Maggy Wolf, New Orleans, LA. Other than voting my liberal conscience and trying to be extra kind and generous to black people I meet in my daily life, I feel helpless to make any significant difference. How can one person help the poor, the disenfranchised, the under-educated escape from the cycle of poverty?
Whitney Bell, Geismar, LA.
Julian Riggs Smith Durham, NH Growing up in a little town in Louisiana during the Second Word War, I found nothing strange about the fact that my white grandparents often ate breakfast and lunch at the kitchen table kitchen with ‘Stell, their black cook, and John, her husband–and that John and ‘Stell never ate with [...]
Syrcharles Rounds Shreveport, LA You grow up learning not to tell [snitch]. Wonder if you should risk dying and tell, or be quiet and let crime continue?
Gregory Kennedy New Orleans, LA
NIK BANNISTER Houston, TX Louisiana epitomizes how race and education interfere with opportunity, cultural identity and upward mobility.
Andrew Yaspan New Orleans, LA I think that we could have so much more progress in this country if we were less afraid of being uncomfortable and discussing issues that are taboo. I honestly do think that Americans try to hold a mirror up to this country often, but it is still through the lens [...]
Christopher Bland New Orleans, LA Recently I’ve been studying my history, my essence, that extends beyond what was taught in school and at church. I remember learning more about my race’s detriment and disabilities over our triumphs and royalty. From Kemet up until now, we possess more powerful stories than we know about and every [...]
Isabelle Keefe Marrero Tuscaloosa, AL I am 76 years old, grew up in New Orleans in ingrown bigotry, discovered that black people had a last name in college, lived among them in the Army, joined a black mission church in Huntsville,AL, enrolled our children in that school(first school to integrate in the state of Alabama), [...]
Grant Hayter-Menzies Canada The names I remember every day are those of the 45 black people held in bondage by my maternal ancestors from 1670s Boston down to antebellum Louisiana.
Chadwick Campbell Berkeley, CA Being black and from Louisiana, searching for my family past my great grandparents is very difficult. Finding people who were, literally, not legal citizens of this country is a very difficult endeavor.
Akul Nishawala New Orleans, LA This is usually the narrative of the story that answers the question, “Where are you from?” When I say I was born in Saudi Arabia, my brown skin leads people to say, “So, you’re Saudi?” No, my parents are from India. “Oh, so you’re from India.” No, I’ve never lived [...]
Brenda Hanegan New Orleans, LA
Madeline Murphy New Orleans, LA My father is white. My mother is black. My experiences and perspective as someone who is visibly “mixed” is something I greatly want for my own children – and can’t help but worry about. What if my children look white and people identify them as such? What if they look [...]
Mike Herschman Baton Rouge, LA
Joycelyn Cole Terrytown, LA As a high school sophomore in 1955, I attended our school system’s Oratorical Contest. The finalists were a white girl from my high school and a black boy from St.Augustine H.S. We attended the contest in a high school auditorium. The black boy won. He walked out with a huge trophy. [...]
Mary LaCour Clark Shreveport, LA Will we ever get past racism?
Elizabeth Ragad Covington, LA I’m so tired of Black people pulling the race card when things aren’t going there way. And YES there are racist Black people too! It’s NOT just a “White Thing”. White people do not hold a monopoly on racism. All races have good, bad, rich, poor, kind, cruel, loving, hateful, selfless [...]
Jessica Laursen San Diego, CA to New Orleans, LA When moving from San Diego to New Orleans as a teenager I realized the jobs held predominantly by Mexican-Americans in Southern California were performed by African-Americans in the south. Jobs such as janitor, yard maintenance, cook. I began to realize how incredibly complex social “status” is. [...]
Anonymous, Novel Ideas Book Club Baton Rouge, LA/ Washington DC More on Yoshi Hattori
Meteorologist Rhonda Lee Shreveport, LA I was let go from my job as a meteorologists at KTBS in Shreveport, LA for a Facebook post where I defended my hair, and later Black kids. I’m pregnant now and feel there is still so much I need to do to change the world before my son gets [...]
Maureen Shuh New Orleans, LA In New Orleans, my children are told by teachers to check one box for race since there is no multi-racial box to check on school and standardized school forms. The teacher will tell my sons what to check based on which race s/he feels is closest to our sons’ appearance. [...]
Charlene Leger LA I grew up on the outskirts of a city that is almost 70% African American, on a family farm that was right next to the farm of a black family. All of us kids, in both families, grew up thinking that we were one family. I was devastated when my elementary school [...]
JeBari Lewis New Orleans, LA
Jenna Baton Rouge, LA I really don’t understand how they can get away with “Miss Black America”. Isn’t that racist against other races? Double standard…
Bobbie Clark Baton Rouge, LA My father taught school in rural parishes all of his teaching career from the 40’s thru the 70’s. I recall one afternoon he arrived home, and he and my mother went into the bedroom. I sat by their door to hear what was going on and heard my father crying. [...]
Michelle Blanchard Ardillo Rockville, MD A Cajun girl in her kilt, that’s me. My dad was born and raised in southeast Louisiana, as was I, but my mother was born to Scottish immigrants who came to the US for economic and religious freedom. Upon marrying my father, however, she abandoned her Scottish heritage and adopted [...]
Anne Souvignier New Orleans, LA
Anne Guillory Thom Vancouver, WA Don’t feel comfortable in ethnically oriented gatherings, except in Louisiana.
Eileen Spillman Wilsonville, OR That was the line my husband threw at me whenever we argued about his burgeoning racism. I had grown up in a small lily-white town in Oregon where, he told me, it is easy to love all the races because they aren’t your next-door-neighbors. I hadn’t lived through the LA riots [...]
Alice L. Costa Mesa, CA I always get asked “Where are you from”. Answer: LA. Where are your parents from?: Earth. Why is it that when people see a non-white person, they have to be identified by their race/ethnicity/heritage? Do people ever ask a white man where his parents are from? What their heritage is? [...]
Nicole New Orleans, LA Black women are so obsessed with their hair that it can totally consume their life… “I can’t get in the pool ‘cuz I can’t get my hair wet”. “Girl, I can’t work out and sweat and mess up my hair”. “I can’t buy that. I gotta pay to get my hair [...]
Quinta Thompson Lafayette, LA I hate that my friends who are biracial, usually nonblack, like to be ethnic when it is convenient and white when that works better.
Audrey Jo DeVillier Addis, LA
Scotty Martone Port Vincent, LA It’s hypocritical for those who claim we are now in a post-racial society, yet continue to use the term “First Black President”. As we all know, President Obama was born into an interracial marriage. Therefore, an all to reasonable argument could be made that he is just another WHITE president. [...]
Michelle P. Covington, LA We decided to adopt a child years ago. We are not infertile, but felt like it was a great way to add to our family, while loving someone who needed us. Our research showed us that African-American children, especially boys, are the least adoptable in our country. We decided to adopt [...]
Amber A. Robeline, LA How many white people, especially white Americans, can actually say they are 100% white? I know I can’t and I really don’t care, either.
Amye New Orleans, LA As far as we come and as much as we make progress it seems as if we keep falling into cycles of racism even if the names and dates change the racism stays the same.
Gina LA I am starting to reject the ideas of “Us” and “Them” at all levels, although I never thought I’d feel that way. It’s a journey. When I say “How do you treat your family?” it’s an acknowledgement that we are all genetically related. If you accept that idea, it’s only natural to ask [...]