Photo-7

“Do you speak Chinese?” *face palm*

Amanda McClendon, Houston, TX. For starters, I’m Korean, so no, no Chinese for me beyond “ni hao” and “xie xie”, which I learned from TV travel shows. Secondly, I was adopted as a baby by parents I like to refer to as American Euro-mutts–English, Irish, German, French, and a touch of Choctaw, and that’s just […]

IMG_5626

I’m told to get over it.

Anonymous, Houston, TX. It’s hard being a young “smart” black man, especially in the military. If to good at my job it’s because “we helped you out more because we don’t want you to think we where racists” then if I’m not good at my job its. “Well you know black people are lazy…” Plus […]

Southern Living: Caught Between Different Cultures

Jackie Houston, TX My parents are South American immigrants who were granted amnesty during the 1980s. I was born and raised in Texas. I didn’t have many Hispanic friends growing up. I grew up around many Texas Germans and am now at college in Houston studying German. People are surprised when they discover that I […]

Every Hispanic Isn’t Always Hispanic Okay?

Mathew Rayne, Houston, TX. Once in awhile you go for a drive and see the people around you enjoying what there doing. Everyone is their own person! Sometimes your expected to do something that… you just rather not do? It’s my family line? In my blood? Just because I’m Hispanic doesn’t mean i wanted to […]

image4 (3)

Teaching History to White Graduate Students

Collette M. Bloom, Houston, TX. It is a wondrous and wonderful experience to see the “AHA” moment appear on White students faces when they finally understand about tragedy and waste of chattel slavery. Many were quite distressed about the willingness of so many to collude in developing the Black Codes of the South. Statutory inhumanity […]

Ghana

You are cute to be dark

Secunda Joseph, Houston, TX. I’ve always seen the beauty in myself even as a kid. My brother and I were the darkest of all aunts, and cousins besides my brother, and around family ” I was everything good” one of my several nicknames was chocolate drop. Then kindergarten started what I heard was “with your […]

6458337859_90e8923d0b_o

Borderlands born. Always illegal. Always home.

Chuy Benitez, Houston, TX. When you grow up at the collision of two countries, of two cultures, of two identities, you learn very quickly the different nuances between the two cultures and you adapt to appease whichever culture you have to encounter. It makes you more observant, but of course it doesn’t occur without making […]

Celest

Not all white conservatives are racists

Emily, Houston, TX. Many people complain about discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudices relating to race; and I am under no illusion that what they experience is real and happens every day. After experiencing such treatment, I would hope that those people would be more sensitive to the subject and try not to stereotype people. Unfortunately, I […]

I will not yield to you.

James Michael Rogers Houston, TX I was at my neighborhood park one morning jogging, and I saw three white women walking abreast in one direction, and a black woman coming towards them in the opposite direction. The white women ignored the black woman and no one stepped back to let the black lady pass, and […]

Ni de aqui, ni de aya!

Yesenia Chavez, Houston, TX. I’m a first generation Mexican- American, born and raised in Houston, Texas. Sometimes it feels like I’m too in between both identities to really feel like I’m either. My Spanish isn’t perfect and sometimes I forget words in English.

philippe-st-thom-pic-1

Yes that’s right an Arab Latino

Philippe Nassif, Houston, TX. A blessing and a curse growing up mixed racial in the deep south. Born to a Mexican mother and Lebanese father, I have successfully learned to identify with all of my heritages while feeling like an outsider at the same time. When you are with Arabs, there is always your “other […]

fatherson (1)

Embrace who you are, love it

Eric D., Houston, TX. While my son was in elementary school, I asked what race dose he tells his schoolmates he was. He quickly responded, “White”. When I asked why, he said that his skin color wasn’t brown or black. As he grew older he learned about both his Spanish and African American heritage. Now […]

Together we can do it better

Ben Tallcott, Houston, TX. My life has given me the experience of many cultures and races. I have learned that our differences create a wealth of creativity and knowledge. When we combine these backgrounds together and take the time to listen and learn, we see the answers to many questions. Together we can achieve more […]

1501822_10154462900220321_4939873404420950301_n

Drop the guilt, and become aware

Danyahel Norris, Houston, TX. When I have a conversation about race or racism with someone white, I tend to get a few common responses. One being the fact that they weren’t even alive for things like slavery and Jim Crow, so they shouldn’t be blamed for it (not that I ever did). Another is the […]

Not Asian, nor American, but Asian-American.

Margaret Lin, Houston, TX. Although ethnically Asian, I stick out like a sore thumb in Asia. When I visited China last summer, my mother told me that everyone there could tell I wasn’t raised in China. Perhaps it was the way I dressed, or my heavy accent when I attempted speaking Chinese, or how my […]

I couldn’t rub the black out

Ima Oduok, Houston, TX. As a bi-racial child who grew up with her white family, I always wanted to look more like them. When I watch the movie “Belle” and saw Dido try to rub and beat out the darkness of her skin, I cried. I spent my childhood doing the same thing, hoping to […]

My_FB_Pic

Hey Dominicans! You too are black.

Cristina Reyes, Houston, TX. I chose the six words I wish I could go around the streets of Santo Domingo yelling. I have never understood, in all my years, why the Dominican culture steadily continues to deny their “blackness.” Their children aren’t taught to consider themselves “negro” instead they are to consider themselves “indio.” The […]

Lights flipped, pulled over, relax brother

JC Ousley Houston, TX In 1998 I bought a new red corvette despite my mother’s plea, she said the car was trouble for a black man. On the day the car was delivered, I was driving to my parent’s home to show off my new vette when I was pulled over by three Chicago police […]

Don’t hate my lack of color

Star Houston, TX I am a 15 year old middle class white girl. I lTexasove everybody. Why do black/mexican/etc. people I have never meet bully and a avoid me? I go to a school where my brother and I are the only white kids, and he is my only friend. Racism is real and its […]

afro

How soft black hair is. . . surpise

Charlotte, Houston, TX. I grew up close to African Americans. They were guests in our home and people on the bus with us. I never noticed how taboo touching was between us until I was 30 and a neighbor girl came over to play with my kids. She skinned her knee and as I hugged […]

I am not a black honky.

Sarita Houston, TX As a child in the south, I was picked on for several reasons: I have a dark complexion, I have decent hair, and I spoke English the way I was taught to. All of which cut very deeply. The worst came from family members, cousins, who would introduce me to their friends […]

News flash: you’re not really Mexican

Amanda Zamora Brooklyn, NY As the youngest in a large (seven children!) Mexican family, I was always jealous of my brothers and sisters for having strong Spanish first names. Mine was too easily anglicized: Amanda. So in the 6th grade, I took the opportunity to switch to Mercedes, my middle name, hoping to claim more […]

I’m mixed with black and blacker.

SaMantha Shields Houston, TX I’ve been all over the world and I’ve been called pretty much any race you could think of. It drives me crazy that when people meet me they assume I’m mixed or of a different race. A lot of times I’ve heard, “You’re so pretty though.”, “Your eyes are so light.”, […]

I don’t know anyone in Mexico!

Graciela Kavulla Houston, TX As a young woman I was asked. Where are you from in Mexico.? As a 6th generation Chicana, I stammered and; did not know what to say. Now and for years (at 73) I answer truthfully, “I know no one in Mexico. As 6th generation my family was probably here before […]

TV people don’t look like us

Ana Artigas Houston, TX I am the child of an Italian-American mother and Spanish (from Spain) father, and I was born in Mexico. I am married to an American man of Dutch and British ancestry, We have friends in mixed race marriages. All of us have children, and there are very few TV programs, none […]

Hispanic or Non-Hispanic? No other options.

Katya Abazajian Houston, TX The government’s method of collecting data on ethnicity/race through the Census reflects the confusion and incorrectness in today’s label-obsessed culture. Our government is not on the forefront of the necessary social change.

Check Race: “Other-American Melting Pot”

Roberta Wyse Torres Houston, TX When I completed my childrens’ forms to enter kindergarten, I was confronted for the first time with that droplist, “Check race: select one only:” Really? It went on to explain that if you did not select, then the school would select for you based on the teacher’s best guess, because […]

I’m white. Don’t assume I’m racist.

Beth Secor Houston, TX This situation I am going to describe happens to me relatively frequently. Another white person, more often than not a stranger or someone I know in passing, will make the assumption that because I also am white, that I too share their racist views. This other white person will lean toward […]

Race is not a card game.

J.C. Dade Houston, TX When I listened to the President of the United States speak of having being profiled because he was Black, I recalled the experiences that people had shared with me over the course of my lifetime as well as some of my own. My father often spoke of being pulled over on […]

Don’t drink out of THAT fountain!

Alice Lynch Jonesboro, AK This is what my father said when I ran up to the water fountain with no line in the big downtown Houston department store. I was small enough not to see the sign above it that read “Colored”, but old enough to read it when he grabbed my arm harshly and […]

Blacks and whites are not opposite

Linda Starry Houston, TX I have been a teacher since 1974. My first year teaching was the first year of forced busing in Houston. My first class was mostly Black and Mexican. There were two white kids, and one Creole child whose parents said he was French. The children thought I was Mexican, because I […]

883677_10200878701312992_223342532_o

All-American Girl: Minority at Work

Stefanie Bernosky, Houston, TX. I was raised as an All-American girl to an All-American family in an All-American town. I even looked “All-American”, proudly featuring my braces and American Flag sweater in this dated family photo (circa 1994). We can trace my family (both sides) to the United States prior to the United States Revolution. […]

Born Samoan, raised White, identity undecided.

Karen Grabowski Houston, TX When I was a little girl, strangers would ask me if my mommy is white and my daddy is black. Now that I’m 27, strangers ask if “Grabowski” is my married name. And for 27 years, I’ve smiled and explained I was adopted from Samoa when I was six months old […]

Shades2

Human race is the only race

Olaf Schroeder, Houston, TX. As a naturalized citizen, born of one culture, and transplanted into the American culture, maybe I have the advantage of another perspective. We have to get back to the truth that while melanin puts us on the darker or lighter side of brown (there is no black or white person), we’re […]

Gangsta rap taints white people’s perceptions

Paul Houston, TX Most early rap music with which I’m familiar was about innocuous subjects. When gangsta rap hit the scene and sprouted a sub-culture (or at least the perception that there is a sub-culture) of lawless, violent, rage-filled mostly black youths who self-identify through dress and mannerisms, I started becoming fearful of people who […]