Tony Williams, Detroit, MI. Change in America is slow. I find it disheartening to witness the incarceration of African American men at this current level. The battle begins after the release from jail or prison. A criminal record is just slavery by another name.
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 […]
Michelle Hill, Oakland, CA. Our family is so fortunate that my great, great, great grandparents were not separated from each other and their children during slavery. Because the family stayed together, we have a family Bible, pictures and records that document their lives in this country. My great grandmother, Mama Lizzie, was born in 1870 […]
John Austin, Park Hill, OK. We always seem to begin every discussion of race and race relations in America with some mention or reference to the enslavement of black Africans. Their import to the mainland U.S. to be used as draft animals in a “White” America. To say, a sad, disgusting, devastating, illicit event in […]
Bruce Hawkins, Northampton, MA. That doesn’t make me guilty, it makes me responsible. Prison is the new slavery, and the Drug War is modern slave-catching.
Rikki Clark, Milwaukee, WI. I teach African-American literature and folklore at the university level. Often white students will say in class how they would have never owned slaves. But there is a fundamental problem when we view history through a twenty-first-century lens. Our modern morals and values are out of context. I would hope, if […]
King Kellz, Fayetteville, NC. We only learn what America has taught us about our specific race.
Jasmine Shabazz, Beachwood, Ohio. So, never once have I blamed the white kids and there families for slavery. Never once did I say there ancestors enslaved mine. And I hate to look like the girl who always plays the race card, or who always wants to cry about the struggles my ancestors went through. But […]
Anon Ymous Charlotte, NC “Replaced slavery chains with entitlement chains” As a white with guilt, all I can say is: I’m so sorry, twice…
Chevelloni El, Newark, DE. My daughter attends a multicultural festival at her school each year where students share their experiences, cultures and history. She wants to tell about our history an cultures but I would be embarrassed to set up a table that says that we are African Americans- Africa is a whole darn continent. […]
Michael, San Rafael, CA. While all races practiced slavery, Whites were the ones to end it. All Christian White countries ended slavery approximately 150 years ago but sadly it is still practiced by Blacks, Asians, Asian-Indians and Muslim Whites today.
Jesse Dukes, Charlottesville, VA. This question was on my mind recently, when I wrote an article for Virginia Quarterly Review about Confederate reenactors at the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg. I don’t actually have any Confederate ancestors I’m aware of, but most of the reenactors do. All of the reenactors I talked to considered slavery to […]
Carissa Smith, Philadelphia, PA. This is what my father asked me when we were talking about the movie “12 Years a Slave”. He was talking about the horrors of slavery and the actual statement was: “I bet that makes you hate your white side, doesn’t it!?” I’m sure he doesn’t know the effects or the […]
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.
Katherine E. Byroade, West Hartford, CT. When I was a child, my southern grandmother took great delight in the fact that she was a Jamestown descendant and DAR member and saw her membership in those organizations as part of her legacy to her granddaughters, ensuring our social success. She was matter of fact that the […]
Michael H Chicago, IL I grew up listening to Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy talk about their dream of a society that one day would be “color blind”. Forty years later, I feel like we’re as far as ever from that goal. In fact, I suspect most Americans would prefer to perpetuate the distinctions […]
Michelle DePass, Portland, OR. I live in Portland, a City that is overwhelmingly white. Our State Constitution was a racist one. Slavery was not allowed, however Black people were discouraged by a clause in the Constitution that says that Black people who locate in Oregon are subject to public whippings every 6 months until they […]
Tian McPherson, Baltimore, MD. …and these recent events are the visible rash. If a country practiced slavery, the racism problem is already inside it. It’s been there, largely unseen or easy to neglect… but it’s starting to burn and crackle now.
Ryann Mellion, Washington DC. Why do school textbooks only talk about slavery? Black history doesn’t start or end with slavery.
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer I’ve been called racist just by talking to someone of color. As someone whose ancestors are English, American, French, and Belgian, I realize, that being called racist isn’t the worst thing someone can do to you in terms of discrimination in ethnicity and racism, but […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer Even if I haven’t really been discriminated against by groups of people thinking they are superior to other groups of people, I feel that as a white person I am being mis-represented by white supremacy groups and neo-nazis. I feel that certain groups of people […]
Phyllis l. Johnson, Washington, DC. We as black people still suffer from the vestiges of slavery, like colorism.
Megan, KY. Where to start. I have no clue. I guess I’ll start with some background about myself. I am a person full of love and I give it to anyone it doesn’t matter to me race, income, your past, how you treat me – what have you. If I ever get to the point […]
Allison Hren, Elon, NC. Elon University Recognizing the problems that exist in our divided world are very important, but there’s a part of me that gets fed up with the idea that expressing pride in my ancestry, mostly European, is racist. And although it’s true that issues, like slavery, were not actually that long ago, […]
Joi Monaêbby Cathey Johnson, Rialto, CA.
Howard Bonds, Miami, FL. I hear many people talk about Irish slavery in the Americas. Yet, I can find no documents. No ship names. No bills of sale. No ledgers, tariffs or transactions of any type. Europeans kept very detailed documents of their shipping even way back then. So far only african slave ships are […]
Dana, Cincinnati, OH. I still cry 51 years later after segregation. I still cry for the 300 years of slavery.
Joy Los Angeles, CA Looking into my family history, at first I found relief at finding no record of slave ownership, even among ancestors in the South. Was it just because they could not afford to buy slaves? But then I found a transcript of a sermon my great-great grandmother’s brother gave at a church […]
James Cannon, Sacramento, CA. I’m forbidden from appreciating my African English grandmothers experiences and how they contributed to my outlook on life, or sharing this outlook, because of the color of my skin. Even though I’m black enough where I would have been a slave in the south during that era.
Roberta Smith, Boston, MA. During the conversation, once the white guy spoke about self responsibility a lot of black people were visibly upset and I feel, most black people in the audience stopped listening because they were “offended”. The black rapper basically encouraged black people NOT to get involved in government. What if Obama felt […]
Anonymous, Austin, TX. Blaming all white people for slavery is the same as blaming all black people for Boko Haram. If I am to be held responsible for what some white guys unrelated to me did centuries ago, then you should be to blame for what your people are actively doing right now. This goes […]
Felix, USA. I never owned a slave nor have I ever condoned slavery. My skin color does not make me guilty of any crime.
Tim Fall, Davis, CA. There are still people – in the North and the South – who will tell you the Civil War was fought over states’ rights. They are wrong. It was fought over slavery. Any other issue comes in a distant second: http://wp.me/p2EmLc-1Kx
Larry Morgan, Washington, NC. I have long regarded the Confederate Battle Flag (CBF) as an anachronism for which we Americans have shown remarkable tolerance. It is to the nation’s credit that although Jefferson Davis spent some time in prison, he and his top generals were not summarily executed, as would have happened in most other […]
Kitra Mwania, Branson, MO. The confederate flag clearly means something important to the people around here. Being a black person who learned that this flag represented slavery and injustice makes me nervous about why this flag is an accessory.
Rick Schuch, Bell Center, WI. The confederate flag is bad and must be gotten rid of.
Rusty Loiselle, Huntsville, AL. I don’t have a problem with anyone of any color. Color is not something we had a choice in. I have a problem with ignorance, thugs, people who are morally bankrupt and think the world owes them a living. I have a problem with people who think that they should receive […]
REPOST: AtlanticLIVE online – May 20, 2015 Atlantic national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates and NPR host and special correspondent Michele Norris have a conversation about Norris’s Race Card Project, Coates’s noteworthy Atlantic cover story, “The Case for Reparations,” and how the conversation about race has evolved in the past year. See more from New York Ideas 2015: […]
REPOST Lannan.org April 15, 2015, Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer, journalist, and educator, is also a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. His recent piece titled The Case for Reparations intricately and provocatively traces the history of racism in the United States from slavery to recent examples of housing discrimination. The […]
Lisa Smith, Boston, MA. In 1610 Catholic priest asked his superiorsif slavery was condoned by God. Answer came back…none of more learned men of cloth saw anything against the enslavement of another human being. I’m white and l seeth with anger over what happens (ed) to Blacks.
Robert Michael, Atlanta, GA.
Heathyr, Klamath Falls, OR. If we really want to confront racism and eradicate it, we need to be taught an accurate history of this country’s racist practices. Racism wasn’t just the genocide of the Natives, slavery, or Jim Crow. It was redlining and eugenics and the discoveries of pseudo-science.
R.M. Lutz, East Lansing, MI. My color does not define me. Why should being white make me feel guilty? I didn’t want slavery. I didn’t want Jim Crow. I didn’t ask to be born into a family that is upper middle class. But somehow, people blame me like it’s my fault. Like I wanted to […]
Brian R, Philadelphia, PA. The institution of slavery was a heinous act, that not only tore tens of thousands of Africans from their homeland, but has given this country a group of people who are unable to thrive in our society. African Americans would be better off in Africa. The U.S. Government should pay reparations […]
Sam Henry, Ashville, NC. As a white male Social Studies teacher I always have a difficult time teaching slavery. From what I know about my family tree I don’t have any family members that owned slaves but that is hardly the point. It is a shameful period in our history but one worth studying. I […]
John Leo, Sag Harbor, NY. This may be redundant since the release of and discussion about Twelve Years a Slave, but for many years I’ve seen and heard people complain about bosses and working conditions and I’ve empathized. But I’ve also reflected on how these modern days woes compare to SLAVERY. Being the property of […]
Anderson Brown, Jacksonville, FL.
Phillip Johnson, Saint Louis, MO. History shows the historically oppressed are not the ones who use race to their advantage. In order to galvanize support for trans atlantic slavery – one race had to be made to feel superior to another.
Tarah Zdunic, East Lansing, MI.
Kim Skillern Samuels, Cleveland Heights, OH. I lived in a neighborhood of black people, and went to an inner city public school. When friends found that I’d be moving to the suburbs they teased me, and said “Those honkeys are gonna chase you home from school.” At the age of six I thought a “honkey” […]
Denise Pierce, Sterling, VA. My grandmother who was born in NC in 1901 and lived to be 105 tried to instill in me a love for my land-owning ancestors who also owned slaves. At 99 she was still quoting from the KKK playbook that taught slaves were lucky to have been brought to America and […]
Alexa Ogno Salem, MA In the 1980’s, I went to a Catholic prep school that was full of privileged white kids. My good friend, Duchess Harris, was one of the few students of color. There was a single African American teacher. One of the student government fundraising activities was a “Slave Auction” in which fellow […]
Anonymous Mobile, AL I was born and raised Caucasian, though of course, like most Caucasians, I was referred to and referred to myself as “white.” But like so many, I found myself attracted to African American culture, and, generally, more accepted by African Americans. As I’ve grown, becoming an instructor of English and therefore, an […]
Janet D George Columbus, OH
Brendon Milwaukee, WI I’ve heard this used in conversations and discussions around race and it is embarrassing. It completely discounts the persons position as if to say “you’re free now or I never owned a slave, why are you complaining?”.
John Staunton, VA It is factually true that I never owned slaves. But while this statement is true for every American person of any race, it is also the great white excuse. I think that all people today of every race owns responsibility for the moral and historical consequences of slavery. But today’s descendants of […]
Greg Camp Fayetteville, AR I did not live in the era of legal slavery or Jim Crow. I did not support those laws. And don’t waste my time with talk about privilege. Claiming that white males have privilege simply by virtue of being white males denies the diversity in outcomes that we experience.
Teresa Pinnell TX Slavery and all the rest is wrong – I never agreed with any of it. But I feel the anger and resentment from blacks sometimes and I just feel like saying “I had nothing to do with slavery!” I shouldn’t be condemned because I am white any more than they who are […]
Delphine Fenderson Birmingham, AL So much was taken from my people during slavery. We are the only Americans that worked and built this country and got nothing in return. It continued with Jim Crow, share cropping, low minimum wages, stereotypes, having to fight for basic human rights. In order to maintain this status quo this […]
Ken Segehrs Wentzville, MO Some whites fought for equal rights, even in the face of a gun.
Piper Kendrix Williams Wyndmoor, PA This morning (6/27/13) I heard the story on Morning Edition’s Race Card segment of the sliding fee scale based on the race of a child being adopted. The conversation touched on the difficulty and complicated nature of assigning differing “value” to black, bi-racial, and white children. It seemed clear to […]
Michelle Ternus Oakland, CA
Teri Aitch, Submitted via Twitter: @Talix18.
Bruce Cammack Lubbock, TX This is a quote from the Richmond Virginia Enquirer from 1856.
Women & Politics Submitted via Twitter: @wrip1m #theracecardproject
Daniel Portland, OR I grew up in a working-class and ever-so-slightly diverse part of a very white city, but I the bus across town with two dozen others to school K-12. As I grow older I sometimes recall classroom memories that make my current self uncomfortable. In 7th grade social studies we discussed slavery, and […]
E. Martin Hampton Roads, VA So often people act as if slavery was some prehistoric event whose effects should have dissipated. In reality, 150 years have not passed since the end of the Civil War. In reality, slavery not only induced poverty in African Americans but wealth in whites; slave owner or not free labor […]
Erin R. San Antonio, TX For too long I was unaware of my own racial privilege (as a white woman), but thanks to my graduate studies, my mentors, and my conversations with friends it is overwhelmingly apparent that slavery exists today in the US. To believe in a post-racial US is to ignore one’s own […]
Holly Middleton San Francisco, CA