“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 [...]

“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 [...]

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 [...]

Hated wearing green on St.Patrick day 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 [...]

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.”

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 [...]

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 [...]