James Edward Harrah, Boonsboro, MD. My Father passed long before I grew interested in our family history. Upon the birth of my son, this was the response from an Aunt when I began tracing my family tree. It’s interesting how something most likely out of convenience and considered scandalous over 130 years ago, represents so [...]
Tho Nguyen, Greenbelt, MD. Tho is from Vietnam and grew up in Tacoma Amanda is from Oroville, grew up in the Tri-Cities Tho and Amanda met at the Barnes and Noble in the U-Village while Tho was writing his dissertation Tho and Amanda lived in Vietnam for 4 years since 2008 Amanda learned Vietnamese. Tho’s [...]
Maria Roach Bowie, MD My children are too young to understand racism. They see people in three categories: family, friends, neighbors. But I see the moms who fearfully pull their children off the playground when my family arrives. There are good people and bad. Judge by actions, not by skin color!
Laura Clarksville, MD Being Black we come in all shades. My mom is extremely fair-skin; my dad was very dark. I look like my dad. Blacks and whites do a double take when my mom and I are together and I call her mom.
Karen Than Myaing Silver Spring, MD In this photo: what do you get when you mix an Israeli, a Trinidadian, a Jamaican, a Caucasian, a Burmese and an African American? Our beautiful family. We are Jews, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist. We are female. We are male. We are children. We are human. We do not [...]
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 [...]
Yasmin Gill Baltimore, MD My mother is white, American, and my father is Pakistani. Where ever I go, and whomever I am with, I rarely find someone who is at home with *all* of me. I am American, undeniably so, but there are peices of me that are also uniquely Pakistani. Americans see or experience [...]
Ellen McDaniel-Weissler LaVale, MD When my sister, a Peace Corps volunteer, went to serve her two years with the Corps in Chad, Africa, my parents realized that she was at an age when she might meet and fall in love with someone and want to get married. My father was a Lutheran minister and a [...]
Keysha Charles Baltimore, MD From the day I was born my skin told my story. It told all that I was, all that I could be, and all that I’ll never be!
Ashley Gremler Ft. Meade, MD I’m White, well mostly. I am a quarter Vietnamese, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at me. I’m dating a Black man. I love him for who he is, not for the color of his skin. But I must admit, I love the way our hands look [...]
Amber Roberson-Rowell Essex, MD That was my second incident of prejudice and what instilled in me that race–the color of my skin–was a problem. The first was during my first day of pre-school and being pushed off a tricycle by a little white boy and being told “You don’t belong here!” I was the ONLY [...]
Charles Alleman Baltimore, MD I frequently ache at the countless ills my race has committed against other races through centuries, particularly against the Black race. I will never be able to undo even one of these crimes, yet I have pledged my life to providing as much good as I can. It is often unappreciated, [...]
Ricardo Horna Baltimore, MD
Virginia Avanesyan Silver Spring, MD
Kristen Stephens Adelphi, MD My skin is special, not because I am light but because it is mine. Love the skin you are in!
Nathaniel Hunt Glen Burnie, MD My parents are an interracial couple. I am a homosexual young man. And today is my 23rd birthday. Without the Civil Rights Movement, my parents would not have had the courage or approval to find, love, and marry each other. Without it, I may never have been born and if [...]
Cynthia Farrell Johnson Silver Spring, MD First, the Civil Rights Movement opened doors, allowing me to train as a visual artist, and also study art history. The Movement forced changes in hiring practices which enabled me to have a rewarding career as a diplomat, traveling the globe conducting cultural diplomacy programs. I thank God every [...]
Thomas Vance College Park, MD 14 yr old teen tired of white people saying I don’t act black.
Ashley Ward Edgewood, MD My Grandmother grew up in a different time, where to be light was right and to be dark was wrong. My grandmother was extremely light, but my biological father is west indian and extremely dark. Dark like the ocean and I favored his complexion over my maternal genes. I was my [...]
Anonymous Frederick, MD Another woman just stopped on the street and screamed at me because I’m white and that must make me privileged. She has no idea that my both my parents are currently unemployed, I’m putting myself through school, and I get threatened for being white on a daily basis.
Robert DeVaughn Jr. Joppa, MD If we want to move beyond racism, we can no longer continue to differentiate ourselves, or each other, by race.
Laura Silver Spring, MD It really bothers me when people dismiss affirmative action on the grounds that it is making up for racist past. Racism lingers and affirmative action is necessary to counteract racism today.
Monica Mingo Germantown, MD Whenever I meet someone who doesn’t have friends who share different skin colors, I challenge it. How can you live in the world we live in and not have White friends if you are Black and Black friends if you are White? If you live in the United States, the melting [...]
Steve Broache Baltimore, MD
Reginald A. Taylor North Bethesda, MD
Deria Matthews Germantown, MD The work of civil rights activists and social justice workers alike is exhausting, emotionally taxing and just takes a lot out of you. People have given their entire lives to this fight against racial oppression in America and I want to know how much longer until the country takes accountability and [...]
Leigh Slater Hagerstown, MD We are not born hating people who are different from ourselves. Like the song from South Pacific says, hatred is taught, not innate.
Joel Anthony Murray, Sr. Westminster, MD Iranians in DC thought I was Iranian. A Tunisian on a train with me to NY thought I was Tunisian. A Pakistani in Baltimore thought I was Pakistani. A Vietnamese coworker thought I was Middle-Eastern. A Nepalese coworker thought I was Indian or Pakistani. I work with people from [...]
Lillian Kilduff Kingsville, MD I will never be able to walk in another person’s shoes and fully understand their life. But I think that being educated about other races besides my own is a step towards greater equality.
Annalise Michaelson Baltimore, MD I am a middle class American female, who, through feminism, was able to come to terms with my real place in this society. Through my ongoing search to define what being a woman means to me, and being an active participant in the debate community, I have come across many pieces [...]
Florencetine Bourne Jasmin Gwynn Oak, MD My response to those who say, “I don’t see color.” But I need you to see my color. It is beautiful! How could you not see it. If you don’t see it, then you don’t see me, hear me, or know me….or won’t get to know me.
Anthony Galloway Baltimore, MD In being African American it’s always perceived that’s blacks are a product of an inter-city environment with negative tendencies. Even if thats true you don’t have to be handcuffed to them. Achievement is from individual drive and not based on race.
Angela Ogbonna Baltimore, MD I chose these six words because I find myself following this learned behavior. As a Nigerian, I even hold other Nigerians to a certain high standard because that’s what we are taught as children and what’s expected of us. I feel that no matter what your ethnicity is people will always [...]
Sonni Williams Germantown, MD My name is Sonni, and I am 47 years old. I have 3 sons, and all of them have white fathers. When my first two were born, it was clear to everyone that their father was white, or that they were of mixed heritage because of their fare skin and hair [...]
Nana A. Forson Baltimore, MD Said to me, by a Caucasian male, after a brief conversation during orientation- at The Johns Hopkins University. We were both freshman, enrolled in the same class.
Carolyn Hipkins Largo, MD All my life I’ve been told that I have “good hair”. Its very soft and with a loose curl pattern. If I straighten it or put a relaxer in it it looks like Caucasian hair. But let the humidity go up. My hair reverts to its natural curly state. I spent [...]
Joanne L Perron, MD Pebble Beach, CA As an OB/GYN, I have had the privilege to take care of many different women and their families from all over the world and there are no fundamental differences between them. Race is a social construct, not a biological certainty.
Sonya Williams Baltimore, MD I grew up in a unique area of North Carolina in what is referred to as a ti-racial community. My Indian family are the Cheroenhaka Nottoway and Meherrin Indians of Southeast, VA & North Eastern, NC. When I went to college, during a lecture in my anthropology class, the professor was [...]
Asheley Woodruff Burtonsville, MD My family recently moved from Idaho to Maryland. For the first time, my children were immersed in a racially diverse population. I realized, quickly, that my children did not understand that the United States is not a white country with a few Black, Hispanic, Asian people living in it. Furthermore, we [...]
JOHN VASSALL, MD Seattle, WA
Ashley S. Elkton, MD People say I’m privileged, that I’m treated better because I’m white, and a woman, and a Christian, that I had educational and professional opportunities that would’ve been closed to others. Does it make me a bad person because I grab at every chance and don’t let go, because I know that [...]
John Butterworth Boston, MA My mother has just graduated from nursing school in Boston and moved to Maryland in the mid ’50′s with my dad, who was in the Army at the time. Mom found a job at a nearby city hospital in the maternity ward. Mom placed a beautiful newborn in the front row [...]
Rebecca Rodriguez Baltimore, MD This is a picture of my brother and I. Constantly he gets accused of being Arab, Mexican or Italian from Caucasians, “White guy” from African Americans, and Persian from Iranians. My story falls somewhere along the same line. We both grew up Latino (Guatemalan to be specific), and even then – [...]
Tiffanie Luckett Greenbelt, MD I was adopted at nine months of age. My parents are black. My biological parents were Caucasian and black. My parents expected the world to see me as black (or “other than white”), and raised me accordingly. I was raised to see myself as black, and I find it unsettling/strange/uncomfortable when [...]
Mary Clark Baltimore, MD People who feel that the current state of race relations are not that damaging/not that big of a deal/brought on by deserving behavior of minorities need to make conscious efforts to become aware of what perpetuates racism and race division in our society and the very large part that privilege plays [...]
Jennifer Wong Cernak Chester, MD I have been listening to your race-card stories for a long time and heard the topic of mixed race come up again and again. In the past identity has been a struggle for me, but now I feel comfortable with who I am. There were many days, growing up, I [...]
Rita Slowinski Phoenix, MD
Megan Linton Baltimore, MD
Emily Jackson Baltimore, MD
Christina Martinez-Williams Seat Pleasant, MD My mother is German and English, at least third generation American born, and my father is Cuban, first generation born. Much of my life I tried to identify with my Cuban side, because that is the side that people cannot usually physically see, especially according to stereotypes of what Latina’s [...]
Selena “Jazz” Baker Salisbury, MD Tonight makes three years since my assault. There was blood on the sidewalk when I walked to work this morning. Three people were just shot a mile away. I can’t make sense of this violence, why we turn inwards and hurt each other.
John King Catonsville, MD A wall made of no real human substance but fear. A wall where differences find a comforting place to self-justify. A wall behind which no growth occurs. A wall for the sake of a wall only.
Claude W Correll Upper Marlboro, MD The term “Race Card” is just a way to trivialize injustices against Blacks. For instance, there’s no “Jew Card”, no “Gay Card”, no “Female Card”, and definitely no “White Card”; any injustice against, or complaints by these groups are always taken very seriously and addressed immediately by the media [...]
David DeChant, Marine Vietnam Veteran Key West, FL Michele,Greetings again. I am a member of the core group of Vietnam Veterans who built The Wall ~ National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.; and was at the meeting in Senator Warner’s office when General George Price, US Army Retired, ended the color controversy about “black” granite [...]
Patricia Wilson Laurel, MD I am a baby boomer and I grew up in the era of segregation, lynching, blatant discrimination, marches, race riots, sit ins, boycotts, fighting for the rights to be treated as human beings, fighting for the right to vote; as well as the right to be recognized as a female with [...]
Ralph E. Moore, Jr. Baltimore, MD
Robin Crawford Mitchellville, MD I fret and worry daily about all 3 of my sons, despite the fact all are grown men. They are college educated (and graduated), have no criminal records or children out of wedlock, work everyday and are well spoken. Yet at the end of the day, people see BLACK and minimize [...]
Dennis Donnelly Severn, MD Being a practicing Christian I believe that God created each of us in His own image. Not to be confused with or determined by outward appearances but by the essence of our being.
Charles Hicks Silver Spring, MD
Neil A. Sookdeo Baltimore, MD With six degrees, four from grad schools in the USA, I cannot compete fairly to teach African or Caribbean history in which I have a Johns Hopkins doctorate. I have NOT even experienced such race hate even in apartheid South Africa because I look Asian. I know fear feeds racism. [...]
Jennifer Jean Jenkins Baltimore, MD Yes, much more, but not today.
Christine Brown Baltimore, MD I live in an urban multicultural neighborhood and upon reflection I realize I have not truly embraced this neighborhood as my home. I question my own distance not to my direct neighbors but the neighborhood at large. When walking through the neighborhood I avoid group of teens or greet with a [...]
Ann Friedman Chevy Chase, MD
Ellen Asbury Crofton, MD How can I verbalize my feelings of non-bias to people that have faced bias and prejudice based on how they look? Even my own daughter (bi-raciallly white/asian) projects upon me as being non-understanding and non-caring because I’m white. Please understand there are people out there that consider who you are not [...]
Karen Duke Hyattsville, MD Light skinned black people experience the racism from within and outside our culture.
Alexandra Vogt Crofton, MD Because I was not raised in the Jewish faith, I feel unable to claim my ancestry on my father’s side the way I do with the family history on my mother’s side (Norwegian immigrants.) I wish there were commonly used terms that differentiated Jewish ethnicity from the religion.
Briana Ciccarino Baltimore, MD “Are you Latina/Hispanic?” this is the question I often get when meeting new people. I appreciate the compliment and wish I was Latina, but I’m white. How can a white girl look Latina? Not sure. Like so many others, I am a mix of many heritages: I am Italian, Polish, German, [...]
Karen Becker Brookeville, MD
Nick Keim Ellicott City, MD My original thoughts when hearing about the race card project are the six words written above. Then I started to worry about putting my name on the site and what people I know might think of me. I thought about changing my six words to “Afraid to speak; am I [...]
Carol G. Arnold, MD I want to be able to hold my head high when my grandchildren look at old pictures of this time!
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 [...]
Navid Mehrabkhani Hyattsville, MD The purpose of choosing these words involves how my race impact and influence the ways others see me. People assume that’s because of my race, because I’m from Iran, people assume I’m a terrorist. I believe my race should not influence the way others interpret my life or my actions.
Nidia Rivera Hyattsville, MD “NO I don’t understand English”, is a common phrase that I am used to hear almost everyday when I moved to this country, U.S. It hurt when people who know English say to you that your English is terrible. However, as they said that, they encourage me to learn English, they [...]
Keivin Bustillo Hernandez Brentwood, MD Many people think that it doesn’t matter how you are? the only thing that only matter is how you are from inside and what you feel. People had to be treat equally not matter how you look or what color you are?
Mark Riding Baltimore, MD
PHYLLIS HULL AKTURK Rockville, MD I check “other” for race because we are all just homo sapiens. Although Father was from Norman English+Dutch and Mother from German+English stock (both born and raised in Denver, Colorado), I didn’t know I was a WASP until I got to the dorm, as a junior, at American University, where [...]
Anthony Young Beltsville, MD My first business trip as a young professional turned out to be an immersion in issues of race and ethnic identity. And of all places, in America’s cradle of Liberty…….
Isabel Nicole Otero Hernandez Silver Spring, MD I was born in Puerto Rico to a Cuban Mother and a Puerto Rican Father. The summer I turned 10 my family moved to Jacksonville, FL, and only a year later moved again to a small town to the north: Ringgold, Georgia. When people ask me where I [...]
Melissa Bowie, MD It wasn’t until I moved to the DMV (the Washington DC metro area, for the uninitiated), that I began to chafe under assumed ethnic identities. I have great examples: waiting for the metro and a metro employee sings the “Mexican Hat Dance” behind me; taking my (blonde) kids to the park and [...]
Dan Ellerman Baltimore, MD I was adopted from S. Korea at the age of 3 by a German/Irish couple. I grew up in a white household and neighborhood and went to predominantly African American schools in Baltimore city. The words I chose were told to me by my family and friends with the best intentions [...]
Renee Wilmot-Graham Severn, MD Americans are surprised when I tell them my family is from Jamaica and even more surprised because I am fair skinned. I guess they assume all Jamaicans are brown skinned. Also I understand but do not speak Patois, which is Jamaica’s every day language.
Brandi Silver Spring, MD I’m a black woman with albinism. That has been both intriguing and confusing to people. Some people inquire about it and some make ignorant comments. I challenge the white-black dichotomy because I’m black but have white skin. I happily embrace both of my identities as black and as a woman with [...]
Sarah Balcom Annapolis, MD
Trish Broome Baltimore, MD My father is white and my mother is Korean, so I grew up with my father’s last name, Smith. On the first day of teaching orientation they called my full name, Patricia Smith, so I raised my hand. I clearly remember the woman sitting next to me say, “You’re Patricia Smith? [...]
AGHillery Upper Marlboro, MD In a “post-racial” era, race is as dominant a factor in people’s lives as it ever was. President Obama notwithstanding, white is still right. So, white folks, rest easy. It’s still your world.
Ana Lazo Hyattsvelle, MD Racism may hurt,as death itself, but it can not kill you, because we don’t live by that.
Marie Makoue Hyattsville, MD At people’s sight Africa is seen as a undeveloped territory. I choose theses words because they emphasize developed countries’s opinions about Africa since ancient times. In today’s world there still people who see Africa as a village territory; a place of torture, misery and sufferance. Even though there still, Africa is [...]
Hilary Roberts-King Baltimore, MD Children’s books and Sesame Street make multi-cultural living look so easy. Of course I want my daughters to be proud of their beautiful biracial hair. Of course I genuinely admire my daughters’ beautiful curls. But it is so much more complex than that. It’s not just hair.
Mark Parker Baltimore, MD I write this as a white person myself. And as someone who has always lived and worked in incredibly diverse communities and cities. I am the leader of a religious community, and a leader in a neighborhood, which includes a healthy percentage of folks that fall into this category. I feel [...]
Charles Hegeman Cheverly, MD All too often I see of bi-racial children with what would be best described as a birds nest on their head. Please save these kids with a trip to the barber shop, beauty salon or a good friend with similar hair.
Michelle V. Rowley Adelphi, MD I was in my supermarket recently. I had just left the gym, dressed in my tights, Puma gym bag, iphone in hand, black hoodie. I was about to turn onto an aisle at the same time as an elderly white woman. Out of respect for her age and slower speed, [...]
Jennifer Luberecki Hagerstown, MD Being Korean-born and adopted at 3 by Caucasian parents, I grew up with my adopted parents culture (which is Polish and Scottish) and feel thoroughly American. Which is why it feels like a shock, and sometimes a slap in the face, when other people make assumptions about who I am. The [...]
Elizabeth Koopman Cockeysville, MD These were the words spoken to me in 1994 by the president (now deceased) of the University of Maine at Machias regarding my work with the Wabanaki /Passamaquoddy peoples of Eastern Maine, (He followed these 6 words, “They better get used to it.”) This university president was a proud descendent of [...]
JR Baltimore, MD I am white and an Ashkenazi Jew. I was brought to this country by my refugee parents from Soviet Union when I was 18 with no preconceived notion about race or racism. I heard these words about 10 years later. They were shouted into a phone by a black man on Light [...]
Kenneth L. Fisher Saint Michaels, MD My wife is white and I am black. I want my children to be Black AND white since they are. America loves labels, neat ways to categorize things. We have no problem celebrating and acknowledging an Irish-American person who has never been to Ireland but a child of mine [...]
Brenda Footer Silver Spring, MD I live in a very diverse neighborhood, where many El Salvadoran and Dominican families live. People are always trying to speak to me in Spanish, because I have olive skin and dark hair. I’m as white as can be, but it’s always been this way. Italians assume I’m Italian, Latinos [...]