Your race tells me almost nothing.

Tyler Brown, Topeka, KS. What knowledge do I gain of a person by being told their race? Am I told that they have certain facial features and a certain color of skin? Even these qualities vary greatly within each race. If you tell me their race, I learn nothing about their cultural heritage, their family’s […]


I’M African American. Am I African-American?

Dahomey Abanishe, Secrest, FL. As a child in Kansas, I always assumed I was African-American and not because of what I was culturally but because of how I looked. I am Truly a Nigerian American culturally. My father is Nigerian and I was raised eating pepper stew and listening to Fela. No one fried chicken […]


My race is not my nationality.

Linda Morris, Shawnee, KS. Growing up, I got teased a lot for being a fair-skinned black girl by kids who would assume and make sure I knew that one of my parents surely must be white or another nationality besides “black” (ah, kids). When I became a teen and young adult, I would get asked […]


A group bound by cultural similarities.

Georgianna Wong, Topeka, KS. When my son, George Wong was playing baseball, I had a woman tell me how handsome my son was and then asked, “How long have you had him?” It always hurt me when people would think I adopted him even though my last name was Wong. Then I had a good […]

I never know what to say.

Sydney, KS. I do the best I can to be an ally for my friends of color. Sometimes, though, I stay silent on issues. Not because I am not being the best I can be- but because often I say things as a white person that offends my friends because the language I use isn’t […]


Why is the pool filled up?

Alonzo Peeke, Morris, MN. When I was in 4th grade we moved from Overland Park, KS to Lynchburg, VA. My dad and I would shoot hoops and talk walks at Riverside Park, a beautiful forested park right off the James river. We were walking home and we came across a strange structure like ruined monument, […]

“When she sings, she sounds black!”

Shaley White Hays, KS This is something I’ve heard many times. I like to sing and I sing often for several different occasions and many times people will say, “you sound black when you sing”. One time, after I sang for a church event, a boy went up to one of my friends and asked […]

Tired of being guilty for being white

Brian Wackerly, Andover, KS. Black, white, blue, green, or yellow. It’s 2015 folks- why can’t we just all be Americans? The LEFT wants to label everyone as African American- why am I not labeled as Scottish American or Irish American or Czech American? Exactly. The people who demand to be called African American are no […]

Isolation left me all mixed up.

Tad C., Overland Park, KS. With very little exposure to other races while growing up I found myself faced with 2 stereotypes for blacks; pigeonholes of overachiever mascots and dangerous thugs. But I did not realize my isolation fostered prejudice until my son fell in with a predominately black group of friends. Now I’m uncertain […]


Am I from here or there?

Laura Martinez, Hays, KS. I was born in Mexico and came to the USA as a child. I am so proud of my culture and love Mexico, but I also love the US. When I visit Mexico with my mom people in Mexico see me as not a “true” Mexican, because I haven’t actually been […]

Equality isn’t found using guilt trips

Chris Wehunt, Overland Park, KS. So much focus is put on splitting up races, every time the race card is used in the media you see social media flipping out, looking for cases of white or black people being attacked by the opposite race, then guilt tripping not only mass media, but society as a […]

Sensitivity doesn’t make you less proud.

Bill Dunn Wichita, KS As a white male with almost exclusively conservative Southern roots going back many generations, I am proud of my ancestral heritage. This pride is not diminished by my awareness of and sensitivity to the experiences and feelings of others with a different racial background. In fact, the ability of many in […]


Again I was barred from dancing.

Stephen Pagel Wichita, KS In my early years I saw The Temptations on The Ed Sullivan show and was blown away not only by their singing, but especially by their moves. Through them I discovered the Motown sound, and Stax, and The Philly grove and learned I had natural rhythm. When I hit college, started […]

Secret shame: Still surprised by similarities.

Debbie Staton Sterling, KS I was taught from a very young age that God created and loves everyone, regardless of race or nationality and not to judge others by their skin color. But, at 53 years old, I still catch myself feeling surprised at times when the realization hits me that people who look different […]

Educated man people see only black

Jason Adams Wichita, KS I have fought to educated myself so I could raise my family into the middle class but at every job I applied for I did not get the job. My name helps me get into the door but as soon as I walk in the door their eyes get big and […]

I am sorry Miss, you’re Hispanic

Marta Silva-Serrano Lenexa, KS Sad statement by an immigration officer when I had to fill in my request for a Social Security Number in order to work as a doctoral student in a Kansas University. I am from Spain and I had never been asked about my race before.

I’m Hispanic and I speak English

Yvonne Ramirez Dodge City, KS There are times where I have walked up to the register and and the cashier assumes I don’t speak English and they speak to me in Spanish. I don’t take offensive because the city I’m from is very diverse so I took it as them being helpful. It does make […]

I’m more of a pink person.

Lauren Wiebe Hays, KS I am Caucasian or white, and I am only starting to really think about what that means for me on a daily basis. I’m not hyper-aware of my own race because I have not experienced discrimination or insensitive questions about my heritage/ethnicity/nationality etc. I can humorously call myself a pink person […]

You’re Mexican? But we’re so similar?

Miguel G. Hays, KS I always meet a ton of people that get very surprised that I’m Hispanic since I’m not short or dark-skinned . I’ve also surprised plenty of people at work the moment I ‘d speak Spanish over the phone with my parents. I’m very well immersed in my Hispanic culture and am […]

What’s Wrong With Asians in the Library?

Samie Hays, KS I work at a university library. Our university is lucky enough to have students from all over the world. We are not so blessed in the fact that we are a rather conservative town. One comment that I hear over and over is “those Asians are ALWAYS in the library!”- as if […]

Ask black girls out? They’d laugh!

John D Gardner Overland Park, KS I was in high school from 1979 to 1981. During that time there were a few girls that I thought were pretty decent, who happened to be black. I’m white, and was awkward, lonely, scared, and so forth. I figured that if I asked them out I’d be seen […]

White is not a default color.

Diana Lambert Kansas City, KS I find that children who have one “white” parent and one “non-white” parent are often decidedly identified as the non-white race. I feel this is biased and speaks to how we feel about the definition of a “white” person. I do not see Obama as the first black president. He […]