“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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

Red skin. Reservation. Relegated. Re-appropriated. Reimagined. Resolute.

Faith Roessel, Bethesda, MD. Georgetown Day I am Navajo Indian, born and raised on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. I now live in the “bubble” and within the “beltway” of Washington, DC with my non Indian husband and my three incredible boys. No one can imagine the challenges we face day in and day out […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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My husband and I won it.

Victoria True, Bethesda, MD. 15 years of my Miscegenated marriage have come and gone. I married a man who is beyond color blind. Case in point, I came by his place 1 month before we were getting married, and joked there are xxx,xx1 inter-racial couples in the US, and on June 12th there will be […]

Can I color Barbie’s skin brown?

Heather Dalby, Baltimore, MD. My Little was 9 years old when she asked me this question while we colored with crayons. She is a brilliant character with an abundance of self confidence, so her question surprised me. Her family is from everywhere; the US, Great Britain, and the Caribbean to name a few. Her skin […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

Being An African American Feels Powerful

Chelsea Delaney, Baltimore, MD. I have read different race cards that elaborated so much about the downsides of being my race, about being an African American and the disadvantages of it. I do believe that both sides need to be explained, but I want to focus more on the positive. Focus more on how liberating […]

“You can’t change what you find.”

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 […]

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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 […]

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Identity isn’t housed in a box

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 […]

Child Immigrant, Grown Defender of America

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 […]

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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 […]

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Sorry, My Mom Don’t Like Blacks

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 […]

Allows me to celebrate my birthday

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 […]

Opportunity, creativity, and education are essential.

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 […]

Self segregation leads to continued stereotyping.

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 […]

How much more I gotta give?

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 […]

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Seen as black only by Americans!

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 […]

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My Ancestors Bones Not For Museum

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 […]

Mom, will I turn brown now?

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 […]