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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 […]

Twitter trends hashtag white girl problems

Kaitlyn Gravatt, West Long Branch, NJ. Monmouth University Whenever I click on Twitter I see #whitegirlproblems. How is Starbucks running out of my favorite drink a white girl problem? How is my eyeliner on one eye not matching my other eye a white girl problem? It is hurtful to be put into this stereotype that […]

He said, ” I have black friends”

Jeanette Staten Island, NJ Seriously? So, what…does that make you “not” prejudiced? One of my very good friends said this to me years ago while we were discussing who would or would not marry. My answer to that was typical – someone who treated me right and respected me – doesn’t matter what color he […]

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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’m biracial & multi-ethnic: I’m Human.

Nichole Pettit, Lake Como, NJ. Monmouth University I’m biracial. I’m not just African American, I’m also American, German, English and Irish! Many say “You’re black,” sure but I’m not just that. Do not reduce my race and ethnic background to a single word. I do not belong to a single group, I belong to many. […]

Why must it be this way?

Bill Schreiber, West Long Branch, NJ. Monmouth University Thank you for doing this. The conversation will always be important, but I hope my grandchildren will get to see a time when it is less so.

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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 […]

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 […]