Ronald E. Davis Omaha, NE I bought my first home in 2003 in a small middle class neighborhood in Western Omaha, Nebraska. My house is situated on a hill and I share a street with young and established families of various sizes. The demographics of the area are predominantly white. Over the years there has [...]
Christine Miller Chicago, IL Blacks cause all their own problems then whine and cry about the results. They moved into my neighborhood and my moms and within 1 year the crime rate had started in BOTH. The property value dropped like a stone and then no one could get out.
Glenny Brock Birmingham, Al Submitted via Twitter: @glennybrock Always code. In fact, most of the people I’ve heard say this were people who themselves CHANGED neighborhoods by leaving. Glenny’s 6Word essay launched an interesting exchange via Twitter, follow along below…How do you weigh in on the topic? Comment below. I hate [...]
Michele Wiemer Brooklyn, NY We have been in our neighborhood for coming on ten years and in that time it has changed from ‘Bed-Stuy’ to ‘Clinton-Hill’ to ‘Fort Green East’ as the realtors slowly remade and gentrified neighborhoods. Each economic surge carved out new districts and displaced our neighbors. The most recent insurgence of peoples [...]
Dave Mowers Brooklyn, NY I live inbetween black and white neighbors, my boss is a Phillipino woman, I shop and eat in black and white owned stores and restaurants in my neighborhood. Orthodox Jews sign my paycheck. I teach students from around the world. My boyfriend grew up in a small town in Texas in [...]
Shoshana Hoose Portland, OR I grew up in an all-white neighborhood in Newington, Ct. My mother’s best friend, a Quaker, and her husband sold their home to an African-American family in 1966 as part of an organized effort to integrate the Hartford suburbs. My Dad, a lawyer and state legislator, handled the legal work. When [...]
Ninfa Pena-Purcell College Station, TX This picture of my parents captures a young Mexican American couple with aspirations to live the American dream in the 1950s only to find out that their family of six children would never be welcomed in their neighborhood. Years later this experience has stayed with me and made me resolve [...]
Juleah Richards Chippewa Falls, WI BORN IN 1960; ST.PAUL MINN. LIVED IN WONDERFULLY MIXED NEIGHBORHOODS IN SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS UNTIL I WAS 10YRS OLD. MY MOM MARRIED A FARMER FROM RED RIVER VALLEY. WE MOVED TO SPOT 10 MILES FROM NORTH DAKOTA AND 90MI FROM CANADA. THERE WERE ONLY SCANDINAVIANS AND FRENCH FOLKS. NONE OF MY [...]
Steven Smith Lake Grove, NY My parents raised me race neutral. I grew up in an integrated neighborhood, and racism didn’t come on my radar until I was around 6-7 years old. People hating people because of the color of their skin was just…ridiculous. While on a business trip to Atlanta in the early 90′s, [...]
Patricia Armstrong St. Louis, MO I was no more than 7 years old and made friends with a black girl in the neighborhood. We really had a lot of fun together and my family did not object. After a few weeks, I was invited to her house. After her father saw my white skin, he [...]
Shaylee Reichardt Portland, OR Growing up in not the nicest of neighborhoods, I was always everybody’s one “white” friend. They didn’t see me for all of my ethnic background. I guess I’m just the white girl who is only a paper minority. They cant see my whole family.
Joseph L Collins Jr Omaha, NE Ashland Avenue in Chicago was the street you could not west of it at 69th street or you would get beat up by White men/boys in the early 60′s. A white priest was a defender of the neighborhood that let that hate happen. God is about Love and that [...]
Tara Cartwright Winchester, KY My town is still segregated, but is so much the normal that we don’t realize it. I didn’t realize it until I saw a movie on Lifetime called For Just One Night or Only One Night starring Raven Simone and realized that is exactly how my hometown is. Everyone stays in [...]
Amanda Becker Clarksville, TN Race has been the dominant subject of my life. I am the only white person on my page in my Senior yearbook (in north St. Louis). It wasn’t a racially harmonious experience, there were times which were downright ugly, usually because I looked like someone who made you mad, but I [...]
Tawana Littlejohn Washington, DC We were welcomed with mostly open arms, the year was 1967.
Peter Goodwin New York, NY We have separated ourselves into separate communities, sometimes with physical gates, often with mental or emotional gates, and so have very little contact with the ‘other’. And we can pretend that that we have no residue of racism in our emotional make-up while never having any contact with people of [...]
Eileen Kugler Springfield, VA Those of us who benefit from white privilege and from middle-class privilege need to constantly be aware of how our lives are different from a person of color. Walking with my son on a cold rainy day in early April, I watched him nonchalantly pull his hood up as we walked [...]
S. Lindsey Hermitage, TN I guess in lieu of the jury’s verdict, if you live in a nice neighborhood and you are a black man my “card ” says it all
Richard C Evansville, IN Dr. Ralph Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his UN activities after world war II. He had remarkable people skills, intelligence, negotiating skills, humility and congeniality. The NAACP gave him the Spingarn Medal for his great work and he said “There need be no more Spingarn Medals nor any [...]
Edward Schenkenfelder Oak Forest, IL I grew up in the 60’s, 70′s and 80′s in Cicero, Illinois. Back then the city’s zero black American population was strictly enforced. I worked at the Bel-Air Drive In with a Black youth about 17 years old. He said “my six words” after being chased by a group of [...]
Ingrid Monson Newton, MA I’m white but lived in a black neighborhood in Chicago for part of the 1990s. I tried to get a plumbing firm from a nearby white neighborhood to come and clear a sewer pipe blocked by a tree root. Everything was fine until I gave him the address of the house [...]
Elizabeth Cary New York City, NY I have done everything right in life, yet still I cannot get a cab, people lock their doors and cross the street when they see me coming, I’m stalked by salespeople in stores, I’m “suspicious” when I drive in a nice neighborhood or in a nice car, and my [...]
Erik Aurora, CO I was in a mixed-race neighborhood, in line at a convenience store behind a black man checking out with a white clerk. He asked if there were any larger sizes of the wine he was buying. After the clerk said he wasn’t sure, he went back into the store to look himself. [...]
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.
Margaret Snyder South Portland, ME I live in a predominately “white” city, but one where there are over 60 languages spoken. I see people of all colors around the city, and I find the languages, clothing, and colors to be enjoyable to experience, but I often feel it is not okay to stop and observe [...]
Natalie Voss Lexington, KY
Richard Bacon Chicago, IL Mid 1970s living in perfectly nice middle class neighborhood in NE Dallas Texas. The desecration, by busing, of the neighborhood school (which was mediocre anyway) caused about half the families with school age children to move out in one summer. My best friend moved. Those of us who stayed were dispersed [...]
Valerie Grajeda Rountree San Jose, CA I grew up not speaking Spanish in a very Mexican neighborhood. My mother sent me to schools out of my area to prevent me getting involved with the local gang population. I grew up with other nationalities and met my future husband in high school. He is white. Our [...]
Mario Latilleon Memphis, TN Being a light-skinned, articulate, and somewhat nerdy African-American boy can be a curse growing up in a poor black neighborhood in the South.
Linda D. Calvin Westfield, IN I am one of five siblings, but I am the only one who is black. My brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces, uncles and aunts are white. After three children and a divorce, my mother met and married a black man in the 60s and had me. I [...]
Erin Murphy Barling, AK I grew up in a mostly African American neighborhood outside Miami, Florida. My friends never made me feel out of place but the other 60% of the students at the schools I attended sure did. My great-grandparents were immigrants -on one side of the family I was third generation American. That [...]
Eileen Spillman Wilsonville, OR That was the line my husband threw at me whenever we argued about his burgeoning racism. I had grown up in a small lily-white town in Oregon where, he told me, it is easy to love all the races because they aren’t your next-door-neighbors. I hadn’t lived through the LA riots [...]
James Michael Rogers Houston, TX I was at my neighborhood park one morning jogging, and I saw three white women walking abreast in one direction, and a black woman coming towards them in the opposite direction. The white women ignored the black woman and no one stepped back to let the black lady pass, and [...]
Peter Chin Washington, DC That was the question that my daughter asked me when our house was broken into a second time in three years. As a Korean-American living and working in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, I was tempted to answer her question by telling her about the long-standing hostilities between the two groups. But [...]
David Rotenstein Atlanta, GA In April 2012, I sat in an elderly African American woman’s Decatur, Ga.,dining room with a digital recorder asking her questions about gentrification in her neighborhood. For more than a decade, developers have been buying small homes and tearing them down to build large new homes some people call “McMansions.” The [...]
Brenda Footer Silver Spring, MD I live in a very diverse neighborhood, where many El Salvadoran and Dominican families live. People are always trying to speak to me in Spanish, because I have olive skin and dark hair. I’m as white as can be, but it’s always been this way. Italians assume I’m Italian, Latinos [...]
Jill Noeh Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project-The University of Michigan Explanation: I’ve found that throughout my life, I have avoided people who look and act differently than me. I grew up in a white neighborhood that was sheltered from people who were different. At first it wasn’t me purposefully trying to avoid these people, [...]
Julie Simon Los Angeles, CA In 1959, members of the Collins Park community (New Castle, Delaware) firebombed the home of one of the first Black families to move into the neighborhood. On the second occasion, the house was destroyed. Historian Yohuru Williams has written about this event and it is included in the Encyclopedia of [...]
Penny Miceli Keene, NH This is what my husband and I (both white) were told by our realtor (also white) when driving through a neighborhood in Toledo, Ohio while searching for our first home as a young couple. She meant to dissuade us from buying in the neighborhood. Perhaps because of our shared race, she [...]
Robert Falcon Birmingham, AL Grew up in Birmingham in the 1960′s. My father never gave me cause to judge anyone else because of skin color. He always emphasized that it was the content of their character that really mattered. When I turned 16 one of my good friends introduced me to his family, his neighborhood, [...]
Janet Urban Aurora, IL I was raised in a small all-white town and never saw a black person except on TV until I was 17 (1975). From the first experience I was confused as to racism. What I saw was fellow human beings who happened to look different. From that point on I refused to [...]
Robert Lanza Tucson, AZ I grew up in NYC as one of the very few white kids in the neighborhood, and for the most part the only one in my terrace. Had a black stepfather. It shaped me, and made me who I am. Anyone who really knows me knows it is not possible for [...]
Ella Natel San Francisco, CA
Katie Orem Rochester, NY Submitted via NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Submitted via Twitter: @glennybrock Always code. In fact, most of the people I’ve heard say this were people who themselves CHANGED neighborhoods by leaving.
Rameen Gasery Photographer