Not hispanic enough, not white enough

Alfida Cruse, St. Louis, MO. Growing up half Dominican and half Missouri German (white) constantly left me feeling not white enough for the white kids and not Dominican enough for the Hispanic kids. I have been called out and subsequently shunned when my mother picked me up from school in Arlington, VA (“you’re WHITE?!”) and […]

Michigan, 1970: Where are your horns?

BJ Diamond, West Hartford, CT. Just married, moved from East Coast to Midwest, found a job as an urban planner for the county. First woman in a professional position at the agency. The other women were administrative staff. I was always asked to fill in for them if they were short-handed (e.g., please get the […]

I’m an expat, he’s an immigrant.

Anonymous, Omaha, NE. Born and raised in the midwest, I studied Spanish and went to live in Latin America. While there, I met my now husband, we wed and have two children. I was always considered an expat (expatriate) while living abroad and my white-privilege was amplified during my time there. Now that we have […]

Perceptions of race…change….over time…

M’Karyl Gaynor, Decatur, GA. I am 52 years old and I am from the Midwest (Rockford, IL) and while there was not an absence of racism per se…my friends and I were fortunate enough to grow up in a community where our families, communities and educational experiences allowed us to experience integration at its best…I […]

So wish it didn’t matter still.

Sharla Yeutsy Urbandale, IA I’m a white 73 year old grandmother of seven who has always lived in the midwest. I am grateful that I grew up in a family that judged people by the “content of their character” I rejoiced when we elected Barak Obama two times as our president and am so pained […]

Passing under streetlights… shouldn’t we nod?

Tom Capuano Kirksville, MO In the Midwest, in small and mid-sized towns at least, people who are strangers to each other sometimes acknowledge each other with a nod, at the very least, when passing by each other, at least during the day. Sometimes even a hello. Maybe not all the time, maybe not even most […]

What if I were born black?

Harriett Fargnoli Rockville Centre, NY It’s so hard some days to make sense of anything. Humanity, not color, should define us. I was born in the Midwest to non-racist parents. I moved East where everything is ethnic.

Aggressive homogeneity hurts white folks too.

Erika Chester South Korea I’m an American living in South Korea, married to an American soldier stationed here. I grew up in what I recently articulated as aggressively homogeneous culture in the Midwest. Fortuitously, I became friends with one of the very, very few students of color in my high school. Her friendship has done […]

Mother’s warnings at four, instilled racism.

Carmen Davis Portland, OR I was a very young child from the Midwest traveling with my mother by train to Detroit in the 1940’s. There was an African American couple on the train with a wonderfully packed picnic basket. As a very gregarious child I was eager to explore the car. My mother told me […]