I was well-spoken, quiet (shy), and, […]

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Alert! Very Dark woman travelling alone.

Tess, Melbourne, FL. Recently I have had to face the fact that my very dark skin is indeed the first thing most people notice about me. The fact that I’m short/tall, healthy/not healthy, sad/happy, age and what not seem to follow way after my dark skin has introduced me to the world. I love to […]

Este hombre es un negro blanco!

Isaias Ortiz Davenport, FL Este hombre es un negro blanco! This man is a white black. The first time I heard that phrase was circa 1980, a family member said while referring to one of his friends, while they were singing and playing their guitars together. I was 20 years old by then, growing up […]

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Not African. Not American. Not Haitian.

Ahpaly Coradin, Pembroke Pines, FL. It is easy to forget that discrimination, ostracism and prejudice are not the exclusive currency of the white race. As much as I have been discriminated against by whites in America and abroad, I have suffered similarly from my own kind, in all my lands of origin.

Cafe con leche; side of bagel

Raquel Diaz, Miami, FL. I’ve used this protocol in workshops before and it was quite reflective to see that I identify with being Cuban (cafe con leche) American (side of bagel). I am proud of my Cuban parents leaving behind everything to give us a better future in America. I love being Cuban American!!!

Irish slavery. Where are the documents?

Howard Bonds, Miami, FL. I hear many people talk about Irish slavery in the Americas. Yet, I can find no documents. No ship names. No bills of sale. No ledgers, tariffs or transactions of any type. Europeans kept very detailed documents of their shipping even way back then. So far only african slave ships are […]

My heritage is Irish, not white.

S. Aleana, Ocala, FL. I did not come from a privileged white family. My family line on all sides traces back to the early 1900’s. They were poor Irish immigrants. I have been told I do not understand how minorities feel because I am white and privileged. I have never been handed anything in life, […]

Name’s not white enough/too white

Harmony, Titusville, FL. Having been born in the 70’s, my parents gave me a pretty groovy name. I love my name! But people make a lot of assumptions about me because of it. Mostly they assume I’m going to end up being either “Overly black” or “Overly white” because of it. I’ve had people conducting […]

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My race does not define me

Kristin Koby, Palm Bay, FL. I was put up for adoption before I was even born. A loving white family of 7 took me in and treated me, a mixed race infant, as their own. They soon after adopted a black child so that I could have a sibling my age to grow up with […]

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The Truth Spoken Behind Closed Doors

Anonymous, Miami, FL. Though I was born and Raised in a suburb a few miles south of Miami, Florida. My mom and dad are from Ethiopia and Sudan respectively. As a child, I’d say about 99% of the community were “white”. During middle and high school it shifted to about 49% “white”, 49% Hispanic and […]

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We All Look The Same Inside

Eliyahu Hakohen, Englewood, FL. Being Hebrew is no picnic, everyone uses us for their scapegoat when needed. Jews have been blamed for all the madness including the black plague. Is that why we are the Chosen People ?

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DATING AS A “BLACK” MAN…

NR Jr., Tampa, FL. So as a paid volunteer in the US Armed Forces who has traveled extensively across the world. America has a “big” color issue. I spent 6 years living abroad and coming “home” is the worst thing ever… Let me give you the reader a take into my thus short life of […]

Why we hafta be “Afro” Anything?

Walter T. Pearson, Jacksonville, FL. I’m a black man, of many various ethnicities, Fifth American generation, from a family of military veterans,including my children who are currently serving in the Afghanistan region wars. I have no relatives from Africa (that I know of),so I wonder WHY must anyone that is not white, have to be […]

Marble faced ghost appears, Racism denied.

Kathy Maloney Johnson, Ormod Beach, FL. Racist rants lightly veiled stringently denied. Actual face appears in marbled swirl. “Take back our country” racism deniers. Racism deniers family of holocaust deniers. Unto the fourth generation eugenics theorists.

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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 […]

I’m seventy two, and race tired!

Celeste Havis, Jacksonville, FL. Science and religion alike informs us that the concept of race is an illusion. Why do we continue to hang on to this antiquated concept when it only serves to divide us? I have dedicated my life to building positive human relations and now it appears to me that we are […]

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Computer Science CEO, you own this?

Desh Bagley, Tampa, FL. Yes. I am the owner of the science and technology center that offers Java, C++, Arduino, Robotics, and Engineering workshops for students. Yes. I do wish that more girls took classes here. No. The young guys who take classes aren’t surprised by me. Yes. It’s their parents who often ask to […]

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You will play Rachael from Isreal.

Margret Treiber, Naples, FL. Let me preface this with the fact that I don’t openly despise the holiday season. I have nothing against the passing Christmas Carol or jazzed up tree. In fact, I do enjoy “the season” somewhat. I grew up in a very secular environment. For the first several years of elementary school, […]

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My parents fought…..Why should i?

LaPortia Barrows, Daytona Beach, FL. My parents fought for not just my equality but my children’s children’s equality. Why is that I still have to explain to my children that some people are not going to like them just because of the color of their skin? Why do I have to shield my children from […]

They hate us for what? Why?

Mr. Louis W. Hill, Homestead, FL. So my ancestors were brought here and was sold, beaten, raped, and much more and to this day the ancestors of the people who did that is still at it and has been joined by others who’s ancestors never knew my ancestors. Yet for years, we have been acting […]

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Pale skinned but black don’t fit.

Zanetea Reece, Fort Myers, FL. I am a bright skinned young woman, grew up in Southwest FL. We we’re not tought about our history in school. But racisim is and was learned at home. Because of that I grew up and still am a loner. No one wanted to be friend me because I didn’t […]

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Defined by race – who am I?

Jamie Lee Myers Jacksonville, FL Many people seem to identify who they are by their race. We also all seem to have a tendency toward making assumptions based on how people look. I am fair with naturally red hair that is currently blonde. Most think I am Irish and that is in my family tree, […]

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Dont judge, until you know me.

Sheila Khakpour, Jacksonville, FL. Now a days everyone is so quick to judge each other. It simply just takes one look. It can be based on your skin color, how you look, or even your name. People are so quick on judging other individuals, no one actually tries to get to know each other anymore. […]

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I’m not just a Black Man

Jared Blocker, Gainesville, FL. My name is Jared. And this is my attempt at trying to post a race card. I was born and raised in the US, yet I don’t see myself as just black, I also see myself as an African-American. Whenever I hear the term “black” I think of my brothers and […]

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So, what exactly are you anyway?

Lisa Dawson Andrzejczyk, Palm Coast, FL. I am black.. I never thought of myself as anything else. I am light-skinned for certain, clearly aware that few if any of my African ancestors exited a slave ship looking like me; but ever since I was a little girl people felt if was someone appropriate to ask […]

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Like religion and law historically advantageous

Warner Squire, Bartow, FL. I’m convinced that much of our society and standards are based on perpetuating manufactured truths in order to manipulate people who have become way too busy to do their own research in SO many areas; not only do they have little time and resources, but they are taught from a young […]

Can we stop comparing our sufferings?

Alyssa Yates, Orlando, FL. I was going to say something about how it pis*** me off that some people assume that my life has been easy just because I’m white (in some 6 word format), but then I thought about how bigoted I am against rich people. I’m not even a hateful person, and it’s […]

First generation American, no root anywhere

Crissie Acosta Miami, FL Born of Cuban immigrants there is a sense of loss of my heritage, culture and traditions. My parents came to this country when they were children themselves carrying little to nothing but the clothes on their backs and even less of their culture and traditions. They were raised in an era […]

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Future Doctor. Double Standard Of Excellence!

D’Lauren Oxidine, Delray Beach, FL. As a future doctor of education, one would assume that success would be highly attainable. However, because of my age, gender and race my level of success is different from my older male and female counterparts of different races. Knowing this means treating my entire doctoral experience as an unofficial […]

You’re not from these parts, huh?

Steven N. Pembroke Pines, FL I am Hispanic, born and raised in New York. I served in the Marine Corps from 1988 to 1992 and was stationed in Jacksonville, NC. I was on my way to Fayetteville to visit some friends and got lost on the way. I stopped at some convenience store to ask […]

As American as rice and beans

Jorge Valladares Orlando, FL My parents came to this country as undocumented immigrants from Honduras, Central America. Their three children provide public service of some kind – I work with students with disabilities at a public college; my sister is a high school Spanish teacher and my brother is a former post-9/11 US Marine and […]

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This guy named Ish can Fish

Noah Clayton, Lakeland, FL. In the past year I have started be become really fond with Bass fishing. I caught my first Bass towards the end of 2012 and ever since then I have become “hooked”. As I was watching videos on YouTube and doing a little research on techniques and places to fish I […]

Look in the EYE, smile, say HI!

Deborah Williams Clearwater, FL Fear affects all of us. Bad people are out there but it’s not based on skin color. When you walk by, take a moment to look that fear in the eye. Smile and say HI! You will see that 99.9% of the time your fear was unfounded.

All have same needs, desires, fears.

Chris Todd, Big Pine Key, FL. As a nurse, working with black nurses, I realized there was a bigger gulf with regards to socioeconomic class than with race. My coworkers, regardless of race, wanted their kids to go to college, not get pregnant out of wedlock, not get in trouble with the law. But my […]

Wait, But You Don’t Look Mexican

Chloe Servin, Miami, FL. I’ve gotten that phrase countless times. Pupils, teachers, when I meet new people. I currently am pale with slight color, but when I was younger I’d go outside every day and I was active, so I had a much darker color, plus I’d also go to the pool almost daily. One […]

Nobody knows I’m NOT the enemy!

Marlene Krantz, Miami, FL. I’m lily white with blonde hair. I have black children and black grandchildren. In 1980 I married an African American man and we had 2 daughters. I lost custody of my 10 year old son because of discrimination. I really feel sad about all this discrimination around the world.

“Shonda?” No interview. “SK?” Wow, interview!

Shonda Kay Purvis, Green Cove Springs, FL. I have had to rebrand myself and change my name because “Shonda K. Purvis” (and her “BLACK” resume) doesn’t get job interviews, but SK Purvis (and “his” “WHITE” resume) does. (By the way, I am a Caucasian female. You thought I was black, didn’t you?)

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Parents gave me Confederate flag: protection

Steve Morris, Seattle, WA. In the mid-1950s my father made a business trip from our home in Connecticut to Florida and back. He decided to make the trip by car, and to take my mother, my brother, and me along with him for a family travel experience. In the Deep South I witnessed undisguised segregation […]

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She’s not my maid, I’m hers

Mara Floyd Fort Myers, FL Doris* and my mother have been best friends for over 40 years. Both teachers with their masters’ degrees, the two women from neighboring cities met at an educational conference. They were as different as could be. One was married, one was divorced. One owned a house, the other lived in […]

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“But you’re not ‘really’ black, right?”

Danielle Petterson, Tampa, FL. I have light brown skin and I consider myself to be mixed. Most people have a simple-minded belief that “mixed” means that one parent is black while the other is white. To me, it runs so much deeper than that. I have 4 grandparents from 4 different countries: Puerto Rico, Curaçao, […]

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Oh, so you speak Russian, right?

Sonja Racquel Bradley, Flagler Beach, FL. When I was a child, I confess that I hated my name. Of all the ‘s’ names my parents could have picked, why this one? Why not Sabrina, or Sasha? At the very least, they could have utilized the “normal, American” way of spelling it: Sonia or Sonya. But […]

Struck for Dancing with Blacks, Why?

M C Antone, Ft Lauderdale, FL. In 1969 I told my parents that I would rather dance with the black kids at a high school dance. My father stated he did not want anyone calling his daughter a “n*****” lover. I retorted “I am and I’m proud of it” Then he struck me. I can […]

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White child calls black man Dad

Morgan Fort Lauderdale, FL My now three and a half year old brother named Kendall was born to two crack addicted parents. My grandmother now has full custody of him and is his Mother figure. My grandma goes a few times a week to the Walmart across the street to do her grocery shopping. Benny […]

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Checking OTHER is so liberating and fun

Maggie Martinez, WEST PALM BEACH, FL. When I get the chance to check “other ” on any form it makes me feel as if I am tearing down another little wall and letting the form creators know that I will not be put in a box. Race is fake and constructed to keep people of […]

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Not you, you’re from the Caribbean

Johanne Rahaman, Miami, FL. I am half black, half Indian, from the Trinidad, with an obvious Caribbean accent, and while I enjoy adding my bit to the diversity of America, it’s also a curse, because I have often in the past heard people make derogatory comments about African-Americans in my presence. They have referred to […]

Smile and the world frowns back

Elizabeth Thompson, Gulf Breeze, FL. I cannot claim to know how it feels to be black. I cannot claim to know. Unless you are black, neither can you claim to know. Because we non-blacks do not know. If you can imagine though, and wonder what it would be like, to walk with the burden of […]

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No, I am not the nanny.

Liliane Dizon, Tampa, FL. Each time I have been pregnant, people (mostly white women) have said the rudest things to me. Most recently, as my daughters were standing next to me, a woman said “You must be excited to finally have one of your own!” I asked her to clarify what she meant. She pointed […]

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If you’re Dominican, then you’re Haitian!

Jessica Carmona, Fort Lauderdale, FL. People always insist on the fact that because I am from the Dominican Republic I’m Haitian. No. I don’t think this is so because I don’t follow any of the Haitian customs and I’ve never even been there. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being Haitian it’s just that […]

I cannot choose just one race

Jade Pritchett, Port St. Lucie, FL. Growing up, I never understood how I was supposed to chose a bubble, check a box, pick one race. I am multiracial, and proud of it. Teachers would tell me to choose the one that I “feel”. Does that mean that I can’t feel them all? When I grew […]

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Ashamed to be a White American

Maria, Lakeland, FL. I’m Italian, so have to identify as white. Do I stand with ‘Christian white america’? No. Race, oritentation, even hair color are not things I judge people on. “Love your neighbor as yourself”, period. No If’s And’s or But’s about it.

Sins of the Fathers live on.

Johanna Riddle, New Smyrna Beach, FL. I’ve always known that I was descended from slave owning families. This is something I shared with my students as we began to explore the history of slavery in the United States. I’ve always believed that we must be willing to take an honest look at history, and at […]

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I see much. I feel everything.

Jeanie Mitchell, Atlantic Beach, FL. I’m a taxi driver. I’ve been accused of being too liberal to be a cab driver. I see so much, every day. I transport a lot of people and I hear so many stories. I fear being a white woman, carrying a white man, in this industry, more than I […]

“Puro Mestizo”: Each, either. Both. Neither.

Gil L. Pettigrew, MS Miami, FL I am a university science instructor, science educator, naturalist, scientist & author based in culturally diverse South Florida who is not only proud but smug about my my multitribal, multiethnic (Creek-CherokeeXCeltic-AfricanAmerican-Latin-French) Indigenous American heritage.

I like rice; one-eighth Chinese

Marlene Resnick Sarasota, FL My Uncle Eddie was my favorite uncle. He took me to every carnival, fair and circus in town. He was Irish, my only non-Jewish relative and he was my hero. Aside from the ethnic confusion he created, he was the kind of mentor, supporter and playful companion that I wish for […]

Guilt. I loved my Annie so.

Lisa VonTress Las, Sunrise, FL. As a child growing up in the DC suburbs, I had no idea about what was going on. I had Annie, who was with my family 6 years before I was born until I was 13 when my father moved us. I came back to her later as she worked […]

Skin color shouldn’t define our needs

Olivia Sliwa, Brandon, FL. I am a freshman in college and grew up in a loving, supportive family. Myself and both of my parents are white, but the always instilled in me to treat others as I would want to be treated and to never judge anyone simply because they had a different skin tone […]