I only noticed her pretty hair.

Jessica Cooper, Glasgow, KY. The first time I met an African-American individual I was three years old. My mother and I were walking down an isle in the supermarket and I looked up to see a little girl with the prettiest hair. She had braids with beads and ponytails and I loved it. My three-year-old […]

You are. Don’t waste time explaining.

Gwendolyn Kelly, Louisville, KY. People of color spend too much time defending, justifying, explaining how they are or are not “like everyone else” and trying to fit in or making a show of not trying to fit in. Stop it! It’s exhausting, a waste of resources, and demoralizing. We are. We don’t need to explain […]

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Embrace texture, human experience. Ignite destiny.

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 […]

Where’d you go to high school?

Jules M. Marquart, Louisville, KY. In Louisville during the pre-busing 1960s, this “screening” question was based on assumptions and generalizations about race and class. A high school in the West End of the city–African-American (Negro or Black back then) and poor; in the South End–white and red neck; and in the East End–white and privileged.

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I myself, am not an oreo

Natalie Ngong, Louisville, KY. Sometimes in this world not having the voice that is expected of you as the race you are, creates a need for insults. In some people’s minds you are not truly the race you appear to be you act like another race simply due to the way you converse. This should […]

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I am human, stop labeling me.

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.

Not All Asians Speak Chinese, Okay!?

Austin McGlothlin, Berea, KY. I’m an Asian studies major with a concentragtion in Japanese language. I have spent the only year I’ve been in college identifying the cultural differences in Asia that has created stereotypes about all Asians being smart or gifted at musical instruments,etc. But I’ve mostly noticed the fact that no one, even […]

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Should I celebrate my own success?

Robert Kahne, Louisville, KY. I am a straight white male in my late 20s. As my career moves forward, I face the reality that every step I take forward retrenches a power structure with which I don’t necessarily agree.

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Name of cemetery doesn’t change history

Lonna Jo Bowen-AlMoctar, Louisville, KY. I am from a clan of hillbillies in Eastern Kentucky. My family has a swath of land, called Bowen Farms, near Red River Gorge. As long as I can remember, the old cemetery on my family’s land has been called the “slave cemetery”. My Uncle has always kept up with […]

The whitest brown girl I know.

Catherine Marden El Cerrito, CA My mother is from El Salvador. My father is from Kentucky. I grew up in rural Oregon. I didn’t know I was half-hispanic until I realized checking the hispanic box on college applications might help me get accepted. To this day I struggle with my Salvadoran ancestry. I am white. […]

Get back with the other monkeys!

Randall E. Dalton, MD Somerset, KY Above is the comment of a white Cincinnati, Ohio police officer when I left the ranks of a “sit-in” in a public high school, in the aftermath ot the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King, to go to the restroom — I was subsequently arrested.

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HELP WANTED: Black Entrepreneurs and Intellectuals

Jarel Johnson Louisville, KY In a recent study assigned in class, I found that a lot of African American children are growing up in single mother homes. There is a lack of African American male presence in the lives of many Black children. A substantial growth of positive Black male role models is imperative if […]

I know I don’t look it.

Jade Primicias Bowling Green, KY Would you ever tell a half-black person that they’re not black? My dad’s from the Philippines, my mom’s from New York. I’m from a world where race and ethnicity aren’t colors or locations, or even the cultures in which someone was raised; they’re how a person feels. They are the […]

Year 2013, my town is segregated.

Tara Cartwright Winchester, KY My town is still segregated, but is so much the normal that we don’t realize it. I didn’t realize it until I saw a movie on Lifetime called For Just One Night or Only One Night starring Raven Simone and realized that is exactly how my hometown is. Everyone stays in […]

I didn’t know Mary was black.

Carolyn Kay Conover Harrodsburg, KY It was 1964 and Mary and I had been friends since starting 1st grade together. We’d buy milkshakes at lunch. I’d buy chocolate and she’d buy vanilla. I really liked Mary. This year, Mary and I were going to go to 4-H camp together. We were so excited. We signed […]

Diverse TV characters opens children’s minds.

Laura Furst Erlanger, KY As a little suburban white girl, the only black, latino and asian people I saw for many years was on tv. I loved Good Timea, the Jefferson’s, Different Strokes, Welcome Back Kotter, Sanford and Son and Chico and the Man. TV really exposed to a world outside my Irish- German Catholic […]

I am more than my race.

Cestau Clark Louisville, KY It was against the law for my parents to be married in 1966. I was born in 1967. Florida was unkind to us then. But somehow, I still believe people are generally good. Race was a card I had to deal with everyday. Everyone wanted to know what I was…Well, I’m […]

Racism too exploited by the media

Warren Winburn Louisville, KY The media stretches out the race issue like an elastic toy. studies have shown it is not as large as much as in the past, it is dying down it is clear to see but the more we talk about it the more it boils up and causes tension.

Are you half? No, I’m whole.

S. Belinda Rubio Lexington, KY I was at a gas station when the guy working the cash register asked me if I was half? His question caught me by surprise and made me laugh, but I knew what he was trying to ask and sensed that he was trying to bond. He happened to be […]

Who cares what white Americans think?

Tamara Oneida, KY I don’t think that white Americans should have to apologize for being in the majority in this particular country, nor should they feel bad for having their own unique culture. I think people should just live their lives and quit worrying about whether the majority approves.

FLEW through Security :) …husband stuck behind. :(

KB Louisville, KY I can’t count how many times I have been through airport security, worldwide, including dozens of times with my husband. I’m a white “girl next door” type. My husband is harder to peg (he has been “read” as Chinese, Okinawan, Thai, Indian, Arab and more, although he is from Mexico). Whenever we […]

White, Not allowed to be proud

Larry Smith Flemingsburg, KY I feel like if I’m proud of my white heritage I will be seen as racist. There is a double standard. You can have black history month but you couldn’t have a white history month. You can have a scholarship program for blacks but you wouldn’t be able to have one […]

I’m a minority within a minority.

Claudia Delatorre Louisville, KY So much too say. I am Hispanic, white and grew up middle class. I have had Hispanics say I am not Hispanic enough because of the way I look and because I did not grow up in a ‘bario. I have gone shopping with my mother and spoken Spanish; store associates […]

I had never felt so uncomfortable.

Jennifer Ashland, KY I am from a small city in Kentucky… people automatically think “Do you have your teeth”, “Do you wear shoes”, “She hates “colored” people”.. while all of these are simply uneducated guesses. I truly didn’t realize how bad racism was until I got older and in high school. I went to a […]

Are you adopted or something?

Brenna Angel Lexington, KY Question I was asked as a child by kids in my apartment building. My mom (white) and dad (Mexican) are divorced so the kids didn’t know why my mom would be raising a little brown-skinned girl.