Barnstorming Elizabeth “Bessie” Colman was the first African American to get an international pilots license at a time when women were not supposed to – men would routinely sabotage their aircraft – What really grounded her was that being black meant Bessie was turned away by any American flight school she applied to.
Corinne R., Florence, AL. All the time I talk to people who are terrified by the “worst case scenarios” of reaching across racial, religious, and other cultural divides. And I do understand–multiculturalism involves an element of risk, just like LOVE involves risk. But I believe that taking those risks–bridging those gaps–is our only hope for […]
Ronald Zeigler, North Brunswick, NJ. I was stationed at Parris Island going to Personnel school. I was from New York and with my three New Jersey (also Black) friends went into Beaufort, SC. We walked into a bar and my friend said “three beers, please”. I was at the jukebox looking for Motown and finding […]
Samuel P. Wilcock, Mechanicsburg, PA. Messiah College, Faculty. Just look at race by census track. The “West Shore” is over 90% white pretty much all over the place, while the “East Shore” is much more diverse and white is the minority in Harrisburg. We lived in Lemoyne, right across the river from the city, and […]
Dana, Cincinnati, OH. I still cry 51 years later after segregation. I still cry for the 300 years of slavery.
Ann Marie USA I didn’t understand how much racism still existed in America until I moved to Missouri for college. As a white female, second year college student and only 19 years old, I am absolutely disgusted with the racial slurs I still hear today. Coming from San Diego, I grew up with Latino friends […]
Robert McAlister, Lexington, SC. Grew up in segregated south in a single parent home. Always felt on the margins but later in life realized my mom was ahead of her time in accepting and seeing everyone as God’s children.
Dan Kelly San Francisco, CA I was in a Brooklyn HS in the early 60s and the images coming from the south inspired me to question the social conventions that supported segregation, From that it was a short jump to questioning forteign policies that justified invading 3rd world countries. College seemed irrelevant and I left […]
Alexeana Lopez, Saint Louis, MO. Segregation doesn’t always come from white people.
Lisandra, Boston, MA. Race is not something simple but complex issues with opinion and facts.
Louis Lares, Riverside, CA. We must end racial segregation, and racial diversity. We ARE ALL HUMANS. Not different just because of color.
Margaret Denney, Snata Fe, NM. These images are details from my piece ‘There Goes the Neighborhood: 1950-2050’, addressing segregation in housing as well as changing demographics- a look at the past and a glimpse of the future. More at MargaretDenney.com
Giovanna, Atlanta, GA. I am a second generation American Jew (meaning none of my family members ever owned another human being) I was raised to treat everyone for who they are – not outward appearance – I just moved to the south and have experienced something entirely different. In a city full of educated, eloquent […]
Courtney Elizabeth Columbus, OH I get really bothered when white people say “but I didn’t own slaves!” or “my ancestors weren’t here during America’s beginnings.” Be that as it may, I like to remind them that they were there during Jim Crow segregation, the violence that raged then, when Emmitt Till was murdered, when four […]
Sara Przybylski Stevens Point, WI People think this is a great place to live, work, and raise kids… and it is. Just under the surface, though, there’s a little more going on. I grew up here. I saw my first African American person at the grocery store at the age of four-ish and loudly complimented […]
Rose Myers, San Jose, CA. Nuff said!
Lee Anne Bell New York , NY As a white person in this country I am disgusted by the lack of public will to challenge institutionalized racism. As a student of our ugly racial history, I know that we will never move forward as a country until we acknowledge and atone for our racial past. […]
KL Anderson Colorado Springs, CO Educational disparity has long been a racial card, but it’s one the sinking middle class is now being dealt, too. This might actually play out as a great eye opener to the blue collar job holder who has been traditionally manipulated into bigotry.
Rob Breymaier Oak Park, IL We hear so much about how segregation harms people and communities. We don’t hear enough about how integration improves everyone’s life. We need more stories and documentation about how integration is good for everyone of every racial background. The appeal to our common interest that holds the key to a […]
Maureen Curran New York City, NY Staten Island The words by the Jacob Lawrence poster talking about people in Brooklyn in 1962 calling for school desegregation in our schools, breaks my heart when combined with this weeks news story about NY having the most segregated schools in the nation. Why? When will injustice cease?
Eva Gross New York City, NY Staten Island I am learning about segregation in first grade. Black people back then were made to do all the work. White people were not helping them. Some white people did not believe in segregation.
Steven Smith Lake Grove, NY My parents raised me race neutral. I grew up in an integrated neighborhood, and racism didn’t come on my radar until I was around 6-7 years old. People hating people because of the color of their skin was just…ridiculous. While on a business trip to Atlanta in the early 90’s, […]
Ted Hochstadt Falls Church, VA This is approximately what my mother said to me when I asked her why our African-American cleaning woman could not read the word I asked her about from my second grade reader. The conversation with my mother occurred in Brooklyn, NY almost 65 years ago, but I still remember that […]
Vera Patricia Mitchell Lillian, AL I remember My father showing me how the black people entered the theater in Pensacola. through a door at the top of a 3-4 story building after climbing a rickety 2×4 stairway on the outside. I was 11, It was 1962. It was frighting and so dangerous. My grandfather once […]
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 […]
Walt Pulliam Jr. Richmond, VA Grew up in Greensboro, NC and was familiar with the Woolworth lunch counter where the sit-ins occurred.
Bill Charles Wells Beavercreek, OH
Alice Lynch Jonesboro, AK This is what my father said when I ran up to the water fountain with no line in the big downtown Houston department store. I was small enough not to see the sign above it that read “Colored”, but old enough to read it when he grabbed my arm harshly and […]
Nancy Bonnet Steelton, PA
Emily Mixon, Austin, TX. Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/5560474714/ Eric Fischer Data from Census 2010. Base map © OpenStreetMap, CC-BY-SA
Whitney Baker Portland, OR
Dwaine Thomas One day a white looking Black 8 year old was kicked out of two Portsmouth Ohio Parks. I am now 58.