Melissa U., Charlotte, NC. My Taino people would love me, from my plump lips to my curly hair. My African people would love me from the rhythm in my hips to the powerful thoughts in my mind. My Spanish people, they might deny me, but I can’t deny them. They are in my language, they […]
Jennifer Jin, Chapel Hill, NC.
Nicole McFarlane, Fayetteville, NC. I’m a 43 year old black woman who has spent most of her adult life living and working in the South. I notice that when my weight fluctuates I’m perceived differently — as different stereotypes associated with my race, gender and sexuality. At times when I’m heavier, many assume me to […]
Catherine Vance Agrella, Asheville, NC. I’m white, and by definition am associated with some of the worst perpetrators of racism. But I also come from deep Appalachian Scots-Irish roots and have a clear ethnic identity. I do know what it feels like to be mocked for my speech, or thought of as a dumb hillbilly, […]
Mandy Padgett, Durham, NC.
Sam Henry, Ashville, NC. As a white male Social Studies teacher I always have a difficult time teaching slavery. From what I know about my family tree I don’t have any family members that owned slaves but that is hardly the point. It is a shameful period in our history but one worth studying. I […]
King Kellz, Fayetteville, NC. We only learn what America has taught us about our specific race.
James W. Smith, Southport, NC. UNTIL BLACKS STOP BELIEVING THE VICTIM INDUSTRY MESSAGE, CHAMPIONED BY MILLIONARE SPOKESMEN AS JESSIE JACKSON AND AL SHARPTON THEY WILL ALWAYS LAG BEHIND OTHER MINORITIES WHO KNOW THAT ADVANCEMENT DEPENDS ON PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND HARD WORK.
Susan Duncan, Bristol, NH. When I was in the fourth grade, my family moved from Concord, North Carolina, to Leaksville (now Eden), North Carolina. Our street, Patrick Street, was parallel to Henry Street and the dividing line between the “white” neighborhood and the black/African-American neighborhood. Our next door neighbor, Miss Mary, had a large yard […]
Alix Sotomayor, Boone, NC. I have always felt suspended between two worlds, since my ethnicity is widely varied (like that of most Americans). I am mostly (~70%) white, of Scots-Irish and English descent, but also have a chunk (25%) of Puerto Rican heritage (the missing ~5% comes from smidges of Native American and German ancestry). […]
Denise Pierce, Sterling, VA. My grandmother who was born in NC in 1901 and lived to be 105 tried to instill in me a love for my land-owning ancestors who also owned slaves. At 99 she was still quoting from the KKK playbook that taught slaves were lucky to have been brought to America and […]
Amy Hueitt Gastonia, NC I am black and white. My children are black and white! Genetics play an important role in how we appear. My son looks Mexican because his dad was Mexican! My daughter looks Mexican white because her dad was white! God truly has a sense of humor and He makes no mistakes, […]
Alva Jones Jr. Greensboro, NC I’m a bit of a focal point of discrimination in this country. As a Black man I’m viewed as a threat. As a gay man I’m viewed as an abomination. These views have by no means been universal in my travels, but the reality of their existence is no less […]
Destiny Baker Raeford, NC The only thing that defines how you are as a person is you, not your past, culture, and especially not race.
Josh Leake Cullowhee, NC It’s very aggravating to be judged because Im white. I come from a very rural area with a poor background. I have killed myself to support myself and be able to put myself through college.
Tom Dierolf Brevard, NC If you saw a photo of me among asian, black and latino faces, and asked to pick the immigrants to the U.S., you would probably not pick me. But I immigrated from Germany in 1960, and I know that all of the others in the photo could have had family living […]
P Morehead City, NC I am a white female and I am not racist at all. But sometimes I find myself with thoughts or fears that feel a little racist. Where is this coming from? I don’t want to have those thoughts or fears about other people because of their race. That is wrong.
April & Bill Ledford Carrboro, NC Native Americans and their contributions to US history, heritage, music, culture, food, customs — along with the often ignored, horrible American Holocaust — are still swept under the rug on a continuous basis in the media, history books, and everyday American society. The fact we have an NFL team […]
Kyle McDonald NC A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I got in an argument about race and sensitivity that started from watching football, of all things. I mentioned something about the fact that, if you think about it, the team the Washington Redskins is pretty offensive. His thought was “who cares?”. “People these […]
Jo Pembroke, NC Why call me racist because im white and believe in traditional values… i feel its not fair I can help what people did before my time. if so shouldn’t black Americans hate Africans for selling them to European traders also??
Kristine Ratanaphruks Durham, NC I look ethnically ambiguous and, at times, I pass for white. I grew up watching white men call my father “boy” — I’ve heard countless racist remarks made by people who don’t realize my heritage — I’ve heard the question ” What are you? ” too many times to count and […]
Justice Littlejohn Cherokee, NC Being Cherokee and living on a reservation you don’t grow up white, even if you are only half cherokee and half white. Tourists that come to the reservation always claim they are part cherokee. They are so proud of it. I don’t understand why they kinda get offended when I say […]
Tony Concorde, NC I am tired seeing white people feeling guilty or responsible for the misfortune of minorities.
Ted Willis, Jr. Cary, NC As a teacher, I have seen how, with each passing generation, race is becoming less of an issue with my students. Most of the racial tension is bred from their parents and the time frame most of then grew up in (however, the parents are become the generation in which […]
Stephen Wollentin Asheville, NC In the words of French philosopher Voltaire, ”with great power comes great responsibility.” I believe it is my responsibility, as one with power, to listen to and validate the experiences of those for whom discrimination is a daily reality and to exercise my privilege in support of equality and appreciation for […]
Casey Creech Pinehurst, NC My mother was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and my grandmother was raised in San Juan. All of my cousins have dark hair and eyes and tan so easily, but I don’t. I am snow white with green eyes and freckles but thick, thick spanish curls. When I bring up my […]
Jarrod Bennett Bennett Hunterville, NC I’m a heterosexual white Christian male. Every day, this notion that I’m more privileged than everyone else, and that I have to “level the playing field” in the name of “equality” is shoved down my throat. Helping and caring about people shouldn’t even involve race. It should involve who the […]
Molly Wanless Chapel Hill, NC To develop and maintain respect in my middle school English classroom, I teach that there are many “right ways” to talk and write. With technology and society being what they are today, no one owns or “rules” the conventions of our language. My students understand that their language and mine […]
Glennette Clark Washington DC Integration did a great disservice to black people in that we thought that we achieved a dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Teachers stopped caring about students and students stopped caring about achieving. Instead, we became “affirmative action’ed” because we lowered our expectations of ourselves along with everyone else. […]
Charles W Smith Little Rock, AR Strive to be color blind every day!
Jenifer Daniels Charlotte, NC As child, I was labeled ‘talkative’ and a ‘trouble maker’…when all along I was really gifted and left to languish.
Katie R. Phillips Green Mountain, NC I might be white, but growing up in the Southern Applachians is definitely its own ethnic identity. I didn’t truly understand this until I went to college, and brought friends home with me for the first time. One of my friends actually asked me if my family was inbred […]
Michael Mullenix Hillsborough, NC
Paula Gormley Greensboro, NC I am white. My children are from two separate worlds: United States and Tanzania. We are living in the US, but I am grooming them for lives in which they, children of privilege, will have an obligation to help their African brothers and sisters. I always tell people that they have […]
Vix Walker Greensboro, NC We’ve come a long way, but there is yet a long way left to go.
M. Rene Arnold Charlotte, NC
Devika Lee Chapel Hill, NC I see your expression. When I say the first three words, and your eyebrows go up because I don’t speak in ebonics. I’m sick and tired of people watching me closely when I walk into a store. I hate when the media makes my entire race look stupid. I’m black. […]
Gwendolyn Simmins Hope Mills, NC There are customer service people who give change by placing it on the counter instead of placing the change into the customer’s hand. My response to this is not silence. I say: I handed you my money. Place my change in my hand, please.
Derek Kendall Cullowhee, NC Why Is it when people see a African American student going to college they automatically assume that he must be here on a to play sports. On the other hand when white people are at college its only because they are smart and their parents have a good amount of money […]
Christine Magee Brooklyn, NC
Lateshia Locklear-Theroux Rock Hill, SC All my life I have called white. Even growing up in my tribal community (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina) I was teased because I was lighter than most of the other kids. My parents (both of whom are Lumbee) always told me that it doesn’t matter what color my skin […]
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 […]
Dawn E Josiah Landis, NC My daughter is Hawaiian American. I’m the white part of her, her dad is the Hawaiian part of her. After 25 years of marriage, he pushes us out of his life and returns to his roots. I’m the one that deals with the anger and pain from my daughter because […]
Blue Hamilton Spruce Pine, NC Having grown up poor and white in the deep south in the 1960’s, it was common to hear racial slurs whispered among my white classmates, but never directed in anger at my black or brown friends. Before segregation we all went to the same local school; rich, poor, black, brown […]
Scotsia Daniels Durham, NC I have always heard people that look like me say to young black females, “don’t bring home that white boy.”
Jacob Tanes Durham, NC A stereotype that people call the Asian race is Twinkie because Twinkies are yellow on the outside and white on the inside.
Cynthia Cahoon Moyock, NC In 1970, I was a junior in high school and new to that school. As a member of the drama team, I made friends with Julia and Carlton and friends ere few and far between when you’re new. Since I had a car, after school and before drama practice, I would […]
Jacob Miller Boone, NC I’m a decent fraction Iroquois and I’m proud of my Native American Heritage, but I’m also whiter than white bread so if I identified with Native Americans people would look at my skin and assume I was lying. It bothers me a lot.
Robert Rodden Winston-Salem, NC
Monica Wesner Rutherfordton, NC I am white and see it everyday in this little Southern town. I know they are lying because whenever they say the word “black” they lower their voices and look both ways, as if they were crossing the street. Some are bound and determined to vote President Obama out just because […]
Jack Robertson Boone, NC Appalachian State More Caucasians than the eye can see
Hannah Wigley Boone, NC Is this a contest to see who finishes first? I’m pretty sure the term by itself can be considered ‘racist’ since it implies some sort of competition and differentially…
Maureen Shaw Durham, NC Thank you for doing this. This is a photo of my mother’s family, this is the reason why I wrote it’s okay to be black. I look at it an feel so proud of this photo. We let ourselves believe we are a people are people with shattered history. I’ve discovered […]
Charles H. Sides Westminister, MA I always felt superior because my great-great grandfather Sides was conscripted against his will or support into the Confederate Army, deserted, was captured by the Army of the Potomac, and imprisoned at Elmira where he died. Then, as I learned more about my personal genealogy, I discovered that every other […]
Hayley Burgette Durham, NC Some people say I don’t act like I’m white but I’m just an ordinary country girl. Sometimes I can be as southern as it gets and you can tell in my voice but other times I’m out of control.
Catherine Durham, NC The question we get ask almost everyday, what what ethic do you belong to? why do we get ask these question? Do race still mater? Just think about it wouldn’t it be nice if race didn’t matter? Today in society we are being categorize in groups that by the color of our […]
Monecia R. Thomas East Bend, NC
Allison Valeri Charlotte, NC In 2011, I took a trip to Kenya, Africa where my team and I were welcomed in as family. We were all white, a lot of us with blond hair and blue eyes, and one person with red hair. We were a sight to be seen. We stayed in an area […]
Sid Makeba Raleigh, NC I was so proud in the fall of 1960 to join and wear the uniform of The United States Air Force. What a rude awaking I got in San Antonio Texas when Puerto Rican buddy and I tried to go to the movies. The cashier lady told us we had to […]
Kelley Canaday Sylva, NC Race is a label that has morphed over time taking on both positive and negative connotations depending on your perspective. Our perspective determines how we perceive race. No matter how much we try to eliminate bias it will always exist on some level. We are an observant people always making judgments […]
Marci Russell, Durham, NC. I don’t think people understand how serious the racist comments they say are. Even if they’re just joking, It’s hurtful. I wish people would just think before they act. If people just thought about what they are going to say before they say it, I believe the world would change one […]
Rebecca Tester Lenoir, NC What does it mean to be “mixed” anyway? Does it even matter? I’ll never forget that first day of school when everyone wanted to know the colors of my parents.
Yuri Yamamoto Raleigh, NC I am a Japanese immigrant. I sometimes feel lost in this society where race is all about black and white. I often feel that I am neither white nor black enough to contribute significantly to a diversity conversation, most of which seems to be about reconciliation and healing from the slavery. […]
John Dunning Fayetteville, NC Read the poem “Decline to State”
Hao Nguyen Durham, NC I wanted to say… Black Vietnamese. Speak english, spanish, vietnamese. Eat suong kho, pho, and corn dogs. Words that describe my mixed race/heritage children. Having to choose only 6 words, I had to put them in order of words that most describe them. Having to choose what comes first — black […]
Kelsey Hamm Boone, NC Our world has recently adapted to the idea of colorblindness, or the concept that race doesn’t matter. However, to look at two people and disregard their race actually perpetuates racism. The color of your skin, as well as your ethnicity, will at least partially determine the experience you have in America. […]
Lynn Scott Cochrane Washington DC I grew up in a deeply segregated Charlotte, NC in the 1950s and 60s. When my high school, North Mecklenburg, was finally integrated in about 1963, there was one black girl who always sat alone in the cafeteria. She may have been the only black girl in the school that […]
Blue Hamilton Spruce Pine, NC Most of America only want’s to hear what they believe to be true. Sometimes if they listen to what is being said, and not what they think they are hearing, maybe they will realize that they can accept another persons opinion without prejudice.
Elizabeth Moslely Charlotte, NC
Rhonda Nottingham Durham, NC My father was in the US Army when I was born. We lived in many places among many types of people. We moved to nowhere WV when my father left the Army in order to care for my ailing grandfather. I went to an all white high school, as there were […]
Richard Wynn Charlotte, NC By focusing on the future and improving themselves, all Americans can live the American dream. Assuming, of course, that their skills are in demand. Every American who is focusing only on the past, and not doing well in school, will surely continue to suffer economically. This will be even more of […]
Lawrence R. Bethea Greensboro, NC In 1960 as a young Afro-American child ( 6yrs.old ) growing up in Greensboro,N.C. (home of the civil rights sit-in movement), my mother took me shopping downtown. As we waited on the bus to carry us home, I noticed a large group of men walking down the street in white […]
Nancy H Long Springfield, IL I drove through North Carolina over Memorial Day weekend last year and passed a house with its lawn covered in KKK crossed and Confederate flags. I wanted to stop and take a photo, but I was afraid someone would see and object. I actually feared for my life. It may […]
Joe Fournelle Stuarts Draft, VA Spring 1969. I was a 20-year-old Marine at the Greyhound bus station in Beaufort, SC waiting for transportation to Cherry Point, NC via commercial bus. An “old” (older than me anyway) black man approached me and asked me to find out when the next bus bus for Lobeco was. I […]
Glenn McIntosh Wilmington, NC IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT ALL OF THE ANTICS THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE DOING ARE RACISM AT IT’S WORSE. CASE IN POINT IS HERE IN NORTH CAROLINA WITH THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE ENACTING NUMEROUS LAWS THAT IS GOING TO MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO VOTE.
Walt Pulliam Jr. Richmond, VA Grew up in Greensboro, NC and was familiar with the Woolworth lunch counter where the sit-ins occurred.
Twanna Robinson Thomasville, NC In Sunday school one morning, a new child asked me why my skin was so dark. I told her it was because I am a black person. She looked at me for a minute and said nothing else to me for the rest of the hour. When her mother, picked her […]
Mark Babbitt Clayton, NC I was born in 1954 in Western Massachusetts. I was raised to be color-blind. I still remember a friend of my father, who was black, came to our house in the late ’50s and had a reel to reel recorder. Thought that was the coolest thing ever. The color of his […]
Andrew Merz Charlotte, NC
Tina Crisman Charlotte, NC
Raven Cincinnati, OH In parts of Eastern North Carolina the lines between black, bi-racial and Native American is blurry and sometimes nonexistent. I went to school with the great(x3) grandchildren of my family’s slaveholders. Our families share the same last name. Upon leaving I learned that my green eyes, light skin and curly hair were […]
Molly Monsees Durham, NC Race is a real cultural, political, and economic concept in society, but it is not a biological concept. In a scientific sense, there is no such thing as race.
Lynn Cary, NC I heard this the other day from a neighbor. I heard this when I was a young girl. It made me so sad, then and now.
Steven N. Pembroke Pines, FL I am Hispanic, born and raised in New York. I served in the Marine Corps from 1988 to 1992 and was stationed in Jacksonville, NC. I was on my way to Fayetteville to visit some friends and got lost on the way. I stopped at some convenience store to ask […]
R.Henry Goins San Francisco, CA I am a genealogist. I have been researching my North Carolina family for about ten years now. I found my great grandfather’s family in some notes held at the North Carolina Archives. The family lived in Belews Creek and Sauratown. Sauratown sounds like sorrow. I found a ledger with the […]
Tanisha Henderson Raleigh, NC There is perception and then there is reality. What do you do when those lines cross and the reality is you have to live like the perception is true? Case in point: Miami-Dade Police handcuffed and choked a 14 year old boy because he gave them “‘dehumanizing stares,’ clenched his fists […]
Ann Karson Asheville, NC In 1963, I was an active member of the Liberal Party of South Africa, a small, multi-racial group, a political party made up of people opposed to apartheid who wanted that opposition to be fully non-racial. We were liberal in that sense, not economically: some of us were capitalists, some socialists. […]
Charles Perkins Reidsville, NC White, Black, Yellow, Red, – Yes we are all people of color, however our society and institutions have deemed that some colors are more privileged than others.
Jeff Byrum Asheville, NC I can’t remember where I first heard this, but now, whenever I’m asked for my race, my answer is “human.” When it’s a phone survey, the response is usually delight. From 3.7 billion miles out, earth appears in a famous photograph taken by Voyager I as pale blue dot.
Linden Gibson Raleigh, NC I will never get used to being looked at by total strangers as a threat to their safety just by walking down the street. I see the fear in the averted looks, how they step aside or suddenly have something important to say to a companion, or seem to need to […]
Louise Bannon Holly Springs, NC Raising, playing, growing and living as a diverse family is an extraordinary experience. It brings both good days and tough days – obstacles and disappointments, laughter and lightheartedness. The journey is full of stares – stares full of curiosity, stares full of love and stares of hatefulness from the people […]
Joy Schmidt Waxhaw, NC I was born in West Africa and adopted by Caucasian parents. But since my parents are missionaries we also live for most of my childhood in Cameroon. When we moved to the U.S. permanently I was starting 9th grade, and one of the most frustrating things that I am met with […]