Prejudice is taught; let’s unteach it.

Karen W. Gronau, Perry Hall, MD. I taught elementary school for four decades. I saw a good change over the years. My classes became more integrated. More importantly, over time, many of my students did not see color in their choice of friends. Change is way too slow though.


Three Strikes- Black, Deaf, and Female

La Toya Plummer, Greenbelt, MD. Although I have lived with three strikes for more than twenty years, the color of my skin always has been and always will be fundamental to who I am. When you are colorblind, you do not see me. Overlooking a portion of me that is susceptible to the brutal ignorance […]


I’m just an American outside America!

Alma Gill, Columbia, MD. When I travel to other countries, I find it fascinating when asked, are you American? I’ve never been asked or identified that way in my own country. I’m always flattered and proud to answer, why yes ~ I am American.

Why should I have to die?

Antwan Lester, Baltimore, MD. Other people say racist things all the time some people tell me to die, but i don’t cry or reply I just walk away and stay positive because this life is mine not his and people do all the wrong things without thinking about the kids who could be in danger […]

Mexican, but don’t enjoy Taco Bell

Eric Vazquez, Baltimore, MD. When I meet new people I’m always asked where I’m from. I get asked if I was born in Mexico, I get asked if I eat tacos and such. Not every Hispanic is from Mexico. At this point I’m fine with it but it still irritates me a little. I have […]


Vietnamese is difficult, love is stronger

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 […]


School integration enriched my white life.

Cynthia Waszak Geary, Baltimore, MD. I grew up in Durham, NC and attended Hillside High School as part of the first court ordered desegregation plan to achieve racial balance. I am heart broken that since that time there has been a steady and deliberate re-segregation of schools in the US. I am hoping for leadership […]

My husband calls me future girl.

Jennifer McCadney Bethesda, MD Growing up as a kid with a black dad and white mom in the late 70s and early 80s — in what was then a non-diverse industrial town — I struggled a lot with racism and my own racial identity. I felt strangely uncomfortable in my own skin and fought, on […]


To boldly go…guess the rest

Blair Brown, Baltimore, MD. “To boldly go where no one has gone before.” These words have defined the human experience long before they were ever spoken aloud or put down on paper. I am neither interested in,nor feel the need to rehash our past in this country. Frankly what I do know is much more […]


Slavery is chickenpox, racism is shingles

Tian McPherson, Baltimore, MD. …and these recent events are the visible rash. If a country practiced slavery, the racism problem is already inside it. It’s been there, largely unseen or easy to neglect… but it’s starting to burn and crackle now.

Color Doesn’t Make You A Criminal

Joshua Edwards, Baltimore, MD. I’ve heard many stories of police brutality on young black men. I am worried as a young man who is African American. I constantly wonder if I will be confronted and injured later in my life. I always think about how I will deal with that that situation in a way […]

My Aunt won’t talk to me…

Rachel, MD. …because a past boyfriend of mine was of a different race then mine. I was lucky to grow up in such a diverse community that when a racist comment was made it was shot down even faster. In high school, even though everyone had their groups of friends, race truly did not matter. […]



Eddie Releford, Towson, MD. Towson University Your race doesn’t define who you are. You define who you are. Where all human, just different shades of beautiful. One day… people will realize were all the same. Until then fight hate with love.

I’m Not Racist, Stop Saying That

Charles, Brandywine, MD. I am 49 years with no White Friends. I have never invited a White person to my home. I work with White people all day every day, I have served beside White people in the military, and I play softball with 95% White people every weekend and holiday, but I have never […]

Mom placed newborn in front row

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 […]


Your husband’s black? But you’re Asian.

Nina Ball, Baltimore, MD. When people first meet my husband and/or see a picture of us together, the surprise is obvious. I’ve had a few people outright tell me that they just assumed he was Korean. More often than not, I get the question, “What do your parents think?” When they find out that, like […]

Just what do you people eat?

Judith A Harper, Pikesville, MD. Years ago our family integrated a Predominantly Jewish neighborhood in New Haven, Connecticut. I am African-American. While walking our German shepherd, I was approached by an elderly woman who asked if she could ask a ‘personal’ question. It was the question submitted. For a moment, I was speechless, but then […]

I’m Brazilian. Am I still white?

Kati, Nottingham, MD. I did not know what white privilege was before coming to the US. I definitely see how I have it easier here than people with different skin colors. But I will be honest. I have had a hard time being told all the time that I cannot understand hardship because of my […]

Not Latino enough, Not American enough

Maria Lopez, Baltimore, MD. I remember one time I was really sick and was rushed to the ER, while registering the nurse told me “you have very good English,” which I responded as “probably because I was born here.” I may have been 13 or 14. In high school, one of the lunch ladies who […]


I’m who I say I am!

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 […]

Last name Smith? But you’re Asian.

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? […]


Latkes or lumpia- beautiful Hapa struggle

Ann Hirschhorn, Silver Spring, MD. My parents grew up in a time where interracial couples were criticized for diluting the race of their children. My father expressed a fear that because I was of a mixed race background, I might not feel that there was a culture or place where I belonged. My mother grew […]

“You look white”, erases my father.

Janaki Kuruppu Rockville, MD As a child, my skin was darker and my hair frizzier, thanks to the genetic contribution of my father who was from Sri Lanka. As I’ve aged, I’ve come to resemble my white American mother more and more, Since my father died when I was 19, every time someone brings to […]

I am white but not racist.

Stephanie DeRoose, Baltimore, MD. During a service trip to Washington DC, I encountered many nice and talkative people while I walked the streets. I made a comment to another volunteer and her response was, “It’s because they’re black isn’t it?” I had never experienced such rude commentary and didn’t know what to say. My comment […]


Don’t think of you as Asian…

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 […]

“Hey, Geisha Girl!” What? Who, me?

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 […]

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Mom said I never saw color.

Corrine Ferrell-Macatee, Baltimore, MD. Me, bad bangs, my best friend, little girl with braids, my cousin, cute little Japanese girl. My nana and sister are here too, it wasn’t til I was in my early teens I even realized we weren’t all white, black or Japanese.

“Dad, please tell Emily I’m adopted”

Barney Rush, Chevy Chase, MD. Ours is an adopted family: my wife and I have two daughters, both of whom are Caucasian, as we are. We adopted them through agencies, the older when we lived in New York; the younger when we lived in Florida. After living six years in Europe, we returned to the […]

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Wrong race wrong day for fun

Reginald Leroy Johnson, Randallstown, MD. On my birthday in June 1963 my mother decided to take me to Gwynn Oak Amusement Park as birthday gift… We rode on the #28 bus…leaving the city the air was so sweet and clean, I saw ducks, and trees. I was so overwhelmed by this beauty…that I thought we […]


A Cajun Girl in her Kilt

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 […]

White males are people too

John Chaney, Silver Spring, MD. Being a white male growing up in predominantly black and spanish schools and neighborhoods all you ever hear is hate on white males, never called men always called white boy. Constantly belittled and disrespected for no reason at all other than the events of the past before any of us […]


Still afraid for my loved ones

Shari Washington, Clinton, MD. Angry that in 2014 I still fear for my beautiful brown children and their children simply because of the color of their skin. I am shocked and appalled by the brutality and number of incidents brought to light as of late involving the denigration of black people, esp., black men.


Si Senor! I am US citizen

Heidy Avila Murillo, Baltimore, MD. My marriage is biracial, I am Hispanic and my husband is a Caucasian born in Maryland. This year after obtaining my US citizenship, my husband and I decided to have three days vacations in Canada. We visited Niagara Falls, Toronto city, and since I love Diego Rivera’s artwork, we decided […]


I saw a group of “undesirables.”

Danielle Giese, Cheverly, MD. This is what my white neighbor called a group of African American young men who were congregating outside of the a local grocery store. Apparently, one of them was showing off his new baby. I wondered if that will be how my sons will be described years from now. Will they […]


A Black Christian, not White Muslim

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 […]


See my color. I see yours.

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.


Mom’s white. Dad’s black. I’m spotted.

William Jones, Reisterstown, MD. It’s Vitiligo. Yes, it’s what Michael Jackson had. It basically means the cells that make skin color stop doing that. All though you can’t see it as well in lighter complections, anyone from any race can develope it, and at the age of about 30, I became one of the 1% […]

What you don’t see, others suffer.

Carrie Allan, Takoma Park, MD. I’m always amazed by white people who make an argument that racism is in the past. How can any of us make that claim without living the experience? Recently I watched an online discussion about the English language and the absurdities of political correctness in academia devolve into an argument […]

My role model was not black.

Jamal Wills, MD. People often say that black kids need black role models. I sort of cheated. The wild hair, thoughtful eyes, the chin and the smile always reminded me of my grandfather. Yet, Albert Einstein was a German Jew whose prominence in the scientific community reached celebrity status. Even then, he still had to […]

New option at doctors – Eastern European

Anonymous, Baltimore, MD. When people discuss race, they seem to refer to only people of color. I always check Caucasian on forms. At the doctors yesterday, there was a new option, Eastern European. It felt like a better fit for me. Just because my skin lacks pigment, doesn’t mean that I am the same as […]

“You are white. I blame you.”

Mike B., Baltimore, MD. Time and time again, I have been approached by someone of a minority group with the statement “You have oppressed my people for centuries. Last time I checked, I have only been alive for 22 of those years. These people think because of skin tone and articulate speech that I had […]


I am Both, Not Just One.

Laura N. Weston, Baltimore, MD. About 80% of the time people assume (mostly men) I am Puerto Rican even though I am half Caucasian and half African American. I stress to everyone who thinks it is important enough to ask me what I am that I am Mixed or Biracial and I state with what. […]

Six humans running Lincoln Memorial steps

Nancy Eliot Corrsin, Baltimore, MD. Somewhere in Japan is a snapshot of a black man, an oriental man, and a white man galloping down the Lincoln Memorial steps arm-in-arm with three wildly various white women, one petite in shorts and dark braids, one sleepy-eyed blonde earth-mother, and me in bib-front overalls. I think we all […]


My beautiful black boys deserve HOPE!

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!


Skin says black, hair says mixed.

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 […]

Sons. Educated. Childless. Lawful. Doesn’t matter?

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 […]

They’re Shocked When I Speak Spanish

T.W., Baltimore, MD. I am White, non-Hispanic, but I go to Mexico on a regular basis so I have worked really hard to speak decent Spanish. I’m not fluent, but I can get around, and I have a believable accent. So back in the U.S., there are times when knowing Spanish comes in handy. I […]

“Well you’re not like super Hispanic”

Christina Aviles, Bethesda, MD. “You don’t talk like most Hispanic girls do, you don’t wear your hair like them, you don’t listen to the same music as them, you’re just not, well you’re not like super Hispanic”. This is what my white college roommate said to me during our first semester of freshman year when […]


Father failed his brown bag test.

Derrick Warren, Baltimore, MD. I remember my father talking to me about his college days in Missouri. There was this fraternity on campus that would require their prospective pledges to pass what was said to be a brown bag test. Essentially, if you were darker than the brown bag, you could not get into the […]


Black albino women challenges racial expectations

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 […]

Diversity’s a condition. Equity’s a goal.

Kevin Moreno, Baltimore, MD. When they happen at all, discussions about race too often devolve into indictments or defensiveness about one’s individual experience. But combating racism has as much or more to do with examining legal, policy, and other systemic structures than with changing individuals’ minds or attitudes.


My actions aren’t different from yours.

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.

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Yes, I can comb my hair..

Shaunise Allmond, Baltimore, MD. Society assumes since I am a black woman with natural hair I cannot do simple tasks like combing my hair. My hair texture is extremely curly and what some consider nappy. I have broken combs in the past and will continue to break them in the future. My problem with people […]


Puerto Rico’s Identity Crisis Defines Me.

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 […]


Identity Thief Blasian Sensation Lifelong Educator

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 […]

“M’ pa rele blanc,” I replied.

Emily S., Baltimore, MD. A phrase in Haitian Kreyol which means, literally, “I’m not called ‘White’” or “My name is not ‘White”. It was a phrase I became accustom to shouting back to calls of “Blanc, Blanc, Blanc” everywhere I went, by Haitian children and adults alike. I almost hadn’t noticed my skin color up […]

With Them, I’m Visable. Without, Invisable.

Christy Braddock, Silver Spring, MD. Marc Quarles’ 6 words spoke to me when featured on All Things Considered this morning: ‘With Kids, I’m Dad. Alone, Thug’ I am a white mom of 2 children of color and 2 caucasian children. When I am with my black children, I feel visable in all race communities in […]

Don’t worry honey, he’ll brown up.

Jen, Bowie, MD. My husband (African American) and I (Caucasian) took our son to his one month doctor appointment. The nurse asked us if he was Caucasian or non-white and wanted me to make a decision so she could check a box. When I asked for other options like a biracial or two or more […]

I’m tired of fearing the police.

Brier, Olny, MD. I’m white, but I’m poor, I drive a beat up car, often with people of color in my car, I am not a threat to anyone. Don’t come at me with your hand on your gun. Don’t pull me out of my car and put me in handcuffs because I wear hand-me-down […]


I wish he was a girl.

Kristen Moorhead, Silver Spring, MD. I’ve always told my son, “You can be anything you want to be.” Before Shani Davis’ won gold, POTUS was elected – prior to Neil deGrasse Tyson gracing our screen in Cosmos. What was once – is still – momentous to me is his normal: ‘I like ice skating, why […]