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. […]
Crystal Woods Lagrange, GA We don’t talk about it nearly enough.
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 […]
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 […]
Ben Sian Atlanta, GA Born in the US to Filipino parents.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
Arielle Ramey, Atlanta, GA. I see humans but no humanity.
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?
Christina McConnell-Hicks, Lawrenceville, GA.
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.
Gavin, Summerville, GA. People think they are better than other people just because of their race.
Ethan Triebsh, 12 years old. Marietta, GA. Read more about the racial divide in Marietta, GA.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
Anna Dolder, Dunwoody, GA.
Lisa Gullion, Nocross, GA. I only look white, I am a high percent of Cherokee (whom were murdered by the dozens for land), I am Irish who were shipped as slaves just like Africans (they were bred with africans for higher priced mixed slaves). My ancestors faced the same deadly history as your’s but I […]
Robert Michael, Atlanta, GA.
Emily Alfonso, Summerville, GA. Everyone thinks because of my last name, that I am hispanic. But I’m not, I am Italian, Irish, and French.
Logan Money, Summerville, GA. As southern citizens, we are often accused of being racist, homophobic, and resistant to change. Some are, but not all of us are. Most of my friends are minorities and that includes homo/bisexuals. as a matter of fact, most of the major towns are culturally diverse.
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 […]
Susan Knight-Smith, Marietta, GA. Read more about Michele Norris and Crossing the Racial Divide in Marietta, GA. One Church was founded by slave owners, the other by former slaves.
Elizabeth D Atlanta, GA But I’m sure not white either. You think because I speak a certain way and dress a certain way, because I don’t fit your stereotypes, I’m not ‘black’ enough? Sorry if I shatter your preconceived notions, but as always I’m just being myself.
Laura Mariko Cheifetz Atlanta, GA I call myself hapa yonsei. I’m biracial white Jewish and Japanese American, fourth generation on both sides. However, there are two assumptions that I run into all the time. First, “what are you?” People want to know my ethnic background (not racial… that doesn’t satisfy their intrusive curiosity), but they […]
Errol Stewart, Statesboro, GA.
Jake Abraham, Statesboro, GA. I get attacked for religion and skin color and have to live my life walking a completely separate spiritual path than the social norm.
Mia Manning, Atlanta, GA.
Keenan Chandler, Atlanta, GA. There are all sorts of birds in the world: big birds, small birds, flightless birds, aquatic birds, birds with wondrously colorful plumage and those with subtle, dull feathers. If we want to appreciate them equally, do we pretend not to see their differences? Do we say the pigeon is the same […]
Maranda L. Glass-Shelhorse, Grovetown, GA. We can forgive; we must never forget. History forgotten is doomed to be repeated.
Carol Salami-Goswick Eugene, OR I’m a white woman who was born, raised, and lived in CA until I was 54. I was in college during the 60’s and was sympathetic to the black folks struggling for equality in the South. In my 30’s I had a serious relationship with a black man. I worked in […]
M’Karyl Gaynor, Decatur, GA. I am 52 years old and I am from the Midwest (Rockford, IL) and while there was not an absence of racism per se…my friends and I were fortunate enough to grow up in a community where our families, communities and educational experiences allowed us to experience integration at its best…I […]
Steve Wilson, Marietta, GA.
Victoria N. Fortson, GA My ancestors came to America just like many others. Just because I am white, does not mean my family “owned” “slaves”. When an African American girl says to me “you’re so lucky to have that hair” or “I would pay a lot for some of your hair”, it makes me mad. […]
Lorain Henderson, Dunwoody, GA.
Vivian Johnson, Marietta, GA.
Susan Knight-Smith, Marietta, GA.
Kelli De Guire, Calhoun, GA.
Bob Thomas, Rabun Gap, GA. I have been working on a web site for the Lillian E. Smith Foundation located in Rabun County, Georgia. In doing research for the project I’m learning more and more about a remarkable woman who as a Southerner spoke out frankly and with unflinching certainty against segregation. As an author […]
J. Calvin Smith, Ranger, GA. After years in the Federal workforce trying to engage said workforce in my own philosophical struggles with whether statistical under-representation should be sufficient reason to favor female and minority candidates for hiring or promotion, I finally heard some speakers talk about the implicit privilege that comes with being White, Male […]
Kristen, Two Rivers, AK. Grew up in the 60s in south Georgia. As a child, I didn’t know there were differences. I didn’t know to discriminate. They tried to teach me, but I don’t think I ever really learned.
Carrie Stowers, Statesboro, GA.
Sharon Christian, Whelan, GA.
Mark Whitesel, Statesboro, GA. I’m becoming more and more aware of my privilege as I grow older and how much I have taken for granted.
Kristine Yager-Rushton, Statesboro, GA. Our life experiences make us who we are. I grew up with a chronic disease that led to me having an organ transplant several years ago. In my volunteer work, I get to share my story as I help mentor future organ transplant recipients on what to expect. I often find […]
Anonymous, ND. I grew up in a small mountain town in Northwest Georgia after my mother ended her military career and took me back to her hometown. All of her maternal family and most of her paternal family was there, so she thought she would have a great support system,but her family was the greediest […]
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 […]
Giovanna, Atlanta, GA. I am a second generation American Jew (meaning none of my family members ever owned another human being) I was raised to treat everyone for who they are – not outward appearance – I just moved to the south and have experienced something entirely different. In a city full of educated, eloquent […]
Seven, Summerville, GA. I am a redhead from Visalia CA. I moved to Georgia with my family and after the move I realized things weren’t going to be the same anymore. People often poke fun at me saying that I have no soul or that I would take theirs. Just because I am a redhead […]