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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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“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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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 […]

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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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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 […]

“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 […]

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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, […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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Drop the racism, drop the past

Donnaven Kroenert, Jacksonville, FL. The Civil War is still being fought in the South, whites are being thrown under the bus everyday, people won’t drop the past, and keep bringing up a subject that just causes more problems.

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Tall, Dark, Handsome, Just not Black

John P. Moultrie, Ormond Beach, FL. It’s taken sometime to get to this point, but we are finally together. Sixteen years ago, we met and at that moment, I knew she was the one for me. But that was not the case for her. Years later, through heartache and divorce for both of us, we […]

“Excuse Me But What Are You?”

Sara Dawit, Lake Mary, FL. I am bombarded with questions on my racial and ethnic ambiguity almost everyday of my life. Thankfully, I’m able to simplify my ethnicity to East African and Turkish so I’m not stuck repeatedly listing all those East African countries (unless I’m asked to of course, but that, in my experience, […]

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Don’t assume I’m racist like you.

Nicole Moriarty, Tallahassee, FL. I’m white and I’ve been living in the south for about 5 years and this crazy thing continually happens to me: white people see the color of my skin and assume, wrongly, that I harbor the same ignorance and racism that they do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of my […]

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, […]

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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.

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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You will play Rachael from Isreal.

Margret Treiber, Naples, FL. The illustrated story is at http://www.alienstoner.com/rants/theholidays.html 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 […]

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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 […]

I am Cuban and I’m proud.

Brenden Gartner, Tampa, FL. Being Cuban is not a bad thing. Embrace your Race because that is what makes you who you are. Its a big chunk of your identity. Who cares what people think about your race? That’s who you are. If your embarrassed about your race then you will never figure out who […]

Own the hurt that you utter

Don Williams, Jacksonville, FL. People have a tendency to use the wrong words, the wrong tone to others and when questioned they pass the buck, they refuse to accept what came out of their mouths, its easier to blame the other person for your short comings.

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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 […]

Black and so proud of it

Cherrice Robinson, FL. I am a black girl. That is my race, not a description of who I am as a person and it’s definitely not a label. Just simply my race. I am proud of my race but the sooner we realize our race is just our race and nothing more, the sooner we […]

I see human beings not color

Christopher Wydler, Miami, FL. People always ask me does it bother you that more than 90 percent of the university you attend contain African Americans? My response is simply I see people for who they are not because the skin of their color.

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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 […]

Can we stop comparing our sufferings?

Alyssa Yates Orlando, FL I was going to say something about how it pisses 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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Racism doesn’t have an expiration date.

Courtenay M. Miami, FL I live in a city where racism is alive and well. Many say “You’re in Miami, there is no racism”, or “People don’t treat people like that anymore,” and the most used response I hear is “Maybe it was a misunderstanding.” If someone mistreats you, how can you debate with them […]

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 […]

My Name Was a White Girl

Brooke Cobbin Jacksonville, FL For years, I have been pleasantly surprising people because when they read my name Brooke (Morgan) Cobbin they expect to see a white girl. When they read my essays, my emails…they think I am white. It’s funny to me because of how names are trendy. How many Madisons do you know […]