Black Girls Rock

Judge my soul Not my color.

Gloria Bozor, West Orange, NJ. Monmouth University I attended a dominate white college for my undergrad degree. For four years professors, staff, as well as peers assume I was an anger, bitter, African American because I didn’t have too many friends, I didn’t speak much in class, and I stayed to myself. My grades were […]

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Our global motivations are innately similar.

Tiffany Wysocki, Middletown, NJ. Monmouth University As I travel the world, I have found one truth: we are all innately equal in our drives and desires. We are driven by love and survival. We want the best for our families. We want to feel loved and have the opportunity to love. That’s it. That is […]

Racism’s destroying my belief in God

Edgar Montgomery, Brick, NJ. Monmouth University To know the story of my six words, one just needs to turn on any news channel, daily. Or, check the bureau of labor statistics since its inception. Or, check statistics on levels of incarceration for African Americans. Or, view all forms of media open to human consumption. Or, […]

We strive for the same things.

Tiffany Wysocki, Middletown, NJ. Monmouth University As I travel the world, I have found one truth: we are all innately equal in our drives and desires. We are driven by love and survival. We want the best for our families. We want to feel loved and have the opportunity to love. That’s it. That is […]

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Racism: SERIOUS, sometimes curable mental disease

Raul, Long Branch, NJ. Monmouth University In my opinion, racism is a Serious sometimes curable mental disease. I believe like many diseases, if caught early, it can be cured. Unfortunately, many times the disease remains dormant throughout life or suppressed by the perspectives of society manifesting itself only behind closed doors. The disease continues to […]

Mexican, ethnicity of my heart!

Kathy Smith-Wenning, Highlands, NJ. My boxes check white, Anglo-Saxon but the ethnicity of my heart is Mexican. That is for all the good, the beauty, and the kindness afforded to me by the Mexican people here in NJ and Oaxaca, Mexico.

White People Don’t Have A Culture?

Gabrielle Ientile, Spring Lake, NJ. Monmouth University Sometimes I hear people say that white people don’t have a culture. Then what am I? Where do my traditions and lifestyle fit in? What are the consequences of an “absent” culture?

Am I supposed to feel blessed?

Jenny, Newark, NJ. I am white and grew up where I was a minority. I have been in situations where people of color have said “What’s up with this white girl?” My friends who are black, Puerto Rican would always come to my defense and say “She’s not white!” In essence telling people I am […]

Racism: SERIOUS, sometimes curable mental disease

Anonymous, Long Branch, NJ. Monmouth University In my opinion, racism is a Serious sometimes curable mental disease. I believe like many diseases, if caught early, it can be cured. Unfortunately, many times the disease remains dormant throughout life or suppressed by the perspectives of society manifesting itself only behind closed doors. The disease continues to […]

Friend’s birthday, my dress is ruined.

Celeste Bourdeau de Fontenay Newark, NJ I attended a dinner for a friend’s birthday at a nouveau riche- bling, expense account, restaurant in New York a few blocks from the Westside Highway. I was the only African American at the table and some of the staff had issues. One of the servers could not pour […]

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The Asian/Pacific Islander category is very enticing.

Cheryl Mercado Arnedt, West Orange, NJ. My grandmother and her sister — red-headed daughters of NYC cops — both married full Filipino men and were disowned. There was no race in our family – just rice AND potatoes at every meal. My grandfather “Pupa” intentionally didn’t pass down his Asian-ness or his language Tagalog so […]

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Whites say Hispanic, Hispanics say White

Renee Lewin Asutin, TX My mother is Mexican-American from the Rio Grande Valley, my father is white from Orange, NJ. I was raised in a home where English was primarily spoken, but Spanish was still commonly heard. As I was growing up I viewed myself primarily as Mexican. I spent most of my time with […]

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Free Black since at least 1820

Sherryl N Weston, Denver, CO. I was an adult before we learned the full scope of my mother’s complete ancestry story. Timbuctoo, NJ was co-founded by my 5-generations ago grandfather. Looks like he was a part of the 1860 Battle of Pine Swamp, where the residents beat the tar out of slave catchers who had […]

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How did you get a boy?

Claire Wallick Moy, Maplewood, NJ. This is what I was asked in 1998 when I moved to NJ. Our 3 children look much more like their father than me. so many girls have been adopted from China in this generation, but not boys. A white Jewish woman with an Asian looking boy is outside of […]

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How did you get a boy?

Claire Wallick Moy, Maplewood, NJ. This is what I was asked in 1998 when I moved to NJ. Our 3 children look much more like their father than me. so many girls have been adopted from China in this generation, but not boys. A white Jewish woman with an Asian looking boy is outside of […]

I hate being called “white girl”

Stephanie Wichowski, Mount Olive, NJ,. I’m proud to be Polish and part Irish but because I’m white and a girl I automatically get grouped into other categories. I get told I can’t dance “because I’m white” and I’m told to prove that I can dance. (Mind you I’ve been training at a dance studio since […]

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Music teacher listening to student cries

Jamie Coppa, Asbury Park, NJ. As a music teacher with an almost entirely black and hispanic student body, I was met with stories of oppression, lack of food, disrupted sleep, abuse, incarceration, and even the murder of the loved ones they so deeply cared for. I will never forget the beautiful music my students expressed […]

First I am Black, not Female

Alma Scott-Buczak, Cliffside Park, NJ. I was in the first class of women to attend Lafayette College in Easton PA. It was also the first class to have a concentration of more than 20 students of color. Over the past 40 years I have often been asked to reflect on my experiences as one of […]

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I’m not mad, I’m just exhausted.

Julian Smith, East Orange, NJ. When I hear a story about a black person that posed no threat being killed by a white police officer I no longer get angry I just sigh and think about how some people think a 50 year document changed over 300 years of oppression.

Belonging nowhere, I inhabit all spaces

Anthony Chicaiza, Belleville, NJ. Collection: The Race Card Project, On Location, Hood Museum of Art, Witness I’m a first-generation Latino-American stuck between cultures and expectations of masculinity and gender on both sides. Which do I present today?

The Day After The World Changes

Duryan Bhagat-Clark, Aberdeen, NJ. My father is an immigrant from Bombay, India. He moved here to go to college and graduate school. He is Muslim. While working at Rutgers University he met my mother; she is Jewish. They were married within a year. As I often joke, I know there will never be peace in […]

My Soul can’t see your skin.

Doretta Dozier, East Orange, NJ. From the very early age of 5 I was delighted with my sense of how big the world was to me: how bright the sun was, the large expanse of blue sky and the splattering white clouds that seemed to show a never ending aura of greatness. I felt truly […]

Race’s Reality and Historical Legacy Matter

Gabriel Rossi, Jersey City, NJ. As a white male I want to learn about the realities people from all nations experience in the United States and around the world. I hope to do this by listening and educating myself through building relationships. I believe walking with and having real relationships with people who have different […]

Watched the tanks come down street.

Moira O’Connell, Morristown, NJ. I lived in East Orange during (and after) the 1967 Newark riots. I remember standing on my front porch at around 7 years old watching tanks come down my street (186 4th Avenue) heading into Newark. My parents used to act as shills — going into apartment buildings to confirm there […]

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Mommy, I want to be Vanilla.

Jasmin Marie Harpe, Burlington, NJ. It has been hard to fit in to both societies growing up as a biracial child, especially being in academia where there are few people who look like me. I had a lot of race issues growing up with my father who has very fair skin, and my mother who […]

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I am Mexican when its convenient

John Heath Olguin, West Orange, NJ. Before you get all worked up about my 6 words. Let me explain. I watched a little boy of Mexican-American decent sing our national anthem and thought nothing of it. The next day I read about all the negative comments that came about of his performance (see link) and […]

I was born and raised American.

Anonymous, NJ. I have never been so angry at or disappointed in my parents in all my 16 years of life. Before you dismiss this as just another teenager hating on her parents, hear me out, because it is far from that. Both of my parents moved to America from Lebanon, a small country in […]

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Your bar is down the street.

Ronald Zeigler, North Brunswick, NJ. I was stationed at Parris Island going to Personnel school. I was from New York and with my three New Jersey (also Black) friends went into Beaufort, SC. We walked into a bar and my friend said “three beers, please”. I was at the jukebox looking for Motown and finding […]

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If embraced will enrich our lives

Nicole Kaufmann, Newton, NJ. Why ignore race and try to say that color doesn’t matter when it should. Only when we acknowledge and embrace one another’s differences will we our own close-mindedness be broadened and enriched.

The police work for you. Vote.

Alf Newlin, NJ. These six words popped in my mind while watching the national coverage about Ferguson as well as from a multi year experience centered around a community’s effort to materially improve community friendly public safety. Oddly the demographics for the referred to community are so very different than those communities currently in the […]

Wish black males had role models

Paula Gaehring, Haddon Heights, NJ. Have taught in Philadelphia and now have students from Camden, NJ. So few of them have good male role models in their lives. Most are raised by moms and grandmoms doing their best but it is not the same as having dads, granddads and uncles in their lives. I wish […]

Racism stops when we respect everyone.

Kathleen E Lo Pinto Vignolini, Long Branch, NJ. No other group, except maybe the Jews, have had such a long period of discrimination against them. From Slavery, to post Civil war (the North won the battle, but lost the war!) of Jim Crow, “separate but equal” led to Segregation both de facto & legalized, all […]

STILL SO MUCH WORK TO DO.

Rachel Potts Jersey City, NJ As an educator, I see every day the ongoing, engrained inequities when it comes to our youngest african american students, mainly boys. 50 years later, access to education alone just isn’t enough.

We are waiting for the Neuropsychologist

DR JAMES LEWIS III EFFINGHANM, NJ I am African American, and I am the neuropsychologist. In many settings especially medical settings the reaction of the family when I greet them for an appointment is simply “We are waiting for the neuropsychologist”

We are all the same, HUMAN

Jacque Howard Tenton, NJ Growing up in Central NJ as well as my diverse educational and professional experiences. I have come to the belief that humans do not recognize other humans who look differently as the same. I believe most people want the best for themselves and others, the hard part is living in a […]

I don’t know any other way!

Dan Angel Dufresne Union City, NJ I feel that sometimes people use race as a crutch to act a certain way, and do certain things. People claim ignorance, come up with excuses and have a lot of pressure put on them. As long as we have things like affirmative action there will always be disparities […]

Are you black? You look so …

Nicole Collins Bronzan Rahway, NJ I’m a mutt — black, Native America, Irish, you name it — raised all over the world as a military brat. I consider myself black, but depending on where I am (and how tan), I get all kinds of questions, though substantially less so in a diverse city like NYC.

Mind wide, self-education comes free

Edward Darden Washington, DC Every American black person, who succeeds is and was self-educated to a great extent, at least in the beginning. When children are young, the chains around their minds and bodies are able to be broken with a Will to reach farther than what is in front of them. In this way, […]

Mom, talk about your “black firsts.”

Janice Lowe New York City, NY My mother, Dr. Willa Lowe was one of the first black English teachers in several high schools in New Jersey, Washington, DC and Ohio. She was part of that first wave of school integration in which talented African American teachers were hired before African American students were admitted. She […]