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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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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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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 […]

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My hair: bane of my existence

Laura Abercrombie, Mulberry, FL. I am a 27 year old biracial (mother black, father Russian and Romanian Jewish descent) woman. I was born and raised in NY, transplanted to rural Fl when I was a teen. I am also one of Jehovah’s witnesses. Basically, I’m very used to being on the fringes, the “token”, the […]

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Just found out I’m a Jew

Larry, Orlando, FL. In closing up my elderly parents’ home, I was given some family news I did not expect from a relative I haven’t kept up with. It seems she did genealogical research and found out my grandmother’s family was deported in 1912 because they were Jewish. They came to America again a few […]

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Those were rules for uncivilized times

Bobby Flam Miami, FL Owner of Jumbo’s, the first restaurant in Miami to integrate. READ MORE on Bobby Flam and Jumbo’s: Miami Diner, Pioneer in City’s Race Relations, Serves Last Cup Jumbo’s Restaurant Closing Its Doors By FRANCES ROBLES JULY 22, 2014 MIAMI — While the line of white customers used to snake out the […]

White father, Black mother, BEAUTIFUL GIRLS!

Jessica Danielle Jensen Tampa, FL I am the product of two people who only saw “who” there were, not “what” they were. Because of their bond, they produced four daughters (including me) who I believe are very beautiful. Mixed-race children represent the beauty that comes from open hearts and open minds. And, they have GREAT […]

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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 […]

My father wanted to murder us.

Alia Laurence Orlando, FL When I was 18, we found out that we were not simply Cherokee and various shades of European pale. (My father always considered being part Cherokee his ‘greatest shame’.) We found out we were also part African. Specifically, African-American of Malagasy descent. Not that this should’ve come as a great surprise […]

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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, […]

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 […]

No College Scholarships for White Males

Theresa Goldenberg Melbourne Beach, FL In Zora Neale Hurston essay “How it Feels to be Colored Me” she explains that she didn’t realize she was black until she moved to Jacksonville Florida and it was reflected in how people treated her. When my son started applying to colleges he quickly realized that most of the […]

Something other: ambiguous race, ambiguous identity.

Rachel Crooks Tallahassee, FL As a woman with a Mexican mother (“Mexican” to signify “mixed race,” although my mother has been identified by some as being Native American or Filipino or ‘Asian’) and a Jamaican father (his ethnicity is never questioned, though his nationality is reduced to ‘African American’), I grew up in a strange […]

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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 […]

THE WALL, BLACK, AN HONORABLE COLOR.

David DeChant, Marine Vietnam Veteran Key West, FL Michele,Greetings again. I am a member of the core group of Vietnam Veterans who built The Wall ~ National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.; and was at the meeting in Senator Warner’s office when General George Price, US Army Retired, ended the color controversy about “black” granite […]

Don’t dance with him, he’s colored.

Carolyn Fitzpatrick Sarasota, FL He picked me to dance in 8th grade, because he thought I was a good dancer. I was flattered and thrilled. Mother didn’t see it that way. She said: “you were the only white girl dancing with a colored boy.” She didn’t get it that we were just happy children having […]