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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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Taught all wrong, now teaching others

Steve Jones, Durham, NC. I grew up in a segregated community and the concept that African-Americans (of course, not the word that was used) were inferior. It took a long time to get out of that mindset and even longer to acknowledge the privilege that comes with my white skin. It’s a privilege to be […]

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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 […]

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I’m Appalachian–it’s an invisible ethnicity

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, […]

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 […]

Am I Hispanic enough to ‘count’?

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). […]

Couldn’t convince grandmother slavery was immoral

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 […]

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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 […]

Native Americans swept dead under rug.

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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

White privilege is power. Listen. Act.

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 […]

Personhood comes first; race comes second.

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 […]

Code-switching: an asset, not a crime.

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 […]

Separate but equal was the goal.

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. […]

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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 […]

Affirmative Action Killed Southern White Middleclass

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 […]

Ambivalent, because my family owned slaves.

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 […]

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 […]

Forget blindness; remember that color contributes.

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. […]

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 […]

Study harder, improve yourself, stop whining

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 […]

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 […]

Republican’s Voter Suppression – Racism Still Alive

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.