Penny Shaff Altman, Portland, ME. My father told me stories drawn from his childhood in the Ukraine. My mother told me stories about her life growing up as a Jewish immigrant. I told stories to my children. I tell them to my grandchildren. My youngest grandson’s great grandmother is famous for her stories of Gullah […]
AJ, Falls Church, VA. I am a white American female with multiple disabilities. I realize that generally speaking, my whiteness and U.S. citizenship is a benefit for me in society. But recently, I had several experiences where a person of another race assumed something about me that was false, and it pissed me off. In […]
Mohammad Salem Shirzad, Sacramento, CA. As an afghan immigrant, I have witnessed the roots of race in different geographical and social contexts, from Afghanistan to the United States. It is sad to say that race do matter in today’s societies all over the world. But this is the truth in today’s world. Cosumnes River College
Amanda Bajema, Riverside, CA. When my great grandparents immigrated to America from the Netherlands after World War II they put in their best effort to become a part of American culture, which in turn meant loosing their own. Growing up my mother and her siblings were growing up they were not to learn Dutch, to […]
Sadia Rodriguez, Round Rock, TX. If I had to limit myself to a single identity, I’d say that I’m a mother of twins above all else. Sure, I’m also a business analyst, a blogger, a divorcee, a permanent resident of the US, a holder of British and Bangladeshi passports and a former US Army wife. […]
Angelica, Philadelphia, PA.
Ian Castruita, Tempe, AZ. I have a Scottish first name, am sometimes mistaken for Italian or Arabic, and was raised by my Mexican immigrant Pop and Scotch/French-Canadian Mom (who are both fluent in Spanish but never taught me or my siblings how to speak it). My half-siblings on my biological Father’s side are more strongly […]
Ronnie Annapolis, MD The image of a child immigrant, who grew up to serve in the U.S. military is a bit cliche these days, especially after more than a decade of conflict. However, there is nothing cliche about an immigrant wanting to defend his adopted nation and his fellow Americans (both fellow immigrants and native […]
Ryan Lewandowski, Tustin, CA. I may look white, but I am 1/4 Lebanese (Middle Eastern) and 3/4th European (Irish, Polish, and Finnish)… So I don’t eat traditional American foods and I don’t feel entitled because I look white… I am a third generation immigrant! CBU-HIS311
Gregory, Philadelpha, PA. As a Polish immigrant in America I have been faced with many challenges, but one that has always seemed most challenging and bizarre was issue of being white and being treated by others as a minority. As long as people didn’t hear my accent I would fit in, but once my identity […]
Ian M., Orange County, CA. My mom is an immigrant from the Middle East, my dad was born in Texas, yet my brother and I look as white as you can get. Every time I’ve filled out college apps for state or private schools, the US census, standardized tests like AP, SAT, and GRE, race […]
Choua Yang, Green Bay, WI. I was one of the lucky to escape Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War conflict. It was 1980 and I was only a baby when I came to the United States. As I progressed through school, I was immersed in western culture everywhere but my home; and it frustrated me […]
Trish, Houston, TX. I’m Black. I’m American. Black is my race. American is my nationality. One has nothing to do with the other. How can all Black people be African American? It’s impossible for a Black person who was born in the UK, to be an African American. Black Americans are not “special” kind of […]
Åsa Nojd San Francisco, CA For better or worse, my accent changes others’ perception of me in an instant when they hear me speak. That used to make me feel very self-conscious and I sometimes avoided talking, not to reveal that I’m actually a foreigner and not just another white American. It took me a […]
Tom Lau, Chicago, IL. This is a Polaroid of the back of my mom and dad that I took few years ago.
Carrie Hunsinger, Wilmington, DE. I am a 1/2 first generation American. My Mother is American (Detroit) and my father is Dutch (Holland). He’s been here almost 60 years and he still speaks with a heavy Dutch accent and therefore I speak English with a bit of a Dutch accent. When 9/11 happened I was in […]
Tina, Birmingham. AL. Nevermind the fact that I speak with a southern accent, that my attire is noticeably of American influence, or that my last name is German. When someone asks where I’m from and I give them the name of my hometown, this answer is somehow unacceptable, so I give them the name of […]
Josh Smith, Sacramento, CA. My son is 3 years old, and the son of a white male with no real cultural identity (myself) and a Mexican woman (my wife Yadira) who is the first-born daughter of Mexican immigrants, with a large family that celebrates its culture and traditions often. I frequently wonder which ethnicity he’ll […]
Anonymous, Omaha, NE. Born and raised in the midwest, I studied Spanish and went to live in Latin America. While there, I met my now husband, we wed and have two children. I was always considered an expat (expatriate) while living abroad and my white-privilege was amplified during my time there. Now that we have […]
Jesse, Edinburg, TX. “What the son wishes to forget, the grandson wishes to remember.” According to Hansen’s Law, the second generation immigrant tends to sever themselves from the customs and traditions of their ancestors in order to achieve assimilation, but in time the “grandson” will value, that which the “son” wished to forget. What my […]
Senju Rajan USA My race is a collision of yelps, yips, of shrieks, Carnatic Punk Rock: Alan Vega smashing a raga over my head. I’ve been bombarded all my life, their immigrant hopes and dreams warring with my domestic aspirations, collateral between my shoulders, rubble strewn across shattered streets once paved with gold, now unrecognizable, […]
Yuri Yamamoto, Raleigh, NC. I am a Japanese immigrant. I sometimes feel lost in this society where race is all about black and white. I often feel that I am neither white nor black enough to contribute significantly to a diversity conversation, most of which seems to be about reconciliation and healing from the slavery. […]
Colleen Schwab, Seattle, WA. I grew up in a very diverse area of CA where many children were first generation immigrants, and many children were of multi-racial backgrounds, mostly middle to lower class families. And my whole family has grown up with and around people from many different backgrounds. So I had no issue trying […]
Yasmin Agudelo, The Colony, TX. I love this project. I’ve seen so many thoughts and statements that reflected my own experiences growing up as a child of immigrants.
Kitt Smith, USA. I have white skin, green eyes and brown hair. I appear every bit a homogeneous American white. I am not. I am a first generation American born to a Mexican illegal and a Irish immigrant. My family has no history here and no part in the oppression of black people. Both sides […]
Rachel James, Syracuse, NY. Growing up in a Latina household I learned the English that my mother spoke as a Panamanian immigrant. Therefore, I learned to say certain words while rolling my r’s or with an accent and I don’t notice it because that’s how I learned to pronounce them. But because I look more […]
Taylor Smith, Grand Rapids, MI.
Judee Fernandez, Los Angeles, CA. I am a white looking Mexican woman born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents who are brown and proud. Yet all my life, I’ve been asked questions about beauty and my look, more than anyone has asked me about what I know and my experiences. The other day, I went […]
Nicholas Ellis, Somerville, MA. Being referred to as simply “white” strips me of my ethnicity, of which I am very proud. I look Slavic, I am Slavic, why should I be OK with being referred to in any other way? My people were also slaves, in fact the word “Slave” comes from an old French […]
Tom Dierolf Brevard, NC If you saw a photo of me among asian, black and latino faces, and asked to pick the immigrants to the U.S., you would probably not pick me. But I immigrated from Germany in 1960, and I know that all of the others in the photo could have had family living […]
Sheila Mahoney Boston, MA I was 10 in 1965 and am the Granddaughter of Irish immigrants also brutalized by white supremacists who went to Ireland from England to perform their cruelty. I cold relate to other American children in the south because of what my people in Ireland had endured. When will it all just […]
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 […]
Magda Schay Camp Sherman, OR I am an immigrant to USA and because my parents were educated and saw to it that their children are educated we were able to be part of the whole society.
Victoria Oliva Medford, MA As a light-skinned Latina born to a Guatemalan immigrant father and a mother of French-Canadian descent, I find myself searching for where I fit in – constantly being asked by others to prove that I am Latina, and trying to come to terms with the discomfort I feel surrounding my white […]
Mary Kate Cunningham Hong Kong Growing up in the United States as an immigrant, I often felt frustrated by the fact that my “racial identity” as a “white” person often obscured a deeper connection I held to my Irish heritage. Now, I live in Hong Kong, and I find the community here is more willing […]
(Ms.) Kamakshi P. Murti Fairfax, VA I have been a citizen of the US for several decades, yet whenever I am in a public space, the question invariably arises, especially when I speak English with my ‘original’ Indian accent: “Where are you from?”
Winsome Chunnu Brayda Athens, OH