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My mixed-race son looks All-American.

Emma Alvarez Gibson, San Pedro, CA. My husband’s heritage is Japanese/Portuguese/French. Mine is Mexican/Irish/Scottish. Neither of us fit in anywhere while growing up; both sides of each of our families considered us oddities at best. People never knew what to make of us. I was too white for the Mexican kids and too uptight about [...]

Mexican Born achieving my American dream

Jesus Castro Menifee, CA California Baptist University CBU HIS311 I was born in Mexico and am the first person in my family to have a career with retirement benefits. Proud to be in this country and served in the Military. I now have a family and I am teaching my 2 year old son the [...]

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Western Michigan meets Korea near Chicago

Mark Cooper Lafayette, IN In elementary school, my best friend turned to me and said, “Mark, I don’t even think of you as asian anymore!” I knew he meant that our friendship had stepped beyond perceived race, but the phrasing could not be anymore alienating. I have family that trace back to the Mayflower, to [...]

Hispanic chick doesn’t speak Spanish, WHAT?

Cynthia Deras GA Are you hispanic? Why dont you speak spanish? What part of Mexico are your parents from? Say something in Spanish! Your not really Mexican if you dont speak spanish. Basically thats the reaction I get from the latino community when someone finds out I dont speak Spanish. I lost Spanish as a [...]

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Your words don’t change who I am

Blake Coffey Van Nuys, CA In a world where being mixed is supposed to be looked at as beautiful, it’s not as easy when you are. People automatically assume that all mixed people are supposed to look mixed just like they assume all Mexicans are brown. I’m born to a mixed black/white father who looks [...]

I’m Mexican-American, heritage comes first

Bessie King Boston, MA I don’t think I have been offended by being asked “Where are you from?” before. I was raised to know that I am a Mexican with an American passport in a country where everyone is from somewhere. Until the USA truly embraces diversity and it’s own history, there will be no [...]

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Whites say Hispanic, Hispanics say White

Renee Lewin Asutin, TX My mother is Mexican-American from the Rio Grande Valley, my father is white from Orange, NJ. I was raised in a home where English was primarily spoken, but Spanish was still commonly heard. As I was growing up I viewed myself primarily as Mexican. I spent most of my time with [...]

Why are we still moving backwards?

Briana Almeida Savannah, GA Everybody has problems. Instead of moving forward, equalizing and acknowledging everyone, we are squashing and devaluing. We are hashtagging #noRacism2014, and yet putting nooses on Black statues. We are allowing sororities to host “Mexican” parties in sombreros, and accusing the poor of food stamp fraud. Help, not hinder.

Light skin doesn’t make me privileged

Em New York, NY Born in Mexico, to mexican parents, crossed the border to find a better life, learning english on tv, grew up in Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the US, with Colombians, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Ecuadorians, two brothers many shades darker than I, my mother “the help,” always having too [...]

You aren’t what you look like.

Marcus Garcia Moses Lake, WA I’m Mexican but people pretty much never get it right like i get asked if I’m white,greek,persian,middle easter,black(shocked about that one),dominican,italian,jewish,etc. and i get called slurs that i don’t even know what they are or mean. when i was younger this would make me upset because i know what i [...]

Raised mixed, married mixed, had mixed.

Alisha Partlow Eugene, OR My mother is red haired, blue eyed Danish/German. My father, dark haired, brown eyed Mexican. I married a man whose biological mother was a 6foot blonde of Swedish decent, and we assume his father was African american. Our offspring consists of a 22 year old, red haired, green eyed freckled face [...]

Neighborhood party we were not invited

Ninfa Pena-Purcell College Station, TX This picture of my parents captures a young Mexican American couple with aspirations to live the American dream in the 1950s only to find out that their family of six children would never be welcomed in their neighborhood. Years later this experience has stayed with me and made me resolve [...]

My parents said “No Mexican boyfriends”

Patricia Paquette Seattle, WA I grew up in Southern California where half of my classmates and neighbors were Mexican and so were my best friends and eventually, boyfriends. Even though my parents knew and liked these guys, they forbade me to date them or call them boyfriends. They gave no explanation — probably felt they [...]

One sixteenth Irish, are you serious?

Roberto Contreras Mexico I’m a redheaded Mexican-american. I self identify as Mexican, having grown up in Mexico, but whenever I say my heritage is Mexican the next question is always “Are you sure you are not half-spanish or something?”. No, parents are Mexican, grandparents are Mexican, so it’s interesting to see specific heritage being such [...]

Obstacle course meets me every day

SLTR Seattle, WA I was raised in a white protestant homogenous family. From the time I was young, my curiosity led me to friends of other colors, races, personalities…anything new. In my 40′s I find myself with a Mexican husband, in a profession where I constantly learn and teach in a petri dish of races, [...]

Mexican, Italian, Persian, what are you?

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 – [...]

We identify as “Red Sox fans.”

Rachel Gonzales Pottstown, PA I’m the whitest woman who ever lived (except in the summer, when I’m the sunburniest woman who ever lived). He’s half-Mexican by way of California and half-German by way of WWII. Our adopted daughter is part African American, part Italian, part “Caucasian mix” (that’s what it ACTUALLY SAYS in her medical [...]

All the Mexicans here are Black.

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. [...]

I’m not white in my family

Lisa Craig Washington, DC It’s a bit complicated. My father’s family consists of Scottish, Swedish, French, German, English, Mexican, and two different Native American tribes. My mother’s family consists of French-Canadian, English, Inquit (Alaskan Native Americans), and some other ethnicities that I am not aware of (I am not close to them). All of my [...]

You don’t look like a Mexican.

Edmundo de la Garza Seattle, WA I was born in Chicago to fair skinned parents, one with green eyes and the other with hazel eyes. Mexico, especially in the larger urban areas, is quite cosmopolitan; although it was controled by several European empires, peoples from many countries emmigrated to Mexico for economic opportunities, and these [...]

Standing on border of Mexican and White.

Deborah Torres Saint Paul, MN This has two meanings for me. First, I honor both my paternal (Mexican) and maternal (English, French & more) heritage. Second, because race is a socially constructed concept, the idea of whether or not Mexican is White evolved throughout the 20th Century. For example, on my paternal Grandfather Bedardo Torres’ [...]

When did borders start defining ‘race’?

Sarah Naomi Burnett Norristown, PA Being a ‘white’ girl raised on the border of Mexico the ‘race-card’ issue was raised daily. I always felt that if I was a color, and they were a nationality, those two identifiers didn’t quantify either of us equally. I had a culture at home that was Irish/Italian but where [...]

I’m not Hispanic, thanks for asking.

Elizabeth Norris Taylor Fernandina Beach, FL I have lived my entire life with people coming up to me and asking, “what are you?” For a while in college, I had some very clever comebacks… now days I simply shrug and say, “American, and you?” I have had people come up to me and speak Spanish [...]

Mexican white girl, doesn’t speak Spanish.

Elysha O’Brien Las Vegas, NV Whites see me as Mexican, Mexicans view me as White because I don’t speak Spanish. I find it interesting that we don’t qualify other ethnic identities on the basis of language. Featured on NPR’s Morning Edition Segment: Living in Two Worlds but with Just One Language http://www.npr.org/2013/05/23/185839159/living-in-two-worlds-but-with-just-one-language