Jeanette Ruiz, Atlanta, GA. Growing up I learned to hate my afro hair. I was the only one in my family with course African hair texture. Although there were others in our Hispanic neighborhood with course hair and dark skin, my mother with straight silky hair made it seem like a problem. She would take […]
Adeatric White, Atlanta, GA
Alice J Walker Gay, GA This concerns a story told to me about my grandmother, who died in 1960 when I was five years old. In the mid-fifties, she lived with my aunt and uncle and their boys in Rome, Georgia. On one rare occasion, she was home alone when Carrie May, the housekeeper came […]
Tamera, Evans, GA. I still hear this comment from people even after being in a 32 year long loving marriage, having 3 children, and 5 grandchildren. I have heard that comment or a similar one from whites and blacks and that is truly sad to me. Love has no color boundaries in my eyes and […]
Anita Hughes, Ellenwood, GA For all the 12.5 million Africans who were shipped to this part of the world we owe it to them to be better African-Americans. Every single slave is a reason why we ought to do our best and be our best at all times and in all places.
Susan Boyer, Decatur, GA. These words were spoken to me by a young black waiter. I’m an old white woman. “We got a connection”, he said. And I felt it. I was so touched by his generosity of spirit. I walk around my diverse city, aware of my racist culture and upbringing and practice looking […]
Mary F. Howard, Stockbridge, GA. I discovered I am one-fourth Native American. My paternal grandfather is full blood Cherokee. I just learned several months ago by eavesdropping on a conversation about race between my paternal uncle and aunt. They had just learned of additional children by their father outside of the marriage. It has often […]
Brett Corey Miller, Athens, GA.
William Eckman, Atlanta, GA. We come from different families, different cultures, different schools but for all to win as a great nation we must be less tribal and remember “out of many one”! This is the glue that holds us together and allows all of us to work to make tomorrow better than today across […]
Megan L Thorne, Lakeland, GA. I have white privilege.
Arely Cruz, Summerville, GA. A common “come-back” to be used always is “Why don’t you go back and jump the border.” Well, why don’t you get your facts straight, because I was born in America.
Elaine Oyzon-Mast Avondale Estates, GA Filipino, German, English, Irish, supposedly with a touch of Cherokee and Iroquois. The melting pot serving up three beautiful boys.
David Bundrick Tucker, GA My mixed race children never knew which race to select on forms. I think it made them feel different from their friends.
Gavin, Summerville, GA. People think they are better than other people just because of their race.
Carla Brady, Peachtree City, GA. The internet allows us to share our lives and hearts. Why do we not see ourselves in each other and understand, forgive, support, and grow close?
Rocio Tapia, Forest Park, GA. Being from Mexico, I do not have any sense of race. I know what I am and do not identify with any of the categories listed when I am asked about my race or ethnicity, so I often leave it blank or choose “Other” if I am pressed to select […]
Karen Orellana, Suwanee, GA. Last year I joined a group that focused on finding civil ways to improve the polarization in this country. We work on asking questions and listening first before sharing our own stories. I know there is a lot to learn about other people’s experiences, especially about race. So my goal going […]
Katherine Atlanta, GA I am not responsible for the actions of people one hundred and fifty years ago who enslaved an entire race. The institution of slavery is a horrific part of American History, and it was a heinous crime against African Americans. Because of that institution, there is racism alive and around still and […]
Alfred Eric Richner Prieto, Duluth, GA. 14% and Iberian, Dominican,, Swiss, Scandinavian. We are all in this world together.
Leonard McReynolds, Atlanta, GA. I’m a black Puerto Rican who lives in the United States. At Times, it makes navigating race relations difficult, for everyone likes to put me in a box. Either I am not black enough because I speak Spanish, or not Puerto Rican enough because I am black. However, I will not […]
Eva Elisabeth McFadden, Stone Mountain, GA. Why do so many people the world over, deny their African Heritage? What is so wrong with being Black??
Amber Price, Atlanta, GA. I was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I grew up ashamed of my Blackness. I heard the n-word for the first time in elementary school. I prayed every night for God to make me white. At the age of 17 I was told to go sit with the rest of the Blacks […]
Carol Stritikus Aitken, Duluth, GA. LuElla’s Quilt LuElla’s quilt has kept me warm through winter night and summer storm when I would hide beneath its tent and read until my light was spent. It soaked up many a childish tear and now recalls a time so dear; I still can see those dark brown eyes […]
Charles Aloisio, Atlanta, GA. An African-American friend at the Y has encouraged me to get in touch with my African roots since I’m Sicilian Italian as well as Neopolitan. I have often thought of my roots since Sicily was occupied by the Moors for several centuries.
Styron Pennywell Atlanta, GA After watching New Jack City, I dreamed of being Nino Brown’s accountant. He was the only respectable brown face that didn’t have to shoot anybody. I was eleven and gang-banging was on the rise in the early 90’s, spreading it’s way through the deep south, black boys with bravado, eyes sparkling […]
Annaleisle Gingher Peachtree City, GA Understanding my ethnicity has explained so much and helped me understand who I am. I may be classified in a box as “white” but I am a second generation Sicilian with dark skin and dark hair. I’ve always identified with other races. Only to understand we are all the same […]
Anonymous Athens, GA Centuries ago, on the Horn of Africa, where my parents originated, Arabs crossed the Red Sea then crossbred and/or raped the indigenous Africans. This event has confused generations of “my” peoples’ sense of identity. I pose the question to my mother, “What are we?”, to which she responds, “Look in the mirror. […]
August A. Goins Jr., Atlanta, GA. Growing up as a light skin black man of creole decent, people assume I want to be white. Not because of something I said or did, but based solely on my skin color. As if I had a choice of my skin color. I’m proud of who I am, […]
Carolina, Powder Springs, GA. As a Hispanic person, being called Mexican can be seen as an insult, but what is worst; the fact that I feel offended or the fact that it can be offensive?
Phil Vongsavang Midland, GA I volunteered to join a faith based prison ministry and was told by the local sheriff’s department that I was not allowed to join as an Asian. Said the deputy “we only do white or black. Do you want to be black today?” After more than a year, including receiving a […]
Brian Hayes, Atlanta, GA. I got into Salsa dancing because I wanted to try something new. I never knew it would open my eyes and allow me to meet people I never would have interacted with before. Upon doing that, I realize that we are much more a like than different. I found my love […]
Al, Atlanta, GA. I was born 51 years ago. I grew up with a father who would definitely be considered racist today, but was probably just typical blue collar in those days – kind of an Archie Bunker figure. I heard the N word at least a dozen times a week. Fast forward to my […]
David Morath, Wrightsville, PA. On August 14, 1973 three black children from Atlanta, GA drowned in Waveland, Mississippi. Eyewitnesses reported that the children had been harassed by white boaters, The coroner’s jury closed the case without investigation the following day. Because of Jim Crow mortuary policies, locating a funeral director who would deal with African-Americans […]
Crystal Woods Lagrange, GA We don’t talk about it nearly enough.
Monique Hollis-Perry Alpine, CA Military bases overseas were homes to many biracial families like mine, and my sister and I went to school with classmates who looked like us. It was many years and thousands of miles from being sent to Fort Gordon, GA as a test case in the 1960s to see how (or […]
Bradley D. Perry, GA. The greatest way to overcome darkness is with light. Lets put on our light to prevail over the dark.
Merlin Gentry Atlanta, GA Blacks can learn from Jews.You get your revenge by getting rich and making hiring decisions. When you’re collectively wealthy, you can influence local policies to your advantage. That’s just how the world works. How do you get rich? By owning your own businesses, not by working for others. How do you […]
Leah Wright, Cartersville, GA. My mom is my hero because she stood tall against her racist family and refused to pass on the fear and hatred my ancestors clung so tightly to. She raised me with the understanding that we are ALL God’s children. That is why I don’t understand so-called Christianity today. So much […]
Ethan Triebsh, 12 years old. Marietta, GA. Read more about the racial divide in Marietta, GA.
Abigail Sorrow, Lookout Mountain, GA.
Jen Yearwood, Milledgeville, GA. I am grateful to friends that provide me knowledge and perspective as it pertains to their diverse background; whether that’s race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, etc. These friends allow me to learn from them and gently nudge me when I may say something that I don’t realize could be offensive. […]
Barry L Hutchinson, Atlanta, GA. From politics to money to real estate, often peoples deciding internal factor is revolved around race.
Jasmyn Joseph, Lithonia, GA. I’m from Mobile, Al….. Bible Belt city, unfortunate my grandparents where witch doctors. My granny is half Black-American and Native Cherokee and grandfather was said to be Haitian. While my dad is a creole and Black-American mix. Yet, with some many mixtures in the boiling pot, I’m usually all the time […]
Yolanda, Lithonia, GA. It’s very tiring an disappointing to hear many in my community say to me “You like white people stuff”. I would like to know exactly what’s classified as “White people stuff”. Since when did enjoying a good Opera or visiting the local symphony considered something only expected or FOR one race of […]
Margaret Angela Thomas Chatsworth, GA I’m the descendant of a runaway slave who passed as Latin and was beaten to death by a slavecatcher, other runaways who moved to Indian Territories to pass for Cherokee, and a trafficked Chinese woman. I look Scotch-Irish and have a huge red vascular birthmark. I live with color bigotry […]
Vicotor J. Boney, Acworth, GA. Any legitimate discussion about race in America must include this question. Fifty plus years removed from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, we remain segregated and unequal.
Misty Johnson, Lilburn, GA. I moved to Georgia in 1988 when I was 8 years old. My father left his job on the oil rigs to start his own landscaping company in Lithonia, Georgia. I was a minority at my elementary school back in Texas, which was predominately Hispanic. The move to Atlanta was different […]
Christina McConnell-Hicks, Lawrenceville, GA.
Joan Evans, Lawrencevillve, GA. And I am 100% white. But (far too many of) my students associate “white” with oppression and bigotry. When they tell me I’m not white, they are trying to tell me I’m not a racist. Telling me I’m not white is a compliment. Pretty damning, huh?
Valaire L. Moore, Morrow, GA. I am a black woman with locks. From white people I am seen as an Islander and from blacks I am seen as a weed smoker…from all I have been labeled Rastafarian, Hippie and basically everything, but ME…the image people have of me clouds the actual vision of ME…they see […]
Tonisha C., Jonesboro, GA. All lives didn’t matter until black lives mattered. This response is no mistake. It is intended to be dismissive of the perils faced by people of color. It is humiliating and degrading to have to explain why black lives matter. It is a waste of time to explain, time and time […]
Benjamin Baugh, Athens, GA. I am a white man and my daughter is a black girl. One day, I will have to walk with her down into the woods behind the old family farmhouse and show her the place where the short row of cabins once stood, and I’ll have to own that ancestral sin […]
Drew Middleton, Summerville, GA. My six words are about people thinking that they are different but they are all basically the same in one way or another.
JaNohn B. Snellville, GA. When we look at someone or find out where they are from, we assume they speak a certain way. When the person debunks that myth, it appears that everything that is said is some wonder. I went to school just like you did. It’s just a place you’re scared of and […]
Caroline Kish, Dunwoody, GA. I will not deny that race continues to reek extreme havoc on modern day social order. I see it every day at my high school, in the news, and even on the billboards lining the highway. We can all say that we ‘don’t see color’, but in reality, there are not […]
Jessica McMurtry, Collins, GA. I am white, yes, but it makes me very bitter when other white people refuse to see how being another “race” could affect their life. Empathy is not the same as not being prideful of your heritage. My ancestors were Irish, Scottish, and Native American- and I am supremely proud of […]
Sue Blanshan, Okemos, MI. My family lived in segregated Georgia when I was young. A playmates mother called the police to report a black man smelling her clean laundry on the back yard clothes line. The police came and chased him three blocks and shot him by our house in the alley. He died there. […]
Ben Sian Atlanta, GA Born in the US to Filipino parents.
Katherine Brooks, Marietta, GA.
Sherry Weaver, Woodstock, GA. Our family is a beautiful rainbow. We are pink with brown spots and brown with pink spots. We are just a family. I didn’t “rescue” anyone-we gave each other gifts. I was given the incredible gift of love and diversity, and they got a family who loves them and can appreciate […]
Durand, Stone Mountain, GA. Rights are completely equal in theory. But ill-advised in practice. Secondary essay: White guy. Crowded theater. Anybody scared?
Mason Colquitt, Athens, GA.
Heather Holdridge, Dunwoody, GA. I am a high school student and every time I take a standardized test it asks me for my race and ethnicity. Why do these questions matter? We are all human.
Bryce Barrett, Summerville, GA. I am Asian-American and that means Asian jokes. People call me Wasian when I say am part Asian, Thai in particular. Im not offended by it and sometimes I play along with them. It sometimes gets on my nerves that that say “Hey Wasian!” instead of my name. :L
Salvador Palacio Elk Grove, CA
Dennie T, Atlanta, GA. “Race” is a human-concocted, cultural construct that has nothing to do with biology and everything to do with (negative) cultural conditioning in racist societies. Human DNA produces a single species of humans – not multiple races of humans. If we are to have an honest discussion of “race,” we need to […]
Alexander, Sandy Springs, GA. I grew up in a majority neighborhood during the eighties and nineties. There were only a few other minority families in the area at the time. It wasn’t until college after high school graduation I learn I was black and highly disliked based on the color of my skin and not […]
Molly Katerson, Atlanta, GA. I’m a black woman and I feel ugly and invisible most of the time. When I talk about it – the white washing of Hollywood or how that Adria girl’s twitter blew up with racist sexist shi*, I am told I’m crazy. It hurts. Everything hurts.
Tiffany, Indianapolis, IN. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. But I grew up in the middle class suburbs. My schools were overwhelmingly white. Black was something you saw on the news, heard about from others or saw on Marta. I grew up in a neighborhood where ding dong ditch was called N-word Knocking. […]
Doug Shipman, Atlanta, GA. The demographic changes seen in the census are at a turning point– race has to change because the categories are rapidly falling with intermarriage, internationalization and the rise of majority-minority in America.
Manu Jeffers, Atlanta, GA. AMERICA could effectively end racism easily but its a revenue based immorality. Basically when a group or person loses it becomes another person or groups gain. Marketing, sales, city developers all use those statistics and data samples to determine who and where these people are.
Stephanie Hawkins Atlanta, GA
Jeremy Wilhelm, Atlanta, GA. Got this from a peer while living in Kansas in the late 1980s. I didn’t know what honky was. Picture is me with my Indonesian great grandmother.
David Rotenstein, Atlanta, GA. In April 2012, I sat in an elderly African American woman’s Decatur, Ga.,dining room with a digital recorder asking her questions about gentrification in her neighborhood. For more than a decade, developers have been buying small homes and tearing them down to build large new homes some people call “McMansions.” The […]
Andrew De Loe, Statesboro, GA. We seem to be focusing on fixing the wrongdoings of past generations. As important as it is to look back and know where you come from, it is also important to look forward to see where you will go.
Ileana Contreras, Athens, GA.
Tiffany Chatman Loganville, GA African-American? Well, where in Africa? Should I just be American since that is the only place that I have ever lived and that’s the culture that I know. Sometimes I feel like I don’t truly know who I am. I wish that I could trace my roots to a particular country, […]
Arielle Ramey, Atlanta, GA. I see humans but no humanity.
Sheila Caldwell, Gainesville, GA. It appears that minoritized groups are constantly trying to explain race to be understood by the “majority.” I hasten the day when minoritzed groups do not need to be validated or prove they are good enough or just as good as the “majority.”
Priscilla Almonacy, Atlanta, GA.
Consuelo, Stone Mountain, GA. This is because the two of the men in my life have dismissed me because I do not fit the ideals of what an ideal women should look like. Their spouses dismiss, disrespect my existence. My father and younger brother believe that white people are the epitome of all that is […]
Yusuf Wyatt, Atlanta, GA. The history of race in America is a topic that makes many people uncomfortable because it’s a perpetual issue and not one that dishonest or politically correct speech will make any better. If we don’t understand what racism really is, there can be no honest dialogue.
Ron Boose, Atlanta, GA. It wasn’t until 33 years after the first television was invented in 1927 that a black actor and actress were seen on television.
Susan Knight-Smith Marietta, GA
Dallas Yates, Dunwoody, GA. Race is merely a form of innocuous classification used to identify and group individuals of a common heredity. The concept only becomes socially divisive when people begin to erroneously assume that their own race is inherently superior to others and act in accordance with a such a belief.
Lois Norder, Atlanta, GA. One of the experiences that forced me to shed my naïveté about race. TND in Urban Dictionary: Police jargon to be used for the really shi**y area of town which is usually primarily ococupied by races of “color”.
Wayne K Robertson, Decatur, GA. That’s how we should think of it – a banner that intimidates.
Kayla Doering, Statesboro, GA. My father is of Irish descent and my Mother is Native American. Something I’ve always dealt with while being out in public with my father is people staring at us like we were a rare species. Growing up, while running daily errands with my father, I remember older women asking if […]
Karen Gold, Atlanta, GA. Collected during: Six Word Stories on Education Last fall, ProPublica and The Race Card Project teamed up with two Tuscaloosa, Ala., high schools — one integrated, one almost entirely black — to tell the story of resegregation in the South. I am a 25 year veteran teacher in metro Atlanta GA […]
Mahlon Gumbs, Atlanta, GA. What is uhmm… Race is uhmm… The thin line that Blinds us, Confines us, Keeps us at home base. If we cross that line It’s a crime, No matter the time; Society will put us back in our place. But what is uhmm… Race is uhmm… The thing about which we […]
Winfrey Young, Atlanta, GA. Emancipation did not reinstate self-esteem, justice, dignity or reality. Freed slaves were not endowed with freedom to love or with pride of self. There was no one to help us heal. We cannot move toward each other if our self-image and ideals are shackled—and we continue to wallow in the sicknesses […]
Marie Adams, Lilburn, GA.
Cynthia Deras, GA. Are you hispanic? Why don’t you speak spanish? What part of Mexico are your parents from? Say something in Spanish! Your not really Mexican if you dont speak spanish. Basically thats the reaction I get from the latino community when someone finds out I dont speak Spanish. I lost Spanish as a […]
Jonathan O’Neill, Evans, GA.
Benjamin Boober, Doraville, GA.