Kristin Maerke, Springfield, MO. When I was younger I was very annoyed by the question, “What are you?” Which were usually the first three words spoken to me. I have since learned to embrace my cultural diversity, and sometimes even enjoy making people guess (it tends to make them quite uncomfortable).
Hillary Buren, Kansas City, MO. As a biracial women growing up in am almost entirely white community I have adapted to addressing my racial ambiguity (I am most commonly mistaken as Hispanic but even have been confused for as Indian) and usually I resort to humor when it comes to this topic. However it never […]
Lorna Dianne Stookey Fredericktown, MO It cut deep, the aftermath of the 2008 election. I woke up to find racism splashed across the front page: “We finally got one of OURS in the White House.” Whose “ours” was he? He’s multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multiracial! He’s European American and African American. He’s “Everyman.” Could have been […]
Auguste Budhram, USA. Anyone who has ever been in the minority remembers the first time a word knocked the wind out of them. As a child, my first time came packaged in a rhyme known by everyone– making the blow feel conspiratorial and that much worse. The rhyme is part of every 10 year- old’s […]
Katie Gray, Lees Summit, MO.
Susi Matthews, Kansas City, MO. I am 1/4 Navajo plus Cherokee and Mohawk. I am also English, Irish, Scots and German. I LOOK white; my full sister looks Native. I experienced the reactions she got when we were kids on vacation. A small restaurant in Colorado thought she was Native America and refused to serve […]
Terri F. Reilly, St. Louis, MO. I don’t only teach white college students, but many of them come into the classroom with blinders of privilege that need lifting.
Lisa Johnson, Holden, MO. I am, unfortunately, from very rural America. There was a short period in my life (approximately 1/4 of it) that was lived in larger areas where I got to know various people. My most favorite experiences were the multicultural atmosphere of the Modern Languages and Literatures Department of a college I […]
Hannah Herzog St. Louis, MO Guess what? It’s both (sort of). You may be of “Jewish” ethnicity without being of Jewish faith (non practicing), or you may be of Jewish faith, but may be from someplace other than Europe or Israel. Please remember that Jews come in all colors, and of all nationalities. Those descendants […]
Lauren Anderson Kansas City, MO I’m not sure what I would consider myself. The only thing that I know is that I am brown-skinned, but light-skinned. Many believe I am mixed with another race or other race(s), but my parents are both Black. I’m not really sure what it means to be Black or where […]
Jane Meacham, Washington, DC. My dad is a lawyer in Kansas City, MO, who always had mostly black, working-class clients. When the city school district started to decline in quality in the early 1970s, we moved away to a nearly all-white suburban school district nearby. So I realize now, all these years later, that his […]
David Forde, Kansas City, MO. Reconciled this after a long while.
Val Andrew, Overland, MO. My parents taught us early on to accept all people and invited international college students of different races, religions, and nationalities to stay with us during holidays. During the Vietnam War we hosted an AFS student from Vietnam for a year. I grew up a few miles from Ferguson and taught […]
Lana Moore, Sarcoxie, MO. I am the youngest of eight children, who were all encouraged to further our education. All eight of us went to college. Our mother taught in a one room school house until she was expecting her fourth child, and our father was a mechanic.Our parents raised us to view all people […]
Basmin, St. Louis, MO. This question has been asked since I began my earthwalk as though I am something other than human, that I don’t fit recognizable category. As a woman of color in seeking healing for my racial wounds I embraced my spiritual nature, cultivated peace within and embraced each who breathes as a […]
Dennis Jack Higgs Saint Peters, MO I was raised in West Texas in the 50’s and 60’s. Although racism was rampant around us, we were not raised to be racist. I am now in my mid sixties and still to this day, one incident, when I was about six or seven years old, that lasted […]
Tim Lumpkins St. Louis, MO
J. Torres Kansas City, MO My father is from Puerto Rico, born and raised. My mother is Colombian. However, raised in Panama. They met in the 1950’s while my dad was in the U.S. Army. Us kids always called ourselves PanaRicans. Until my mother gave us her true background. I attended college in Michigan in […]
Joan Walsh Submitted via Twitter: @joanwalsh #racecardproject Read more about this 6-word Essay.
Nneka Kevin, Kansas City, MO.
Tracey Hughes Kansas City, MO Saline Davidson is my 6th great-grandmother, who made herself known to me in November 2013 as part of my family history research. The journey to discover her since November has been amazing and intense, as evidenced by this recap of my latest discovery. More info: http://traceystree.blogspot.com/2014/01/saline-davidson-you-have-released-her.html
Ginger Williams St. Louis, MO If it had not happened how could one in good conscience live in this country?
Larry Smith (Vietnam Veteran), Saint Louis, MO. I look around and see white fear of black people (especially black men) on the rise as reflected in the rise of white gun possession. I also see things staying the same or getting worse for black people in terms of economics, education and housing. I would just […]
Lauren Russell, Springfield, MO. Words my babysitter told me when I was 7 years old. I remember–she sat me down one day, studied me for a moment and then spoke cold and low, “I found out about your real father and I know he isn’t white. You should be ashamed of yourself and ashamed of […]
Debra Taylor, Bolton, MO. Fourteen years ago I married a black man. My father told me my child and grandchild did not exist because I was dead to him.
Blake Frisch, Blue Springs, MO. We’re all humans just trying to get through life the best we can. Your brothers and sisters need you in this time of chaos. Life was and always will be difficult. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be.
Brandon S. Allison, Independence, MO.
Philip Harding, Chesterfield, MO. Let’s build communities that are strong. Let’s have dialogues. Let’s become each other, let there be empathy, learning and understanding. Break down walls, build up culture. Create. Communities where we educate our children, eat well, and build lasting bonds. Let’s make our communities racially diverse. As long as we segregate ourselves, […]
Jack Kiehl, St. Louis, MO. I live in a city that is significantly divided between blacks and whites. The division and living in such homogenous communities is one of the strongest reasons why racism, both subtle and overt, continue today. This project inspired a deep look into this issue and was the inspiration for an […]
Daniel Knoll, Saint Louis, MO. These may or may not represent how I feel about race,,,I am in Missouri, and grew up in the town right next to Ferguson..i am a white guy, but the adopted son of a Native American (full Cherokee) mother, and German -American father…not to minimize the legitimacy of the real […]
Tanisha, Saint Louis, MO.
Andrew Schlager, Kansas City, MO. “You are holding the binoculars backwards.” We are so consumed by generalized assumptions about race that we fail to see that every individual is different. We see people from afar, just as a person would see looking through binoculars backwards, and make judgments without really looking closely, like a person […]
Carrie Piper, St Peters, MO. I grew up in the part of the suburbs that’s sort of a demographic limbo. You’d know what I meant if you saw it: no longer new enough to be “really nice” as the older home builders die off, slowly moving through the “hoosier” phase on its way to “ghetto” […]
Robin Greeley St. Louis, MO This is what my relatives said to me at a family reunion in the 1950s.They were afraid that if it was known that Grandma was Choctaw, she could be sent to a reservation – something that was done in those days. In Pueblo, Colorado, the hatred and direct discrimination of […]
Karen Randolph Rogers, Kansas City, MO. I’m a civil rights attorney who grew up in a predominantly white rural area and left for the city. I see the pain that racism causes in my work and my personal life and try to convey that to white friends and family who deny their privilege. #SafetyPin
Tanisha Rueter, Gladstone, MO. It makes me sad when people tell me my son is “too white”. No, he is perfect, just like everyone else it. The world would be a boring place without the many different colors.
Berthetta Lynne Hill, Kansas City, MO.
Hannah, St. Louis, MO. My mother is from Africa. She has dark skin. My father is Swedish. My mother used to get asked if she was my Mexican nanny. I was bullied as a kid because I look like no one in my family. No one understands I identify more as a minority but I […]
Spencer S., O’Fallon, MO. My entire life growing up people have blamed almost every bad thing or complaint I’ve said on my race. This has made me upset my whole life because just because I’m white is shouldn’t explain anything about me even when I came out as transgender a friend of mine who actually […]
Ferguson Police Officer Wife, O’Fallon, MO. Just because he is a white police officer, doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. He grew up in this community and has just as much of a right to work here as anyone else. I should not have to worry myself sick if he will come home every night. […]
Cynthia Venegas, Kansas City, MO.
Natalie, Kansas City, MO. I believe ignorance is a key that goes hand-in-hand with fear. We are afraid of what we do not know or what we cannot understand. If we simply educated ourselves on certain topics,we may be less likely to jump to conclusions, opinions and prejudice’s. Ignorance is blind to those who we […]
Melissa, Chesterfield, MO.
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 […]
Cheryl L. Jones, Kansas City, MO.
Matthew Dylan Cairns, Blue Springs, MO. We need to be able to have opinions without being silenced our ostracized.
Luke Brad Bobo, Ballwin, MO. We may be different hues, shapes, etc. on the outside but we share a common humanity – we have many of the same fears, same dreams, same wants, same concerns, etc.
Taylor Miller, Kansas City, MO. I’m sick of people not believing my mother birthed me just because we have different skin tones.
Jackie Loya-Torres Kansas City, MO As a small child in the 1970s, I remember having to take some sort of standardized test in school. You know…the ones where you need a #2 pencil to fill in the ovals? On the cover page, in addition to listing my name, gender and age, I was asked to […]
Marlaina Catalano, Kansas City, MO. I’m not above anyone. In my eyes, everyone is equal. We should all help each other out and always have a contagious smile to send someone who needs it.
Nick Skradski, Furbank, MO.
Nancy Robinson, Wildwood, MO.
Joann MO Submitted via NPR’s Talk of the Nation My six words are actually two, six word conversations between a black father and son about avoiding certain areas of town: Son, indignant: I have the right to be! Father: Yes, just not “be” over there. Naively thought we had settled this.
Brandi Mcgrath Kong, Kansas City, MO.
Jamita Hood, Kansas City, MO. I feel these type of forums and programs are excellent don’t get me wrong. I will say that first! It just seems like something really terrible has to HAPPEN for things to HAPPEN! Let’s concentrate on keeping these types of formats going and growing!
Zoe Evans, St. Louis, MO. When I hear about kids being killed, I feel scared because I’m one.,
Brenna Whitehurst, St. Louis, MO.
Donna Wolfe Kansas City, MO She bolstered my self-love, self-esteem and confidence. I am eternally grateful. My self-image was that of beauty, grace and intelligence. My elders lived that way, daily. They made us feel loved and entitled to the best the world has to offer.
Marvin Hardy, Ferguson, MO. Born in and raised in Saint Louis, it’s amazing how much an African-American male has to give to make a success of himself. From a early age in the 80’s, I was told never to travel alone south of Interstate 64. This was the barrier that separated predominantly poor AA’s from […]
Rick Pace Columbia, MO I hope there is hope.
Rebecca Pope, Lawson, MO.
Alexeana Lopez, Saint Louis, MO. Segregation doesn’t always come from white people.
Anonymous, St. Louis, MO. I truly believe that for me, the down sides of being black would be worth a full sense of acceptance into the beautiful culture of hip-hop and rap that I identify with at the soul level. I’m hated for that and I understand why.
African American professional Kansas City, MO
Glenn Allen Campbell, St. Louis, MO. I always make a point to treat everybody with kindness and courtesy but it is rarely reciprocated by blacks. Yet the mainstream media tells me l am a racist. This is real I am not imagining this.
Robert Jones St Louis, MO
Michael Noble Saint Louis, MO Daily reminder from my mom on the way to school…
Phyllis Gabare, Kansas City, MO. Race and Ethnic teacher gave his students this project. thank you I enjoyed doing it . –
Shay Smith, Kansas City, MO. So the other day, a friend of mine, myself, and other friends, got into a very heated discussion about the plight of blackness in America. Essentially, one friend made the point that black men have a greater struggle than black women. I immediately became defensive. As I spoke with vehemence […]
Kitra Mwania, Branson, MO. The confederate flag clearly means something important to the people around here. Being a black person who learned that this flag represented slavery and injustice makes me nervous about why this flag is an accessory.
Lottie MSF, St. Louis, MO. Born in LA, raised in Compton, became an adult in Bay Area, relocated to MO. Loved by entrepreneur/homemaker grandparents. Raised by entrepreneur, GED, get the job done, courageous, make it happen parents with 50+ years of marriage. I’m a well balanced contributing, career woman, parent, wife, aunt & daughter. My […]
Angela Messerschmidt, St. Louis, MO.
Ellie Myers, Saint Louis, MO. I was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri where the tension around race politics is palpable. Race never played a big role in my life, because it never had to. That is, until I started dating black men. I remember friends in high school joking about me going to, […]
Casey Barnes, Kansas City, MO.
Charles Beach, St. Louis, MO.
Dre Kansas City, MO I am curious if you the responses your received while in PA and across the country differed at all by race, gender, or particularly age(generation).
Daniel Knoll, Saint Louis, MO. Just some ruminations on the issue, as a Local Missourian, and past resident of the town NEXT to Ferguson MO..white, adopted child of full Native American(Cherokee) mother and German-American father…
Jacob Augare, Kansas City, MO. Words from my Blackfeet, Native American father from the Piikani Nation.
Hudson Giles-Lavender, Columbia, MO.
Rabbi Justin Kerber, Saint Louis, MO. I may be “white.” But my grandparents and great-grandparents weren’t “white,” they were Jews! The distinction had implications and consequences — lethal for some of them. In my work as a rabbi and hospital chaplain I must see all people as created in G1d’s image and likeness, yet must […]
Jason Michlig, Kansas City, MO.
Srushya Krishnan, St. Louis, MO.
Zarriya Johnson, Kansas City, MO. We are humans first. Our race is just something we as humans created to determine how a person should be and act in society. It’s a trend that needs to stop.
Catherine Tiger, Kansas City, MO. I’ve been to many pow wows and I love to explain to my friends what it is that we do their. It was one day when a man over heard my friend and I talking and he asked if Native America’s dance around a fire and really think they can […]
Yazan Hamed, St. Louis, MO.
Elle Dowd, St. Robert, MO.
Johnny Boyd Blue Springs, MO. Sometimes I catch myself thinking things about people, or making judgements, based on their race or appearance. I know it’s wrong, but I learned to see differences at an early age.
Amanda Honigfort, St. Louis, MO. I am white. I am told again, and again, especially as a St. Louisan in light of Ferguson, that it takes all of us to fix our race problems, and that white people need to get involved too, but every time they stop there. I rarely get answers, but I’m […]
Tracey Hughes, Kansas City, MO. The unofficial trial of Michael Brown (also known as the statement from Prosecutor McCullough) makes it official in my mind. America is nowhere near ready to make significant, lasting change when it comes to confronting racism, privilege, and the lack of equality in justice for ALL if its citizens. I […]
Mo, MA. I am neither white or black so I am not invited to the debates on race.
Henderson Smith III, St Louis, MO. I told this lady in Cinn, Ohio after she grab her purse when she looked and saw me walking down the supermarket aisle. I explain to her that I was an Logistics Engineer at GE Aircraft Engines and a Captain in the Air National Guard.
Marlott Rhodes, St. Louis, MO. Watch out America, this upcoming Wilson trial will be a tinderbox.