Lorna Seidel-Owen, Outside USA. My mother is from Mexico. She married my father in 1959 and came to live in the United States. The plan was for my dad to eventually work and live in Mexico. She never planned on staying here for the rest of her life. Although she never planned on staying here, […]
Daniel Brashear, Calvert City, KY. We are all human, a priceless treasure. As Tanya Shaffer writes in “The Fourth Messenger”: “Look to the thought, for thoughts lead to words. Look to the word, for words lead to action. Look to the action, for actions lead to habits. Habits lead to character. Character becomes destiny. May […]
Eddie Releford, Towson, MD. Towson University Your race doesn’t define who you are. You define who you are. Where all human, just different shades of beautiful. One day… people will realize were all the same. Until then fight hate with love.
Nik Parttridge, TN. I am classified as White/Caucasian because of how I look. This does NOT mean that I am the same people who enslaved your ancestors, or made them go on the Trail of Tears, or genocide them because of their religion! My mother’s side is Finnish, and my father’s side is Cherokee and […]
Brandon Attala, Grand Rapids, MI. ‘Race’ is just a way to classify ourselves on a more individual level. In actuality, we are all made up of 99.9% of the same DNA, and I think that should take priority over the color of our skin or our place of birth or ancestry.
Cameron Warren, Downingtown, PA. I’m a very Irish child, and being proud of that has always been hard due to the fact I have red hair and freckles. While most say, “oh but you’re white, whats the problem” the problem is just that. I have been bullied and teased almost my whole life and not […]
Rochelle Fritsch WI The country’s history and current tension around race and ethnicity create a pull in which some of us need to talk about it, while others of us are so afraid, ashamed and uncomfortable that we only HEAR the concerns of others rather than listening, reflecting and perhaps even learning from them. Some […]
Lyndsey Wong, Oakland, CA. I am a junior at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, CA, in the English class of Ms. Sarah Tunik.
Alieu Nyassi, Pittsburgh, PA. We judge people by their race not the face that we are human first before any thing else. We have to value the fact that we all breath, drink and eat the same time of air, water and foods. We may differ from cultural norms and values.
Tracy Loynachan, Minneapolis, MN. To me, the terms ‘illegal immigrant’ and ‘illegal alien’ are demeaning. These terms are used too frequently, especially when talking about Latinos. Immigration status is not part of the criminal justice system – it’s a separate legal system. While people may be undocumented, they are still people and deserving of compassion. […]
Karen Roland, Palm Springs, CA. A Filipina-American girl with three half White, half Filipino children. Building a life in America and building it with diversity. Living in a world where both cultures matter, I teach my children both.
Sara Dawit, Lake Mary, FL. I am bombarded with questions on my racial and ethnic ambiguity almost everyday of my life. Thankfully, I’m able to simplify my ethnicity to East African and Turkish so I’m not stuck repeatedly listing all those East African countries (unless I’m asked to of course, but that, in my experience, […]
Brayden Campagna, Whitewater, WI.
Patti J Baines, Anacortes, WA. I belong to the curly haired, wide bottom affiliation of short women with freckles that inhabit this part of the world. I’ve come to wonder how it is, that based upon a collection of attributes and features we gather ourselves together or at other times serve to drive us apart.
Trealavon Grier, Harrisburg, PA. As a dark skinned African American, I have only experienced racist rejection from others that look like me. Self hatred, unfortunately, is real. Now in my 40’s, I realized how much of my life was wastep on other people’s issues. This was the beginning of self love and the fulfillment of […]
Tyler Brown, Washington, DC. As an African American and Irish American man ppl have referred to me as biracial or mixed for most of my life…both terms uncover misunderstandings about race and what makes a person. One being can’t be two races at the same time, neither can they be mixed like cake batter in […]
Tyler Miranda, Portsmouth, RI.
Britt Stone, Philadelphia, PA. No one ever asked “what” I am. They just assume. They approach me with all sorts of ideas about what food I like, what music I listen to, the books I read, and my favorite movies and tv. They have an opinion of what I should sound like when I speak, […]
Zarriya Johnson, Kansas City, MO. We are humans first. Our race is just something we as humans created to determine how a person should be and act in society. It’s a trend that needs to stop.
Amarah Reed, Bowling Green, KY. I hate the term when someone uses me as mixed, or they say I act a certain race. I am a human being, I shouldn’t have a label because I act a certain way.
Justin M. Franklin, Wisconsin Rapids, WI.
Amanda Honigfort, St. Louis, MO. I am white. I am told again, and again, especially as a St. Louisan in light of Ferguson, that it takes all of us to fix our race problems, and that white people need to get involved too, but every time they stop there. I rarely get answers, but I’m […]
Rabab Ahmed, Stamford, CT. “Where are you from?” is a question I used to proudly answer to when I was younger. Although I always had to clarify, “no, it’s not in India. It’s a small country right next to India.” But as I got older I found the question tedious and sometimes puzzling. It wasn’t […]
James E Washington, Rochester, NY. The ego thrives on identification and separation. We seems to be a nation that thrives on dualism, having an “other” a “they or them” as a means to distinguish ourselves from. White, Black; Rich, Poor: Republican, Democrat; Christian, Jewish; Fat, Skinny; on and on. The problem appears to be “ego […]
Margaret Metobo, Chicago, IL. I feel that anywhere I go people look at my race first before I’m human and that’s the way I carry myself out of security.
Nicole Reynolds, Virginia Beach, VA. Race often goes hand and hand with self worth. Who am I in the world? What does that answer mean? How does it affect my life? Is there anything I can do to change that? I have Ugandan Blood, Taino Blood, Spanish Blood, Past African American Slave blood. What race […]
Michael Bowser, Baltimore, MD. I found that there is no time in my day to hate or dislike another human being, regardless of race, color, or creed. I believe this behavior is instilled in many through others at a young age, and before the individual has the opportunity to make rational decisions for themselves.
Thunder Shi, Milwaukee, WI.
Christopher Wydler, Miami, FL. People always ask me does it bother you that more than 90 percent of the university you attend contain African Americans? My response is simply I see people for who they are not because the skin of their color.
Courtney Jones, Denver, CO. People hide behind the stereotypes, racism, politics, and labels to avoid CONNECTING with others. Are we afraid people have more in common with us than we allow our differences to believe? My pride in my race contributes to my Life & community. It takes nothing from you & we all gain […]
Tamara Parisio Scottsdale, AZ Whenever asked for RACE, I tick “OTHER” and write in HUMAN. For certainly I have never seen a “WHITE” race (and I am not white—my skin is more creme brûlée and that is never listed). And certainly I have never seen a “BLACK” race (though I have seen many shades of […]
Reed Atlanta, GA “Where is your family from? No, but where are YOUR PEOPLE from? I mean, what is your HERITAGE? Like, your ancestors. I mean … where do your features come from?” That was one of the more polite conversations that someone has initiated about by race. Although I was raised white and generally […]
Matthew Zimmerman Wausau, WI It’s awful that my skin color will grant me favoritism over another person. We are all human, and we should all be treated as such.
Aidan O’Connor Grand Rapids, MI People can be raised up to be rasist but no one starts their life doing it. Rasism is not even a thing when you are born, you don’t even know what it is. Being racist is a choice you make. If you chose to be racist it is the wrong […]
Meg Seigenthaler Memphis, TN Skin color is but a tiny portion of our DNA. Like blue eyes or red hair, it shouldn’t have such an impact.
JiHyeon Shaabaz Harlem, NY I may be mixed with a multitude of things but I am human .
Jeannie Coicou New York City, NY Brooklyn The story behind my six words is that in this world there are forces that benefit by keeping the masses asleep. Realizing that we’re all a human family. Separation and devision is merely a tactic and as long as we don’t see each other as brothers and sisters. […]
Patricia Butler Phoenix, AZ When did we start calling people from other countries aliens? I hate that term and the inequality it suggests. All of us are inhabitants of Earth and that fact should connect all of us as we travel together around the sun, year after year.
Jose G. Martinez Flores Mayaguez, Puerto Rico The essential fact that we are all human, regardless of any difference.
Jacque Howard Tenton, NJ Growing up in Central NJ as well as my diverse educational and professional experiences. I have come to the belief that humans do not recognize other humans who look differently as the same. I believe most people want the best for themselves and others, the hard part is living in a […]
Kimberly Harwood Lakeville, MN I say this because I’m a white girl whom was blessed to have a Sudanese step-dad for most of her childhood. People usually assume that I’ve had no diversity in my life because I’m white. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I benefited tremendously as a person having his […]
Larissa Duertscher Vienna, Austria I am speaking up – and after this exhibition more than ever!
Zertron Vang Sacramento, CA
Linda Sharples Riverside, CA Whatever I say will be deemed racist as I am white. Very few of us are of one pure race any more. Can we just call ourselves humans and move forward?
Jenny Grant, MI Even though my exposure to the outside world is limited, I choose to see others the way I hope they see me: I think; I dream; I hope; I laugh; I love; I am human.
Michael Caudill Carcassonne, KY If we were all blind, bigots would need to find some other way to discriminate.
Gayle H Swift Palm City, FL It is essential that we become color-respectful instead of color blind. As we value all colors of the human rainbow, we are all elevated in mutual respect.
Greg Huebner New York City, NY Brooklyn I was really struck by a piece in first half of the exhibit, with the two ‘crosses’ in a red center surrounded by black figures walking or getting sucked into the center of a vortex that they could not escape. When cultures are mixed together confrontations arise and […]
Hugo Rojas New York City, NY Queens
Moriah Kessinger Monroe, WA
Krystal Moss Columbia, SC I’m 16 years old and growing up around Blythewood SC was a really hard thing. When I was little kids would call me a mutt and pick at me. They’d try to cut my curls off and say many hurtful things about my race. For a long time I was afraid […]
Casi Scheidt Carbondale, IL It’s come to my attention that, throughout my life, others sometimes assume that my racial identity as white means that I can’t or shouldn’t have input into racial issues. More than once, I’ve been confronted by individuals claiming that my whiteness means I’m inherently racist, and that I’m treating “their people” […]
John Q. Kontos Chicago, IL Sometimes, I wish that there were alien cultures that were a potential threat to our existence on earth, then and perhaps only then, would we view ourselves as one people instead of our current hateful and racist thinking. We all need a reminder from time to time that we are […]
Patricia Callahan Augusta, ME In memory of S.C., my BFF and grandson of a slave. He passed away unexpectedly 6/10/13, a young, vibrant 83 year-old. I would have called him today to say Happy Dr. King’s birthday. He would have said something like, “but the holiday is not until Monday.” I would have said, I […]
John Locke New York, NY I know it may not seem like it from all the crazy racist rhetoric directed against us. It’s okay to be proud of being any other race, except white. Well, white people invented the light bulb. We invented air conditioning. I think being white is fine!
Linda Bailey Vero Beach, FL
Mary Crescenzo, USA. I most always add a “human” box to check, or fill in the blank with “human” on such requests on forms.
Ashlee Barnes Marina, CA Applications always ask for you ethnicity, but why does it matter ?
Britta Solan Des Moines, IA Drake University Skin…why skin? Shouldn’t we judge by something more productive…kindness…ability to make a difference…what we can contribute… we are all hurt by this out dated system
Ida W. USA In elementary school when they asked ‘race’ on forms I filled out ‘Human” because I am a member of the human race! The teacher erased by answer and had me write ‘white’, I told her that ‘white was a color, not a person. She thought I could not have been more wrong.
Anne Ward Masterson Anchorage, AK Growing up Black, White and Cherokee in NH in the 1960’s and 70’s made for some painful tensions. In Kindergarten other children would see my mother and tell me she couldn’t be my mother. People would ask me ( and really, still do…) What are you? On the days I […]
Douglas Rice Fruita, CO I struggled for four decades to find some sort of racial identity…I’m bi-racial by my DNA, but having been raised in white culture where white people called me black I’ve never identified as white, and having been raised in white culture I didn’t “experience” black culture so I don’t Identify as […]
Mustafa Moore Eugene, OR The University of Oregon
Alexis Henson Sacramento, CA
Matt Bentz Submitted via Twitter: @mbentz27 Drake University Des Moines, IA
Scott Huff Drake University Des Moines, IA
Martha Lauren Younger-Holrogd Eugene, OR
Ashley Anderson Eugene, OR
Erica Gonzalez Fayetteville, GA I heard this from an old white man when I was 17 years old. Now, 22, I will take some advice from the users of this site and just reply “I’m human”.
Gabrielle Guzman San Diego, CA Yes, I am Mexican. Yes, I know I apparently hold the same facial features as someone who would be considered Asian. No, I did not just cross the border. No, I do not speak Spanish, although I can understand it fluently and am taking classes to learn it. I am […]
Danielle Amodeo Chicago, IL Only being 18, I have come into contact with a spew of racism and judgment. Being labeled before even saying anything, because of the way I look is not the way I expected it to be today. People would be surprised to know that I am just as human as they […]
Anthony Augusta Tempe, AZ
Vicki Zacarías Fort Smith, AR
Debra Harper Minneapolis, MN
Dave S Sunnyvale, CA It may be because they have been discriminated against in the past, that black culture has developed as separate but unequal segment or how African Americans have experienced interaction with other cultures and races, but in my experience, African Americans view the world and life through race above most else. Is […]
Nancy Sheperd Sacramento, CA As a mixed-race woman, I’m often struck by others’, and especially strangers’, need to put me into a box. It isn’t only white people, though they are the only ones who use the phrase “What ARE you?” as if I am something other than human. Those who ask are always surprised, […]
David T Roth Nashville, TN I was walking through Centennial Park in Nashville, TN. I looked up to see a young Father holding his daughter of 3 or 4 facing him. It was obvious that they were interacting in a way that only parent and child can. Where the world around them disappears and they […]
Edison R Smith Clinton, CT WHAT MORE NEEDS TO BE SAID.
Jeff Byrum Asheville, NC I can’t remember where I first heard this, but now, whenever I’m asked for my race, my answer is “human.” When it’s a phone survey, the response is usually delight. From 3.7 billion miles out, earth appears in a famous photograph taken by Voyager I as pale blue dot.
Jill Orange County, CA Assuming “equal-opportunity” and “ass-kicker” are each one word. Listen, we can all cry victim for one reason or another. If you want to be happy, you have to take ownership of your experience. If you need some perspective, go to a children’s cancer ward or go to a repressed and/or poverty-stricken […]
Rita Kane Los Angeles, CA Recessive genes will never allow the human race to fade to one color, as some people fear. It’s the opposite. We aren’t fading to brown. We probably started out that way. But time has actually evolved us into distinctive groups. The possibility for different colors is in the DNA. The […]
Chassy Oson Fairfield, CA In this past week I have learned that some high schools in the South still have segregated proms. Seriously? We should have moved past this a long time ago. Also in my history class we are watching a movie about how this one school in the South is still segregated but […]
Kathleen Brodeur IL, USA And I strive to make that the only assumption on first sight.
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 […]
Sheila Calhoun Ann Arbor, MI I married an anthropologist and truly believe this. Our children have always listed Human on forms when asked.
Albert Burton Philadelphia, PA
Alicia Fairmont State, WV
Elizabeth James Ann Arbor, MI Being of mixed ancestry and believing in only one race, human, it’s very difficult to be yourself in a country where determining “who” you are is so closely connected to your ethnicity. I am Elizabeth and that should be enough.
Harm Derksen Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan
Kara Frederick, MD This sentiment comes from living in Laredo, TX, where the town is 95% ethnically Mexican and very racist against anybody who is not Hispanic, and especially “white”. Laredoans use the word Anglo in the way that “spic” has been used.
Brian W. Collins Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan Race: Race is not a defining characteristic. I’m biracial. I don’t half matter.
Chiquandra C. Cross Submitted via Twitter: @ChiquandraCross @UmichStudents @michele_norris #racecardproject #umtheme