Toya James, Albuquerque, NM. I am biracial (Black/White) and born in Cleveland in 1959. By “it” I mean race. I thought more people knew race is simply a social construct and that racism was something education erased. I have only recently realized how widespread the buy-in is in American society and that race was invented […]
Anna Fraley, Jena, LA. Do people realize that Native Americans still exist? WHY are our struggles for equality not brought to thr forefront like those of the African Americans, Muslim Americans, and Latinos? We are the forgotten.
Jules M. Marquart, Louisville, KY. In Louisville during the pre-busing 1960s, this “screening” question was based on assumptions and generalizations about race and class. A high school in the West End of the city–African-American (Negro or Black back then) and poor; in the South End–white and red neck; and in the East End–white and privileged.
John Stephens, New Market, VA. Many years ago, when I was a young man, I went to see the movie The Defiant Ones with Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. The film was about two convicts who were both strident racists. They escaped from prison but they could not escape each other because they were shackled […]
Celeste Havis, Jacksonville, FL. Science and religion alike informs us that the concept of race is an illusion. Why do we continue to hang on to this antiquated concept when it only serves to divide us? I have dedicated my life to building positive human relations and now it appears to me that we are […]
Gavin, Summerville, GA. People think they are better than other people just because of their race.
Nell Kuhnmuench, East Lansing, MI. Not now – I am trying to learn each day without getting defensive.
Jorge Talamantes, Azusa, CA. Student ’15 I am a Latino man of Mexican and Cuban descent, so when people tell me that I speak Spanish well because I happen to have lighter skin and “can pass as a white boy”, I am offended that they relate skin color to race and ethnicity. My race and […]
Kyler Harrington, Syracuse, NY. Student ’16
Austin Smith, Fayetteville, NY. Student ’15
Eric Goodwin, Syracuse, NY.
Nick Thurlow, Syracuse, NY. Student ’15
Mike Wenli, Tulsa, OK. I am White. I will never apologize for my existence.
Robert L. Hewitt Sr., Chambersburg, PA.
Joseph Ratner, Morrisville, NC. This is interesting because as a child friends would ask me what I was nationality and I always said Jewish. As I got older I had to evaluate the reasons and now at half a century old I think I get it now Being Jewish is an identity. we have Jewish […]
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 […]
Julie E. Clark, Pullman, WA. Many meanings to win, race and alone.
Rhonda Lynn, Crowley, TX. When we are unwilling to approach life with an open mind, we leave room for hate to fester and grow. With an open mind, we bring the willingness necessary to hear the other voice, learn the other experience, and try to understand the other perspective. Each of us has been allowed […]
Roy Turrentine, Normandy, TN. Race is actually just a part of our natural xenophobia. Over the course of being a southerner rooted in agrarian dialects and educated among those from all across the country, I have experienced genuine surprise on the part of some when they realize I can speak with a drawl and still […]
Vidhya Elango, Canada. This is in response to a particular woman who asked me where I was from at a bus stop in Halifax. I acted sheepish and did not want to answer, to which she responded, “I like guessing!”. I don’t care. I’m not a game for you to play. I’m not even bi- […]
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 […]
Brenden Gartner, Tampa, FL. Being Cuban is not a bad thing. Embrace your Race because that is what makes you who you are. Its a big chunk of your identity. Who cares what people think about your race? That’s who you are. If your embarrassed about your race then you will never figure out who […]
Ed Houlemarde, Duarte, CA. I am what is considered a Creole – depending on wher I am I can be lumped into that areas primary race. In school I did not belong to a “race” Because my skin is olive I had mostly minority friends or friends of color. Teaches and later co-workers thought I […]
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.
Phyll, Fort Worth, TX. At 62 years old, I am a child of thw Civil Rights struggles. When my son was born in 1971, I was committed to raising him without the excess baggage of race. It didn’t take but one sleepover for his Pee Wee Football team that the White boys weren’t allow to […]
Melvin Jones, San Francisco, CA. One would think that California is a progressive state that seldom harbors racism. Unfortunately that is just a heartbreaking fallacy. The reality of the status quo, is that the Golden State is riddled with a plethora of “undercover racist” who abuse, deny, intimidate, African-Americans and Latinos. To misfortune, or fortune, […]
Tronta Pounds, Philadelphia, PA.
Yvonne Torrance, Philadelphia, PA. People who sat the shooting of Michael Brown is not about race are kidding themselves. If a Black officer had shot an unarmed white kid would he be sitting at home still collecting his paycheck?
Seth, Australia. My mothers family is from a Haitian Creole line but I grew up in Montana and my mother and my siblings and I are all of lighter skin but we get dark in summer so other than mom’s hair, and now my beard you really couldn’t tell. So I really grew up outside […]
Josephine Kim, Campbridge, MA. When it comes to race, we need our eyes to hear and our ears to see.
David Clark, Sacramento, CA. This reflects my hope that the conversation is elevated beyond race to realize the truth that we are all one.
Wayne Larson, Lafayette, OR.
Sheila Islam, Oakland, CA. You do not win a prize if you get it right. People hardly ever guess it right and thats not exactly the problem. The problem is, that when people do this, I feel objectified. I feel like my physical appearance is being ripped from me and being judged. I am so […]
Renee Chapman, Colbert, WA. I have seen race used as an excuse for bad behavior or saying something is happening to someone because they are Mexican, Asian, and Black etc. I had a personal experience with it when neighbors aggressive Rottweiler killed my 6 mo. old puppy, police were called and neighbor was really angry. […]
David Brady, Portland, OR. Travel to see new cultures and experiences? I do. But, we can experience the richness of culture here if we look past appearance. Listen, let others’ stories speak.
Daniel Sconce, Wenatchee, WA. Imagine you are blind and visiting another country. Imagine you don’t know the language and have none of the currency. Would race matter? What would you do with your judgments and assumptions?
Roxanne Darling, Haiku, HI. It’s my personal belief that it’s incredibly challenging to not be racist, regardless of one’s race. Not wanting to be, think, or act racist is not the same as not being racist. So I hereby present myself as a work in progress, as I unplug decades (centuries?) of neurological programming that […]
Gabrielle Hainley, Caledonia, MI. I understand that there is discrimination and racism in the United States. But, I also see many people of all races, ages and upbringing that use their race as an excuse to get away with things or as a way to make other people sound like people, when in fact, they […]
Mehdi Ettehadulhagh, Norway. Being born in Cameroon, having a Russian father that’s born in Iran, and a mother from Cameroon, and living in Norway but schools in Romania really makes one feel mankind is One. And all of the citizens of earth are one. But it will take others a lifetime to see the world […]
Bruce Brown, Port Jefferson, NY.
Matt Henegar, Jonesboro, AR. I think the we should quit focusing on minor labels, like black, hispanic, asian, and all of the other skin tone variations, and focus on making the world better for all of us.
A dialogue about diversity: JHU hosts 11th Diversity Leadership Conference NPR correspondent, keynote speaker Michele Norris stresses importance of discussing race, diversity issues to ‘create change and comfort levels’ by Amy Lunday Michele Norris spent much of her career as a journalist trying very hard not to be the person who was always talking about […]
Maranda, Colorado Springs, CO. My mother says she isn’t prejudice, yet she has negative comments towards me dating a white male. I am Native and Alaskan Native and African American.
J. Morgan, IL. Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, et al. Why do we let so many disrespect our President for his race?
Tania Rose, San Francisco, CA. Super-cool, interesting, important, vital conversation. Thank you.
Lauren Maldonado, Athens, GA. I’m white, I know that. But, I have no idea what race I am. I can’t include myself in a certain group. I cannot sympathize with a certain group of people and I cannot judge a group of people because I might be the same race as they are. I’m in […]
Christopher Lee-Rodriguez, Boston, MA. We don’t live in a post-racial society. We live in a post-race society. We live in a country where in a short amount of time, there will no longer be a majority race. And race is continuing to be reshaped and redefined. I am half Chinese and half Puerto Rican. I […]
Ryan Mearig, Fountain Valley, CA. School does a great job of giving you the surface level depiction of slavery. It took 22 years to learn that every foreign race was oppressed, and that we thought it was ok.
Riley Redman, Pittsburgh, PA.
Anne Decker, Virginia Beach, VA.
by: Chelsea Dickson Oct 6, 2014 Courtesy of: The Tartan “America’s conversation on race has only just begun,” said NPR correspondent Michele Norris during a talk on racial diversity last Wednesday at the Carnegie Music Hall. The lecture, titled “Eavesdropping on America’s Conversation On Race,” proved more than an exercise in listening, and rather an […]
Je Jack Vang, St. Paul, MN. When people see Hmong people the only thing they think of us is either Chinese or Japanese. It’s like our race has been deleted out of the world.
Val Andrew, Overland, MO. My parents taught us early on to accept all people and invited international college students of different races, religions, and nationalities to stay with us during holidays. During the Vietnam War we hosted an AFS student from Vietnam for a year. I grew up a few miles from Ferguson and taught […]
We are excited to share our partnership with PBS to capture the reactions from “AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON” — a PBS television special moderated by Gwen Ifill. This PBS town hall meeting, moderated by PBS NEWSHOUR co-anchor and managing editor Gwen Ifill, explores the many issues brought into public discourse in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, […]
Katie Rotondo, El Segundo, CA. I’ve been learning a lot about race and ethnicity lately. Looking back, it bothers me how many times I was asked what ethnicity I am, responding by saying I am Italian, and getting the famous saying, “But you don’t look Italian!” This is a daily response. Just because I don’t […]
Kirk Fortune, St. Louis, MO. Recognizing the humanity of each other below our differences is our greatest and most important challenge for each of us.
Thunder Shi, Milwaukee, WI.
Bill Fullmer, DeWitt, MI. If we show respect to all people we come in contact with, or near contact with, there is no basis for a racial bias. If an individual does something to diminish my respect for that person, I am dealing with that individuals behavior and not their race. Aretha had it right.
Jeremy J., Denton, TX. I hate when people are talking crap about a race or group of people and they feel like they have to mention “there are good ones out there.” Who do you think you are.
Candace Ewing, Lansing, MI. As much as I would love to see race as a topic discussed sole to embrace differences (in a positive fashion) as opposed to still working on tearing them all apart (negatively,) I think the battle is one that will be fought for a very long time. We are moving closer […]
Shannon Nobles, Lansing, MI.
Cherrice Robinson, FL. I am a black girl. That is my race, not a description of who I am as a person and it’s definitely not a label. Just simply my race. I am proud of my race but the sooner we realize our race is just our race and nothing more, the sooner we […]
Valerie B. Williams, Jim Thorpe, PA. I was born a WASP but now have a muti-ethnic, multi-racial family. It’s our present and future. Diversity makes us special. Love is all that matters.
Whitney Bell, Geismar, LA.
Brooke, Richmond, VA. Virginia Commonwealth University Racism goes all sorts of ways. My race shouldn’t define everything about me, and definitely shouldn’t generalize me as a person. My race shouldn’t decide how I get treated in public or how much I get paid. My race should not put me above or below anyone, and it […]
Cheri’ Chambers China Race is a classification system based on physical traits, such as skin color, made up in an attempt to claim superiority. We are all members of the same species whose genetic material is over 99% the same. Each group of us living in different parts of the world, exposed to different environmental […]
Paolo Parent Hollywood, FL Not hung on race, but very well aware of what’s going on in the world.
Leslie Lannan, Cincinnati, OH. It’s amazing how desperate we are in America to racially categorize our citizens based on how they look. My six words are a reference to a recent doctor’s visit. After discussing my ailments and general health, the doctor had one more question for me. “What is your race?” she asked. I […]
Daniel A. Rodriguez Philadelphia, PA Hello, my name is Daniel A. Rodriguez and I am 15 years old. I am of Mexican and White descent. My parents came from Mexico shortly before I was born here, in the United States. My father is a construction worker and my mother is a house cleaner, which many […]
Mayra Velez Buffalo, NY Picture of us, a Belarussian and Puerto Rican, soon-to-be-married, couple. When we started dating, every time I said he is belarussian to my friends and family, I heard the “oh improving the race amiga”. I think is our colonial mind, in which status in society was determined not by wealth but […]
Krista Chronister Eugene, OR
Ramon Gonzales Sacramento, CA Growing up I can clearly remember saying that whites were the superior race in this country wheter it was being used as a joke or a serious matter. When it comes to the issue of race their is no such thing as being superior over another race. Currently our President of […]
Luis Raul Montalvo Bronx, NY Il Let you Know!
Keyonna Wilder Mobile, AL
Destiny Baker Raeford, NC The only thing that defines how you are as a person is you, not your past, culture, and especially not race.
Slaton Anthony Mount Vernon, IA My last ancestor came to America before 1800 all from England, France and Germany. My ancestors fought and died in almost every American war, I was raised in the Cookson Hills of rural Oklahoma and believed that I was part of the American white culture. While attending college in Oklahoma, […]
Meg Seigenthaler Memphis, TN Skin color is but a tiny portion of our DNA. Like blue eyes or red hair, it shouldn’t have such an impact.
Jamie Lee Myers Jacksonville, FL Many people seem to identify who they are by their race. We also all seem to have a tendency toward making assumptions based on how people look. I am fair with naturally red hair that is currently blonde. Most think I am Irish and that is in my family tree, […]
Richard R Clarke West New York, NJ This is what I see happening to people over and over again, no matter what their race, color or cultural identity.
Lois Mendez Catlin Carrabelle, FL
Michael. C. Fleishman Yellow Springs, OH This was an absolutely splendid show that impacted me spiritually, emotionally, artistically. Thank you for the opportunity to witness.
Jamie Rice Hoboken, NJ The Beloved Community will never be fully realized until we can talk openly, clearly, and candidly about race and cultural identity.
Joshua San Antonio, TX We are all one race and have only minor different biological features. Do you really believe that is the driving force behind our discrimination and stereotypical caricaturizations of each other? If we were all perfectly homogenized and mixed race, would will still discrimination against each other based on class, money, or […]
Maita Veneracion American Canyon, CA
Patricia Osborn Grand Rapids, MI People are always surprised when they see me. My last name doesn’t. “match” how I look. Although my parents are awesome and didn’t think twice about any of their children’s spouses race , my aunts and uncles made so many comments ranging from me not wanting to be a true […]
Courtney Pearce Bowling Green, OH
Aminah Columbia, SC Being a light-skinned African-American has afforded me the ability to kind of live on multiple sides of the race coin in terms of my superficial assets. Many people assume that I’m mixed; I’m not. Many people assume that I lucky because, since I’m fully black, I have good hair. Man, if one […]
Jen Rogers Fresno, CA I am so sick of people thinking that I owe them or their race something. My ancestors made it on their own without a handout why do you need one.
Amanda N. Normal, IL I grew up in Texas. I always had people telling me that Caucasian people were better than any other race. Being told that always made me feel guilty. When we learned about the KKK in school I always felt uncomfortable like all of the African Americans were staring at and blaming […]
Sharla Yeutsy Urbandale, IA I’m a white 73 year old grandmother of seven who has always lived in the midwest. I am grateful that I grew up in a family that judged people by the “content of their character” I rejoiced when we elected Barak Obama two times as our president and am so pained […]
Amanda Feinman Poughkeepsie, NY Race is a social category, which is given meaning by institutional and cultural systems of advantage of disadvantage. Race is significant in light of these conferred and withheld advantages: it continues to dictate the distribution of resources; it impacts access to education, healthcare, employment, and other areas of the public sphere; […]