Malcolm Ian Mackenzie, Naples, NY. My mom and Dad immigrated from Canada in the early fifties with two children Canadian-born and eleven were born in the states. Growing we had a strong family identity as Canadians, but knew we also had Scottish roots through our dad’s family. My Mom’s family were Anglo-French Canadians, with an […]
David Pham Poughkeepsie, NY When I was young, my mom told me a macabre anecdote about the Vietnam War. She remembered that American soldiers would go through villages in search of Vietcong. As they went through, they would ask villagers in English if they were indeed Vietcong or not. Some villagers, though they did not […]
Karen Brinkman, New York City, NY. Cleaning out my mother’s attic, I came across a vase wrapped in a newspaper page from 1957. This sentence was in a short article about the firing of “Cemetery” Perteet, President Eisenhower’s long time golf caddy. Learn more about Karen’s 6 words: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19570402&id=MexQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=fyUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2822,503509
Lemuel Reddikc, New York City, NY. People ask me “where are you from?” and I never know how to answer that. I just say “I’m black,” but then they ask me where my parents are from. My maternal grandmother is from the West Indies and my maternal grandfather was from the Carribean, but I can’t […]
Michael Vines, New York, NY. Just want to make sure that you understand “the girl” was how many people in the 50-60’s referred to their maid.
Imari DuSauzay, New York City, NY. Brooklyn My friend is full of ideas and fighting with cancer…We hold hands to share love. I am experiencing too many friends facing cancer, it makes no difference what your color is.. Cancer does not discriminate.
Anonymous Brooklyn, NY I’m not taking on the burden of race anymore. I am who I am, I love myself and that’s it.
Janice Cooper, MN. My newly married parents immigrated to the U.S. from Germany via Ellis Island during the mid 50’s to follow the American Dream. Growing up in small town Michigan and attending Catholic school, my younger brother and I were constantly accused of being Nazis during our grade school years. Even though my parents […]
Celesti Colds Fechter, Tarrytown, NY. I feel as though when I am the only African-American in a setting that I feel obligated to “speak” for other African-Americans. I will not do it and don’t ask me to do it. I had a job where I was the first African-American hired in a professional setting. I […]
Yvonne Durant, New York, NY. I know that they are well meaning but when white people say, “I don’t see color,” it makes no sense. I think they mean they’re not prejudiced because color doesn’t count to them. It does to me.
Christopher McBride New York City, NY Brooklyn Seeing that exhibit really brought about a strong reaction emotionally from myself. As a musician, seeing the visual art side of things was really powerful.
Daphne de Souza Lima Sorensen, Oneonta, NY. I’m a white woman with a perfect American accent. I have a university degree, a husband and a 3 year old daughter. By all accounts, I am a “typical” middle-class woman. Except that I am not American and even though I have lived in the USA on and […]
Lincoln, Brooklyn, NY. Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches Had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches Had none upon thars. Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.
Marie Farrell, Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in San Diego, California where the sun shines all the time. I was the kid that never tanned, just freckled and burned. I was also raised by an Irish mother so there was a lot less love than fights and tension. I recall a day when I bravely […]
Daphne Revie, Compound, NY. Taking my daughter as a baby to libraries and play groups only nannies would talk to me assuming I too was a nanny because I have dark skin and my daughter is very light. The moms generally didn’t speak to me at all.
Daniel Luis Soto New York, NY I consider myself Puerto Rican. Grandparents from PR My great grandfather on moms side is from Ireland. Going further back on both sides my heritage spans the globe from Spain to England to various British occupied islands. Im proud of my diversity, but I look Puerto Rican speak spanish […]
Aman Agah, Brooklyn, NY. I am Iranian, Irish, Azari, and German. Being Iranian means being called Arab. I am not Arab. Being Iranian means being part of a group of people that so many don’t know – even if I say “Persian” – and yet I am part of a group labeled terrorist. I am […]
Erin C. Mitchell Plattsburgh, NY
Heather Ann Lindstrom Buffalo, NY My beautiful son was born to two very different parents. Me, of Swedish and Irish heritage,and his father of Samoan and Chinese heritage. When I would take my son out as a baby, it felt like everyone I met assumed he was adopted and asked “How long have you had […]
Sandy Jimenez, Woodside, NY.
Jill Damatac, Brooklyn, NY.
Ana Canino-Fluit, Penfield, NY. I am Puerto Rican, I lived in Puerto Rico till I left for college at 17. Till I was 16 I had never given much thought to racial identity. My senior year in high school I was selected to be a exchange student to our sister school in southwestern New York […]
Kelly Stuart, Brooklyn, NY. I was five when my mother married my stepfather, Alfred Brown, Jr. in 1980. My stepfather, or, as I think of him, my father, was 21 years older than my mom and had already raised a daughter by the time he met me, but that didn’t stop him from getting a […]
Lorna Hagen, Brooklyn, NY. I am Puerto Rico born New Yorker that moved to the US when I was 12. Somewhere in the plane ride over I lost something – I have no shared childhood experiences with my North American friends (lullabies, games, etc.) and no shared adolescent experiences with my Puerto Rican friends. It […]
Dana Mollins, Glenford, NY.
Edvige Kromayer Barrie, Clinton, NY. Growing up in the ’50s, I was unaware that most people had no idea how to pronounce my name and were therefore reluctant to call on me in class or say hi to me on the playground. At the beginning of kindergarten, one kid even asked if I was a […]
Brittany Moore, Syracuse, NY.
Jake Schweber, Scarsdale, NY. There’s a theme of racial superiority that some people carry throughout their livelihood. Some people truly believe that they are better than others because of their race. This shoots the theory that, all men are created equal, out the window.
Gerard Liston, New York, NY. The way I look confuses people. Most cant pin point my heritage. I am by birth Irish and Ecuadorian. Furthering my cultural heritage is my love of music. I love to play the drums and that love took me all the way to Africa. There I learned to play the […]
Massiel Ramos, Bronx, NY. Sometimes your race depends on the people and culture you associate yourself with. If that’s the case, I’ll never fit into one solid category.
Annette Maldonado, Rochester, NY. Hispanics are invisible a lot of the times. We are seen as not really white, but not quite Black either.
Tatyana Parrish, Valley Stream, NY. My six words are a fairly simple way to explain how complicated this matter is to me. My father was never there, and my mom worked her absolute ass off in order to make up for that. My father is African American, and because of this I’ve come to resent […]
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 […]
Nvizaboman, Syracuse, NY. Pointing a gun in the face of a Black boy or choking a Black man, is not a common cultural practice in the Black community. I just feel that needs to be said. Please stop killing us because our lives are an appointment we don’t want to miss. Thank you.
Athena Scavo, Hornell, NY. I often get this question due to my name being of the Greek mythology background. Often, people assume that I am not Greek, but my parents liked the name or thought I was going to be tough or had some reason why I was named Athena. If you look at me, […]
Mary Halling, Milwaukee, WI. Moving from New York to Ohio to Milwaukee in my 25 years on this Earth, I’ve encountered race in so many different ways. From celebrating and learning about all the different ethnicities in my classroom in elementary school, being bullied for being white in my urban middle school, to being incorrectly […]
Dominic Bradley, Brooklyn, NY.
Roland, New York, NY. Be who you are, not what someone else wants you to be.
Keith Rhodes, Albany, NY. We can make this world a better place for all people one person at a time. Know that your actions become your qualities. Perform the actions that you wish to be the qualities of all who observe you.
Jade D. Lee, Syracuse, NY. I HATE feeling like I SHOULD feel less than because I am a black woman. I believe that I can do anything, and I CAN surpass any social construct that challenges this belief. EVERY black woman has the capacity to exhibit an abundance of adequacy and value.
Lianna Thomas, Congers, NY. I am a Chinese adoptee. Ive lived in NY practically my entire life (since I was 7 months old). My family is entirely white and I was brought up in a western culture with western traditions. I celebrate my eastern culture as well through holidays like chinese new year, I study […]
JuLaw, Syracuse, NY. When I was in Fla. in the 60s, Blacks (colored people, negroes,) or what name you may have been called, could not sit on the front sit a bus. We had to go into the back of the bus. Today, externally, it may not be that way, but in some cases, internally, […]
Joanna Masingila, Syracuse, NY.
Phil Arnold, Syracuse, NY.
Peter Moorman, Syracuse, NY. The race card as in the term not the physical cards
Vickie Crawford, Syracuse, NY. My Dad use to call me “yellow girl”, my Mom when mad called me “little yellow wench”, and I was happy go lucky I think because I didn’t know I was BLACK. It wasn’t brought to my attention until I went to kindergarten that I was black??? I feel I can […]
Kwabena Tettey, Syracuse, NY. The CONTINENT of Africa is not one big jungle inhabited by villagers in mud huts and wild animals. I do not have a lion as a pet nor do I ride on elephants to get to places. I also did not row a canoe over the Atlantic Ocean in order to […]
Lex, Syracuse, NY. I’m originated from Shanghai, China, currently doing a PhD at Syracuse University. Unavoidably, I have been welcomed with the question “where are you from” on a daily basis. It seems that not many people actually cares about the real answer: Shanghai — people generally don’t care about that corner of the globe […]
Bonnie Shoultz, Syracuse, NY. I was a young person during the 1960s, and dreamed that this country would overcome its terrible history of oppression and enslavement of whole groups of people based on their race, culture, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and class. We have made many changes, but oppression and murder of people who are […]
Jose M Moreira, Brooklyn, NY. What I mean to say is, I am afraid that one person that has the concept of robbing, stabbing and killing me can snuff my life out probably slower than someone that is suppose to ‘protect and serve me’ might just take said life so much more quickly and amazingly […]
Delilah Mulgannon, New York, NY. All my life, I’ve been told that I’m not “really” Latina because I don’t speak Spanish fluently (which is ridiculous). Who are you to tell me who I am and who I’m not? I grew up in a mixed household (Ecuadorian mother and Polish father) where Spanish was not spoken […]
Sonya Wang, Ballston Lake, NY. Yes, Asian-American issues are not addressed with the same urgency as many other important issues However, they are not addressed because Asian-American issues tend to be placed under the blanket ‘model minority’ stereotype, and that is simply not true.
Aimee Mallery, Rochester, NY. My daughter is Native American on her father’s side. When faced with a form for daycare, I had to choose whether to label her Native American or Caucasian. They insisted she couldn’t be both.
Gianna Donovan, New York, NY.
The Rev. Kate LUfkin Day, Syracuse, NY. I am a white woman age 60. I chose the word “impenetrable” even though I sometimes experience moments of black-white mutual understanding, because I have found that the divide is so huge and daunting. It is better since my growing-up years in the sixties, but it is very […]
Maribel Padilla, West Babylon, NY. I’m in Suffolk County, NY, a predominately white, conservative, suburb in NY and I can’t stand the ignorance anymore!
Carla Washington, New York, NY.
Harold Svignor, New York, NY. Humans inherently think in “Me up – You down” terms. We are innately tribal, and somewhat hostile to “the other”. That proclivity has created not only tribal strife, but war, sport, and many other human traits. It is universal and cannot be overcome….except by religious self denial. Non-caucasians have yet […]
Rachel James, Syracuse, NY. Growing up in a Latina household I learned the English that my mother spoke as a Panamanian immigrant. Therefore, I learned to say certain words while rolling my r’s or with an accent and I don’t notice it because that’s how I learned to pronounce them. But because I look more […]
Barbara Fought, Jamesville, NY. Faculty The most impacting cultural experience for me related to race was when in the 20s I lived in Detroit, a majority-black city.
Kyler Harrington, Syracuse, NY. Student ’16
Austin Smith, Fayetteville, NY. Student ’15
Rose Collins, Syracuse, NY. Highschool Student ’16 I believe that if we don’t appreciate our differences or acknowledge the fact that we are all different, then we will repeat the prejudice and pain we’ve seen in our past. We all have different stories and cultures, and if we don’t acknowledge that then we will be […]
Eoin Gallagher, Syracue, NY. Student ’16
Eric Goodwin, Syracuse, NY.
Sophia Klemenz, Liverpool, NY. It should not matter what race you are. We are all occupying the same planet and should be able to get along despite what we look like and where we came from.
Emmett Dunn, Syracuse, NY. Student ’15
Conor Gollegly, Syracuse, NY. Student ’15
John Smith, Syracuse, NY. Student ’16
Johnny V. Miller, Syracuse, NY.
Hunter Andersen, Cortland, NY. Student ’15
Monte Stroman, Syracuse, NY. Student ’15 I am black but if you look past my skin you would never know
Andrew Stephen Kock, Syracuse, NY.
Eve, Syracuse, NY. Student ’16 You should not let people’s color affect your opinion of them.
Jack Jeschke, Syracuse, NY.
Chris Bedigian, Syracuse, NY.
Dana Tuohey, Syracuse, NY. Community Member I believe that racism is more harmful now to society than ever. I believe this is so because we have convinced ourselves that slavery and the civil rights movements were “victories” for the minorities of our society and we no longer owe it to the other races to continue […]
Nick Thurlow, Syracuse, NY. Student ’15
Elizabeth Adams, Manilus, NY. Student ’16 “Racial Profiling”
Scarlet Louis-Jean, Syracuse, NY.
Stanley Dean, Syracuse, NY.
Anavlis, Syracuse, NY. I am a brown woman from Latin-America, meaning I am a black Latina. I also live in the projects, meaning I am also about as a poor as they come (from a private univesity point of view). I was born with a surprising 4 strikes against me, a quadruple minority who is […]
Barry Irving, Syracuse, NY. …white people are bred from the notion color superiority and first privilege. They don’t see others as equal and that is a distortion that is age old. So when addressing race, the new descendants of old Racism think that they have no blame whatsoever. Even though Their social attitudes are in […]
Vicki R. Brackens, North Syracuse, NY. Community Member
Zachary Hill, New Rochelle, NY.
Teagan Peacock, Syracuse, NY. There is only one African-American family in my rural neighborhood. My stepbrother got into a fight with one of the boys in the family and threatened to hang him. I was never more embarrassed in my life.
Stacey Millard, Syracuse, NY.
Franlkin Davis, Staten Island, NY. I’m tired of all the Liberal anti-White educators, media-types, race-baiting colored preachers of hate, and Democrat politicians telling me and members of my race we should be ashamed to be White. RESIST! Stand up! Speak out! Vilify the ideologically deficient Liberal propagandists telling us “we’re all the same”, we are […]
Jarae Farrell, Poughkeepsie, NY. My father is West Indian and my mother is black. I grew up in a very diverse town in the northeast, so when I was younger I knew there were people who looked different than me, but race wasn’t really a thing for me until I was in high school. Even […]
Ardean Orr, Syracuse, NY. All four of my grandparents immigrated from Italy, so I’m pure Italian, but also white. My father was a jazz musician who often played with musicians who happened to be black, so I grew up in a tolerant home when it wasn’t popular. Growing up in America it seemed like blacks […]
Karen S Camara, New York City, NY.
Stevie Stan, Tarrytown, NY. Is “American” a race? No! Neither is “Cuban.” Born in the U.S. to Cuban parents who descend from white Spaniards, I’m white and blue-eyed. Most Americans are still behind with thinking anyone of Hispanic background is automatically “brown” or “Mexican.” It’s not as if Europeans ONLY migrated to what became the […]