Pale faced; I must be guilty

Katherine Atlanta, GA I am not responsible for the actions of people one hundred and fifty years ago who enslaved an entire race. The institution of slavery is a horrific part of American History, and it was a heinous crime against African Americans. Because of that institution, there is racism alive and around still and […]

White people, it’s not about you.

Jaqui, Bremerton, WA. So often, when having a conversation about race white a white person they are unable to step outside themselves. They are either A) focused on how they personally never owned slaves/lynched someone etc or B) more worried about their own hurt feelings, because somehow pointing out that the system of oppression that […]

This sideboard was built by slaves

Peter Seay, St. Louis MO. After my grandparents past away, we inherited a sideboard which promptly found its home in our dining room. As it came into our home, it was shared with me that the piece was built in the early 19th century by slaves in Mississippi. The sideboard was my first real knowledge […]

Why

Emanicipation is still just a word

Winfrey Young, Atlanta, GA. Emancipation did not reinstate self-esteem, justice, dignity or reality. Freed slaves were not endowed with freedom to love or with pride of self. There was no one to help us heal. We cannot move toward each other if our self-image and ideals are shackled—and we continue to wallow in the sicknesses […]

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To be young, gifted, and black.

Maynard Hearns, Santa Cruz, CA. The black story in america is very simple: we were slaves, and then we weren’t. We were never given freedom, or equality. When we begged for it, we were lied to. When we Marched on Washington and pleaded our case, we were shot in the back of the head. When […]

I am more than my skin

Lisa Gullion, Nocross, GA. I only look white, I am a high percent of Cherokee (whom were murdered by the dozens for land), I am Irish who were shipped as slaves just like Africans (they were bred with africans for higher priced mixed slaves). My ancestors faced the same deadly history as your’s but I […]

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We are HUMANS, NOT COLORS

Nik Parttridge, TN. I am classified as White/Caucasian because of how I look. This does NOT mean that I am the same people who enslaved your ancestors, or made them go on the Trail of Tears, or genocide them because of their religion! My mother’s side is Finnish, and my father’s side is Cherokee and […]

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We were people, before the chains!

Gwen Montgomery, Dallas, TX. This country took a race of people and turned them into second class citizen. Many of our problems are a result of the oppression we went thru for hundreds of years. I’m afraid that the results of those actions may never be changed. We have been fighting every since we got […]

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So white, you would never guess.

Francis, Livingston, MT If the civil war had gone differently I could have been born a slave. The children of slaves are almost always slaves. My great great grandmother was native and many thousands of natives were captured and sold into slavery.

Couldn’t convince grandmother slavery was immoral

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 […]

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My Ancestors NEVER owned any slaves.

Anthony Turoczy,   Manassas, VA.   My Great-grandparents came to America in 1904 from Hungary. They worked in the mines during the day and went to school at night to learn how to speak, read and write English. Don’t blame others for your bad choices; work hard and make something of yourself.

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I didn’t own any slaves.

David Murray Springfield, IL Racism is real – all around. Frankly, I am tired of being considered a racist just because I am a white male. I have a family history that had some slave ownership, but also those that worked (worked very hard – and died) to end slavery. Levi Coffin is ancestral First […]

America is not for black people!

Taylor Valdosta, GA Systematic racism exits and is targeted towards blacks. It’s in the government and in schools, Its always and will always continue to be that way in this country. American is not for blacks! Whites don’t want us here but we are here and we have put more work into building the country […]

When will we see the light

Jeannie Coicou New York City, NY Brooklyn The story behind my six words is that in this world there are forces that benefit by keeping the masses asleep. Realizing that we’re all a human family. Separation and devision is merely a tactic and as long as we don’t see each other as brothers and sisters. […]

But I never owned any slaves.

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 […]

My ancestor might have owned yours.

Kathy Miner Madison, WI My father’s mother’s family proudly claims an ancestor who signed the Declaration of Independence. At some point, as an adult, I realized that since he was from Virginia, he must have owned slaves. I have since confirmed that fact. I try not to let it interfere in my friendships with black […]

I apologize to Sue’s family.

Carole Woods Sequim, WA Sue worked for my grandmother without pay in Sumter, South Carolina, from her teenage years in the early 20th century until she was quite elderly. Then she was ‘given’ back to her relatives. My grandmother claimed Sue’s father ‘gave’ her to my family. She was a member of the African-American family […]

Ambivalent, because my family owned slaves.

Charles H. Sides Westminister, MA I always felt superior because my great-great grandfather Sides was conscripted against his will or support into the Confederate Army, deserted, was captured by the Army of the Potomac, and imprisoned at Elmira where he died. Then, as I learned more about my personal genealogy, I discovered that every other […]

When good men do nothing…

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 […]

My great great Grandfather saved you!

Michael Smith Waco, TX I am sick and tired of being called a racist because I am a white, young, male. My great great Grandfather fought for the union to help free the slaves and keep the US from splitting, so I don’t owe you jack. If anything, you owe my family a gratitude of […]

I unpack my white privilege daily.

Sarah Walton Nashville, TN I descend directly from southern slave-owners and, more recently, racists. My family’s wealth is built on the backs of over a thousand slaves. It is my karmic duty to be a social-justice & race-relations activist; to call for reparations; to march; to force as many friends & family to look through […]