What’s the point when color fades

Spencer, Wilmington, NC. Everyone dies. And when we do die, there will be no color, just bones and dirt. It’s funny that race is so important when it doesn’t last forever. We only have a short time on the earth and yet we spend so much time dividing ourselves based on something superficial, that no […]

55 mph means you black man.

Gregory McGriff, Rutherfordton, NC. I am an Ivy-league graduate and a board-certified medical doctor.  The subject of race comes up all the time but the conversation that should follow is usually very short.  When I see the speed sign on the road announcing 55 mph (or whatever the legal limit is).  I know that posting […]

I am scared to drive alone

Ariel Foreman, Raleigh, NC. I just moved to North Carolina from Virginia. I’m scared to travel on highway 14 between Home and Raleigh especially at night…because it’s heavily monitored by police. I should not be scared of a group that’s suppose to protect me.

Adopted but am I still Mexican

Kasey Nichols, Clemmons, NC. I’ve known I’ve been adopted since I can remember and never questioned my ethnicity until I reached middle school age because we had to fill out cards with “check yes if Latino, African American, white or other.” Biologically I’m Mexican and Italian, but I was raised white with my dad being […]

No, I don’t tan or perm.

Daniela Charlotte, NC Some people look puzzled when I say I am half Japanese. They tend to ask me if I perm my hair or go tanning because typically Japanese females have pin straight hair and fair skin. However they don/t seem to pay attention when I say HALF Japanese (I am also half Peruvian).

It’s okay to be black, Promise

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 […]

School integration enriched my white life.

Cynthia Waszak Geary, Baltimore, MD. I grew up in Durham, NC and attended Hillside High School as part of the first court ordered desegregation plan to achieve racial balance. I am heart broken that since that time there has been a steady and deliberate re-segregation of schools in the US. I am hoping for leadership […]

We are not all from Mexico

Katia Pérez Amaya, Charlotte, NC. Everyone that is not open minded see ALL Hispanic/Latinos that they are from Mexico and well of course that is not true because I am a Latina but from El Salvador.

What do you think my ancestry is?

Daniel, Charlotte, NC. I do not want to say what country I am from, because I want you all to guesstimate my ancestry? Where would you say I am from? What part of the world do my features reflect? Please explain your responses! Please share your thoughts with me. I am NOT from the U.S.A. […]

No Heroes for Poor, White Males

Francis Lafayette, NC. Much like modern Germans, lower class white males in America have been granted a shame about their past. We’ve been told the History we learn in school is Eurocentric, but as a former social studies teacher, I can tell you that most Americans cannot tell you who Louis IV was. Or John […]

White Males discriminated against at work.

Mary Fruin, Charlotte, NC. I think that Rev . Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream is nowhere near being fulfilled when our big corporations are illegally paying big bonuses to managers to hire & promote minorities and women (read: not white men) and giving soft metric well paying jobs to minorities while chasing White males […]

Beautiful kids, did you adopt them

Amy Hueitt, Gastonia, NC. I am a single mother of two children, one who is 8 with Autism, ADHD, and developmental delays. My daughter is almost 6 and typical. My son is black, white, and Mexican. He appears to be just Mexican. My daughter is black and white, she looks white. I am black and […]

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 […]

Grateful for Painful Cultureshock Down South

Audrey A Fischer, Wilson, NC. When I lived in Virginia Beach, I didn’t notice race. Up north, it was so institutionalized that I barely knew any People of Colour. When I came down south in the eighth grade, I suddenly was the largest group, but our school was 60 or so percent minority. I was […]

You know why they chose you?

Alan Smith, Angier, NC. This was said to me by an instructor, as an 18-year old US Navy sailor, having just completed submarine training in Groton, CT in 1978. I graduated 14th of 98 in my class, and was presented with an award for excellence by the Eastern Connecticut Council Navy League of the US. […]

I thought I knew, but didn’t.

Erica Tjelta, Spartanburg, SC. After growing up and living in rural and small-town Wisconsin for my first thirty-six years of my life–it was a shocking eye-opener to move to the racially diverse and racism-afflicted major city of Charlotte, North Carolina. My seven years spent there were the catalyst of a change-of-mind that radically altered the […]

The Art and Racket of Passing

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 […]

For tradition’s sake, we mock others.

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 […]

Sometimes, I can’t feel guilty anymore.

Allison Hren, Elon, NC. Elon University Recognizing the problems that exist in our divided world are very important, but there’s a part of me that gets fed up with the idea that expressing pride in my ancestry, mostly European, is racist. And although it’s true that issues, like slavery, were not actually that long ago, […]

Jim Crow Paper Genocide Native AmerIndians

Paper Genocide, Pinnacle, NC. Pictured: Monacan Indian Children at Recess How Jim Crow Practiced Paper Genocide Against Native American Indians. Jim Crow laws were a set of oppressive laws that reclassified Native American Indians into the category of Colored. Jim Crow reached their greatest influence during the decades of 1910, 1920, and 1930. Among them […]

Yes, I’m white. Inside and Out.

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.

One man. Indivisible. Black. Gay. American.

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 […]

Stop pairing my ancestry with race.

Journey Brown-Saintel, Charlotte, NC. So, just because I’m black it’s okay to assume I’m African-American? Or is just easier? My family comes from Haiti; I’m Caribbean for freak’s sake. But there’s no box for me to check besides the Black/African-American one. Why are you grouping me? Historically, I have more of a connection to France […]

Cute when thin, angry when fat

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 […]

Glad of being an Army brat.

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 […]

Black girl attitude, but sounds white.

Khuwailah Beyah, Durham, NC. For as long as I can remember people have said to me, and sometimes to my mother, the I “talk white” or that I’m trying to be white because of the way I speak and some of the things that interest me. I have never quite gotten this. I don’t have […]

Your family’s not inbred…are you?

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 […]

Would All My Ancestors Love Me?

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 […]

Would All My Ancestors Love Me?

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 […]

Will you still talk to me?

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 […]

I’m afraid I’ll hurt your feelings

Eileen Morgan, Durham, NC. #afterferguson I’m part of the “dominant” race with privileges that I did not earn. I’ve been listening and learning about racism a long time, but many times I still “goof up” and say stupid things that hurt the feelings of people of color. I’m really tired of this separation and am […]

WHITE feminism. I live with contradiction.

Danielle Nelson Winston Salem, NC I’m proud to be a feminist, but I’m not proud of the unspoken privilege that comes with being a white feminist. Fighting privilege with privilege? It’s so contradictory, yet I cannot ignore both these parts of my identity. WHITENESS consumes me every day, every minute, but because it’s so ingrained […]

I’m a bridge between two worlds.

Jazmin Whitmore, Asheville, NC. I am the result of two worlds but I was only raised in one. My father was Jamaican and my mother was European/Native American mix. My mother raised me. Although it was not her intention she raised me to be “white”. I did not realize how devoid I was of my […]

Lose business because of Pakistani Muslim.

Amjad Saleem Wilson, NC I am gas station owner in Wilson, NC. My business was good last 3 years, My business became down day by day after my interview posted on -air at WRAL in Tar Heel Traveler, on Jan.29th 2013, about my art work, which is my part time hobby. http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/travel/video/12050477/#/vid12050477 After that instead […]

You’re not asian,You’re White.

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 […]

Black good samaritans, or would-be robbers?

Samuel C. Johnson, Keezletown, VA. I am a white man now 67 years of age. In May, 1968 (a month after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) I had just completed basic training in the Army in North Carolina, and was on my way to my home area near Philadelphia. I got off […]

Not from here, not from there.

Adriana Caicedo Hart , Indian Trail, NC. I was born in Colombia, I came to USA in 2003. My physical features, my accent and my skin color say I am not born in American, they say I belong to a different culture; but when I go back to my home country for a visit, I […]

Skin not prison, come touch heart?

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 […]

You’re not from these parts, huh?

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 […]

My Swahili children: chai ya maziwa

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 […]

The plantation haunts my gay marriage.

Erik Shawn Frampton, Charlotte, NC. I am the descendant of a line of plantation owners in South Carolina. As a gay man, my upcoming marriage will finally occur on our 20th anniversary together. My larger southern family struggles to see my identity as sacred, just as they struggle still to see minority life as sacred. […]

Just like a ‘lectric clock ticking

Jimmy Hair, Charlotte, NC. A hard working black man I worked construction with 44 years ago used to say this. He meant it about his steady and prodigious work output, but I think of it now in terms of the slow but steady progress of improved race relations.

When’s the next bus for Lobeco?

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 […]

Sexism: worse than racism. It’s complicated.

Woman, Raleigh, NC. Yes, racism exists and at times, thrives, but if you’re a woman of color, you’re more likely to be affected than your male counterparts. Sexism, an outworking of centuries of patriarchal systems – systems that allowed for racism in the first place – makes every “ism” it’s present in worse. So, when […]

White Parents Raise Beautifully Diverse Children

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 […]

Black Vietnamese. Speak spanish. Eat rice.

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 […]

Yellow: Neither White Nor Black Enough

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. […]

Failed to befriend first black student.

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 […]

I don’t hear any banjo music here.

Kim Conner, Rutherfordton, NC. I always have to defend myself when people learn I am from the South. I’m a 42 year old white woman, married with kids, and I was born and raised in Upstate South Carolina. I am a first generation college graduate, as in my husband. I have an accent. I’m proud […]

Not All Mixed People Are Biracial.

Ashley L., Durham, NC. For much of my life, people have asked and assumed that because of the way my sister and I look that we have one black parent and one white parent. While it’s true that we technically have mixed ancestry, both of our parents identify as black, as did their parents before […]

Yes, you are all my family!

Hillora Lang, Burgaw, NC. As a person with Asperger Syndrome I have always felt estranged from the human race. In high school I began working on my family tree, and it really helped to ground me and allow me to feel a connection to past generations. When doing genealogy research last year I discovered a […]

I am unique, beautiful, and gifted.

Ciara Chavis, Greensboro, NC. I am proud of me, who I’ve become and I will continue to grow. I am also proud of where I come from and grateful for the path my ancestors has paved for me. I am beautiful, unique, and gifted . This will forever be true, and my race does not […]

Why don’t Afro Americans row?

Felix Muhlebach, Chapel Hill, NC. I was at the Head of the Hooch, 2nd biggest rowing event in the US. More than 1600 crews. More than 5000 athletes. I saw only one Afro American crew. No mixed race boats. Check on attached event picture file. Statistically, one out of 5 athletes should be Afro American. […]