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Are you Hispanic, or just Italian?

Rachel Masilamani, Pittsburgh, PA. I was eating lunch alone in the break room on my first day at an office job when 3 of my new co-workers peeked in. “Are you Hispanic, or just Italian?” one of them blurted out. Neither, actually. This lady just laid down her line for White and Not White and […]

You graduated in four years? Really?

Michael Tackie, Pittsburgh, PA. Upon graduation from college with a B.S.in Chemical Engineering, I got this from someone I had known for three years, someone I regarded as a friend. He was white, and majored in History or English, I forget which. I was initially amused, not understanding the subtext to what he was saying. […]

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I’m not Black, I’m Human first!

Alieu Nyassi, Pittsburgh, PA. We judge people by their race not the face that we are human first before any thing else. We have to value the fact that we all breath, drink and eat the same time of air, water and foods. We may differ from cultural norms and values.

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My baby is black AND white.

Karin Coyne, Pittsburgh, PA. My sweet man is black and I am white. Our baby girl is both. but the world is a complicated place… and she is light-skinned and people ask her daddy, “Is that your child?” This deeply offends him… because it makes him feel as though folks are suggesting that he has […]

Bi-racial means you are nobody’s baby.

Silvija Singh, Pittsburgh, PA. Unlike my sibs, I do not look white, altho I have a white mother. I do not get treated like a Latvian, the way the blond-haired blue-eyed cousins on this side of the family do. Complexion-wise, I look more like my father, who was from India. But among Indians, I am […]

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90.5 WESA- NPR Journalist Michele Norris Talks Race in America

By ESSENTIAL PITTSBURGH When award-winning NPR journalist and former All Things Considered c0-host Michele Norris released her first book “The Grace of Silence: A Memoir” in 2010, it was the beginning of a unique national conversation on race. On October 1st, Norris comes to Pittsburgh to give a talk entitled “Eavesdropping on America’s Conversation on […]

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Michele Norris is an Alchemist.

…TEACH AND TALK ABOUT RACE TSWBAT BLOG by: ALEXANDRA B. REZNIK, WRITING & EDITING CONSULTANT October 2, 2014 Michele Norris is an alchemist. She transforms the stories and histories of those who experience and inflict the burden of racism, into the foundation of American individual experience and collective history. The atrocities of our past are not […]

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Why are we afraid of TRUTH?

C. Denise Johnson Pittsburgh, PA TRUTH is… we are all part of the collateral damage of institutional racism. That’s why some of us are resistant to change and others want more change. When the foundation of your society is predicated by elitism, sexism and racism, you end up with a schizophrenic nation afraid to look […]

Separate and unequal still exists!

Lori K. Elliott Wyoming, OH I am African American. More than 40 years ago, my parents took me out of the public school and enrolled me inan almost all white parochial school because the public school in my racially segregated neighborhood was so awfu. Six years ago, I moved from an integrated neighborhood to an […]

Black horse will ride white horse

Don Pittsburgh, PA Stated in spring of 1963 by negro at the time with no agitation or explanation. As a white person I thought comment strange not knowing the future implications to follow. Strange that statement has stayed in my conscience all these years. Always felt comfortable among black people.

Where are all my black friends?

Doug Baker Pittsburgh, PA For me this is the measure of the segregation that still exists in the US. I’m white, but if I want to have non-white friends, I have to seek them out. I don’t think we’ll have succeeded in addressing racial inequality until white people like me find that we just happen […]

Sheltered white girl now values diversity.

Jennifer Rapach Pittsburgh, PA I grew up in rural Western Pennsylvania in a public school that was 100% white, 100% Christian. Before I went to college, the only non-white person I knew was my doctor. Now I seek out opportunities to interact with other races and cultures, and a large part of my job is […]

My race is human. Yours, too.

Nixi Chesnavich Pittsburgh, PA I was raised by a racist. My grandfather had a bias against everyone who wasn’t exactly like him. Even as a young child, I could see that the stereotypes he tried to instill in me were simplistic and dehumanizing. I chose not to hate. I chose to see all people as […]

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Interracial couples: we are the future.

Jeffery Ward Pittsburgh, PA WE are a mixed couple. They said our love would never last, but we just celebrated 14 years together. As a couple, we bridge the racial divide. We can’t change the rest of the world, but we have eliminated the racial divide in our own lives, and those around us. From […]

Newspaper says ‘Black youths’ not ‘kids.’

Elizabeth Cook Pittsburgh, PA A white female with all minority students and friends, I am saddened and disgusted that race bias permeates every facet of our culture. What we think of as American culture is actually white culture, and others who challenge it are seen as complainers. Why is BET the only place on TV […]

Whitefish Bay white school white Church

Mark Brandfass Pittsburgh, PA In the summer of ’63 my family had just moved to Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. My father was a salesman for Westinghouse Electric and we moved as his work demanded. I would be entering the diocesan Catholic seminary the next year, my brothers and sisters attended the local Catholic schools. I don’t […]

Parade today. Stay inside, little boy.

Peter Gilgunn Pittsburgh, PA My race card paraphrases what my grandmother told me the day the orange walk entered the housing scheme we lived in. I was seven at the time. She was worried I would get abuse from the marchers because I was a catholic. My grandmother was an atheist and caucused with the […]

Born American, never accepted as American

Ramon Fontaine Pittsburgh, PA Since 1917, and before Alaska and Hawaii, Puerto Ricans have been US citizens. We have fought in every US war since WWI and have lost thousands of lives defending the US Constitution. But for some reason, Puerto Ricans are not often seen as citizens and lumped into the same category as […]

I’m afraid of black men

CA Pittsburgh, PA I don’t know why. And I don’t mean just in a dark, desolate alley- where I’d be afraid of any man. I am just more afraid of black men. It makes me feel ashamed of myself.