Mark Donaldson, Edgewater, CO. I’m white, grew up in rural PA in a mostly white school. I live in CO now and work in tech industry where you’re probably either white or Indian. I know I’m racist but try hard to fight against that tendency. I want to be better than I know I am.
Javiera, San Diego, CA. My husband often jokes that I’m not “brown” because my light skin makes me look like an average white person. But growing up in rural Missouri, I never felt like a “white” person because I was teased for my hispanic features. I’m not mixed race and was born in a Latinx […]
Lisa Johnson, Holden, MO. I am, unfortunately, from very rural America. There was a short period in my life (approximately 1/4 of it) that was lived in larger areas where I got to know various people. My most favorite experiences were the multicultural atmosphere of the Modern Languages and Literatures Department of a college I […]
Lydia Taylor Memphis, TN I was born and raised in Alaska. When I was 4, my father got out of the Air Force and accepted a job as a State Trooper in Dillingham, Alaska. He moved from Anchorage to Dillingham first, to start his job as we as find us a place to live. We […]
Rhonda Gilbert, Crowley, TX. I’m black and grew up in the rural south. My experience was very much small town, and I interacted primarily with other blacks until college. Although a large part of my perspective is influenced by my country upbringing, I don’t feel welcome in that “country” space.
Erica Tjelta, Spartanburg, SC. After growing up and living in rural and small-town Wisconsin for my first thirty-six years of my life–it was a shocking eye-opener to move to the racially diverse and racism-afflicted major city of Charlotte, North Carolina. My seven years spent there were the catalyst of a change-of-mind that radically altered the […]
A. Jones Selinsgrove, PA Coming from a very small, rural town in Southern Pennsylvania, I was thrown into what seems to me like a melting pot when I came to Susquehanna University. If I had had any idea of what it meant to attend a “liberal arts” college when I was looking at schools as […]
Katy Wilkerson, Houston, TX. In the deep South, in my experience, racism is pervasive, especially when you talk about poorer and poorer white people (not just men). There truly does still exist a level of social acceptability that is just not OK. I’ve always been extremely disgusted by it, despite being white and having these […]
Chris, Redlands, CA. Growing up on welfare, to a single mother in rural Michigan, I learned not to expect help from anyone. However, my whole life I have heard of this privilege that we all are given given because we are white. While I’ve never been in another persons footsteps, life hasn’t been very easy, […]
Dannielle Kerstetter, Elizabethtown, PA. I come from a white, middle-class family in rural Pennsylvania. My family does not believe that people of color do not need to fight for equality because they already have rights, and they are being greedy because they want to be equal.
Karen Randolph Rogers, Kansas City, MO. I’m a civil rights attorney who grew up in a predominantly white rural area and left for the city. I see the pain that racism causes in my work and my personal life and try to convey that to white friends and family who deny their privilege. #SafetyPin
Katelyn Prine, East Lansing, MI. As a white student who grew up in rural Michigan, my conception of race did not exist in my small community. For me learning about race is best done through meeting people who have faced the struggles and building relationships. Groups like MRULE on campus have inspired my growth and […]
Anonymous Plattsburgh, NY I grew up in a rural upstate NY town–hating everything that seemed bigoted or prejudiced. I loathed a lot of the people I knew in adolescence who held tight to old racist values. I went into college with an open mind and an open heart. I don’t know what happened next. Our […]
Edward M Moriarty, Clearwater, FL. A profound change to my thinking of right and wrong, when a FRIEND was removed from a picture of my friends and myself that appeared in my hometown newspaper in 1959 rural Maryland.
Aaron David Snipe, Falls Church, VA. It was one day before the 4th of July parade at the summer camp I had attended each summer of my childhood, and the campers and counselors had all congregated outside to discuss our cabin’s float for the parade. Summers at the camp in rural Pennsylvania were filled with […]
Jack McNiff, Canyon Lake, CA. I was raised in rural Minnesota prior to sixth grade and by then had moved to Minneapolis. My first exposure to differences in “”Race”” was in High School and I never had any real understanding of why there were any significant tensions about who was what color. I felt very […]
Robert Pond Hebron, OH I witness it firsthand every day.
Clay Underwood, San Diego, CA. My grandfather, born 1890’s, was an avid fisherman. My brother and I fished with him in rural north Alabama when we spent summers there in the 1960’s. If grandaddy caught a carp he would give it to one of the black families he knew (he called blacks “darkies”). We were […]
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.
Betty J Byrom Sanford, Lansing, MI. I am a child of the 50’s and know full well why we ask for reparation. While I have been recognized through my work which has brought national recognition to Michigan State University, I remain forever mindful of the educational deficits that left holes in my education that will […]
Aris Foucault Etheridge Leverett, MA I think it’s possible that the poor urban white perspective may be a helpful one in thinking about race as it relates to poverty. What are the similarities between the poor urban white experience and the poor urban black experience? What are the differences, and how do these differences effect […]
Catherine Marden El Cerrito, CA My mother is from El Salvador. My father is from Kentucky. I grew up in rural Oregon. I didn’t know I was half-hispanic until I realized checking the hispanic box on college applications might help me get accepted. To this day I struggle with my Salvadoran ancestry. I am white. […]
Elena Rodrigues Houghton, MA Living in a small town in the UP of Michigan and having a fairly Hispanic name can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Sometimes it shows how some people view a person from a different background in a negative way and other times it can be positive. I have been […]
Kathy Carpenter Eugene, OR
-Anonymous, Minneapolis, MN Heard this in rural South Dakota, Late 1930’s early 40’s