Karen Orellana, Suwanee, GA. Last year I joined a group that focused on finding civil ways to improve the polarization in this country. We work on asking questions and listening first before sharing our own stories. I know there is a lot to learn about other people’s experiences, especially about race. So my goal going […]
Jennifer Berkemeier, Farmington Hills, MI. I’m a single mom. I adopted my daughter from Haiti in 2012 when she was 4 years old. I’m white, and 15 years older than most of her friends’ moms. We get a lot of stares and unwelcome comments from little kids (“Is she your grandma?” “How come you’re different […]
Kaller, Portland, OR. Native American grandfather, Quaker grandmother, their child was my mother. Black stepfather, biracial brother, adopted Latina child, all Chinese grade school, segregation, race riots, the battle for Civil Rights…who are “my people?”
Christine Leach, San Francisco, CA. If the sun is intense enough, I can and have gotten sunburned in ten minutes, literally. I joke with my friend in Nigeria that I can’t visit him because it’d be too painful, physically. It’s a silly point, but one I’ve joked with friends about, who are black, hispanic, or […]
Donna Cook, Roseville, MN. I have very fair skin, Fitzpatrick Scale I, and growing up in Los Angeles meant lots of unintended, fairly serious, and wretchedly painful sunburns. I was also a bit of a tomboy wild child who would refuse to let my mother brush my hair, hair she intentionally left long as a […]
Sarah S., Washington, DC. My Puerto Rican grandmother used to call me “muchacha fea,” while calling my dark-haired, dark-eyed, darker-skinned, curly-haired sisters, “muchacha linda.” That woman treated me like Cinderella. When we were kids, one of my sisters took my grandmother’s cues, and decided to torment me by saying that I was adopted (I wasn’t), […]
Thierno Diallo, Madison, WI. It is really painful to be a minority in the US. It is a heavy ‘extra’ burden that you carry even to bed, hourly. Race is a determining factor everywhere.
Lucy Pipkin, Minneapolis, MN. My own white discomfort is much less painful than continuous microaggressions and real racism faced by my fellow undergrad students who are POC. Let’s talk, and not stop until they feel safe again. We’re all different but need to come together in our communities, as shown by my photo of this […]
Lina, Denver, CO. Being here makes me aware of how different I am, that I am female, I am Asian. People would never consider me to partake in their social life. The only people who talk to me are men who want to get in my pants. I hope this is not applicable to most […]
Ruby-Beth Buitekant Brooklyn, NY
Nancy Rawn Storrs, CT I have been so proud of my beautiful boy for all of his 20 years. He struggled with so many high school identity issues but it has been especially painful to watch him struggle with the big question of “Who am I?” in this white community and white family. He has […]
Jim Roberts Atoka, TN I’m half Caucasian and half Asian. Growing up in the rural South during the eighties was a painful and humiliating experience. It seemed as if the only racial identities anyone could process were “black” or “white.” Fitting into neither category assured my brother and me years of abuse from all sides, […]
Danielle Carr St Louis, MO University of Michigan Law
Barbara Dean Great Barrington, MA This is such a painful subject for so many people, but I believe to my core that there really is only one race, and that someday we will get beyond all the conflict, misunderstandings, racism, and pain and realize that we truly are brothers and sisters.
Anonymous Ann Arbor, MI The year was 1997. I was part of a small committee selecting MBAs for highly sought-after internships in China. I wasn’t prepared to be tested on my passionate belief that skin color doesn’t matter. But I am white. And when another white colleague said, “this candidate is African American, he might […]
Margie Nelson Morris, MN All beige future – please ponder that If livers differed, but not skin Race to the finish line?? Extra credit for more than one?
Phyllis Baum York, PA Submitted at the Penn Central Conference 2011, UCC
Courtney M Oklahoma City, OK I’m white. I was raised in a military family that traveled everywhere and was taught to love what makes us different. Then I had children with a man who isn’t white. Now, race has taken on a whole new meaning. Explaining race issues to them is painful…for so many reasons.
BA Walker Paterson, NJ Life’s not easy