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Which category do I belong to?

Patrilie Hernandez, Washington, DC. When you look at me, what race do you see? Do you see my dark skinned grandparents, whose African relatives escaped from the Dutch slave trade? Do you see my last name, which reflects my “Latina” heritage, or do you see a brunette “white” girl, after hearing the way I speak […]

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My ancestors did not enslave yours.

Ardean Orr, Syracuse, NY. All four of my grandparents immigrated from Italy, so I’m pure Italian, but also white. My father was a jazz musician who often played with musicians who happened to be black, so I grew up in a tolerant home when it wasn’t popular. Growing up in America it seemed like blacks […]

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Was all the suffering worth it?

Tamara G. Cincinnati, OH When thinking of which six words I would use for The Race Card Project I had to ponder for a bit. I automatically thought of the fact that I am Jewish. Being so, I often get questioned about what holidays I celebrate or why we do certain things. Going to BGSU […]

I’m just American, not African American.

Lottie MSF, St. Louis, MO. Born in LA, raised in Compton, became an adult in Bay Area, relocated to MO. Loved by entrepreneur/homemaker grandparents. Raised by entrepreneur, GED, get the job done, courageous, make it happen parents with 50+ years of marriage. I’m a well balanced contributing, career woman, parent, wife, aunt & daughter. My […]

This sideboard was built by slaves

Peter Seay, St. Louis MO. After my grandparents past away, we inherited a sideboard which promptly found its home in our dining room. As it came into our home, it was shared with me that the piece was built in the early 19th century by slaves in Mississippi. The sideboard was my first real knowledge […]

Is that integrated housing or something?

Christopher Allen, USA. As far as we can go back thanks to grandparents, my family were farmers. More often for survival than profit. Now my family includes electricians, train operators, postal workers, teachers, military men and women,lawyers, one doctor, one engineer (my father), corporate drones, business owners. We’re an enormous and close extended family that’s […]

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Hated wearing green on St.PatrickDay mom.

Daniel Luis Soto New York, NY I consider myself Puerto Rican. Grandparents from PR My great grandfather on moms side is from Ireland. Going further back on both sides my heritage spans the globe from Spain to England to various British occupied islands. Im proud of my diversity, but I look Puerto Rican speak spanish […]

Jewish. I think I can relate.

Rabbi Justin Kerber, Saint Louis, MO. I may be “white.” But my grandparents and great-grandparents weren’t “white,” they were Jews! The distinction had implications and consequences — lethal for some of them. In my work as a rabbi and hospital chaplain I must see all people as created in G1d’s image and likeness, yet must […]

What did we lose becoming white?

Rosa Friedman, Philadelphia, PA. My grandparents came to this country as children of Jewish families from eastern Europe. In order to become accepted as part of the racial elite and gain access to white privilege, they had to leave behind the things that distinguished them, their culture, language, and values. Now there is a hole […]

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My Ancestors NEVER owned any slaves.

Anthony Turoczy,   Manassas, VA.   My Great-grandparents came to America in 1904 from Hungary. They worked in the mines during the day and went to school at night to learn how to speak, read and write English. Don’t blame others for your bad choices; work hard and make something of yourself.

Why cant I enjoy my heritage?

Jennifer Kerkow Chaska, MN I’m mostly Scottish and German but Im around 1/4 Indian. I feel like I cant fully embrace it and claim it because it isnt the majority of my heritage, although its a part of me that I love. When my great grandparents came to America (from Poland) they didn’t take the […]

“I wish I had my n*****-shooter”

Julian Riggs Smith Durham, NH Growing up in a little town in Louisiana during the Second Word War, I found nothing strange about the fact that my white grandparents often ate breakfast and lunch at the kitchen table kitchen with ‘Stell, their black cook, and John, her husband–and that John and ‘Stell never ate with […]

I’m Middle Eastern but I’m white?

Ilana New York, NY I grew up in Israel to a father born in Germany and a mother born in the United States. Yet every time I tick the “white” box I feel uncomfortable. The culture I grew up in was considered “white” but the Middle East is ethnically diverse. Everyone was a “mixed breed” […]

Dakota, Lakota, Native, Land, Pride, Immigrant

Mariah Sazue Morris, MN I am a Dakota/Lakota Sioux who is Native to this now American Land, but I feel like I am an Immigrant. In this country I feel like I came from a different country. I grew up in the public school district, where I was not taught a thing about my Dakota/Lakota […]

“Am I white?” –My Latina daughter

Anne Hickling Phoenix, AZ I don’t know how to answer this when she asks. The answer is both “Yes” and “No.” Her Cuban grandparents self-identify as white, but here in the SW borderlands, she likely is seen by many as one of those “brown” people, you know, the ones who crossed the border legally or […]

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Lizzie’s Journey from Plantation to Farm

Michelle Hill, Oakland, CA. Our family is so fortunate that my great, great, great grandparents were not separated from each other and their children during slavery. Because the family stayed together, we have a family Bible, pictures and records that document their lives in this country. My great grandmother, Mama Lizzie, was born in 1870 […]

Teaching my kids to see people.

Mike L. Atlanta, GA I grew up in Atlanta GA during the 60’s. While I loved my grandparents I couldn’t understand why they thought the ice cream truck vendor was such a “nasty”, “dirty” and “diseased” man! “Mr. Jones” (as he politely asked us to call him) always had a smile on his face and […]

Black family history hard to uncover

Chadwick Campbell Berkeley, CA Being black and from Louisiana, searching for my family past my great grandparents is very difficult. Finding people who were, literally, not legal citizens of this country is a very difficult endeavor.

Tell me again how I’m privileged.

Anonymous Chicago, IL I am female and white. Often I am told by my POC friends that my life is easier than theirs and I am privileged because I am white. We discuss race and culture because we are comfortable and open with one another. I hear their points of view on a predominately white […]

Why am I a hyphenated American?

Earnestine Simmons Las Cruces, NM The majority of Americans have foreign ancestors, but they don’t wear an identification tag of their great- or great-great-grandparents. They are not always referred to as “British-American,” or “Swedish-American,” or “Italian- American.” If nationality comes up at all, these people are simply “Americans.”

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You Can’t be of Mexican Descent!

Damian Solorzano, Sacramento, CA. Don’t let my skin tone, size and acculturation fool you. Like the Author of the above piece, I check “Hispanic” on the appropriate boxes. Mom was born in Dinamita, Durango, Mexico, Dad in Earlimart, California. Grandparents? Well, my Maternal Grandmother was born in Corcoran, California, Paternal Grandmother in Brownsville, Texas. Grandfathers […]

Now 82, lynching, at 3

Florence L. Tate Sarasota, FL When I was three years old I sat with my grandparents around the fireplace and listened to my father reading the Chicago defender about the details of my cousin’s lynching .

My grandparents met in the KKK

Alisa Rose Ann Arbor, MI I didn’t know that until recently. My aunt found my grandfather’s robes in a trunk when he died. My grandmother was a little embarrassed. The times have changed in my home town–the KKK is not active anymore that I know of. But the town is still less than 2% African […]

Detroit 1967 riot division,decline… reconciliation?

Zachary Terzich Ann Arbor, MI After July, 1967’s race riots, my grandfather and thousands of other white families abandoned the once “Paris of the Midwest”, Detroit, MI for the safer suburbs. To this day the suburbs are stable and mostly white, while the city itself is in decay and almost entirely black. Good people on […]