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.
Melinda, Ephrata, WA. 50- year-old woman born in the south, grown in Alaska’s wildness, married too young. Courageously moving from isolation to a warmer world. Race goes deeper than color and texture, it’s how we love or don’t, what we teach or don’t, it’s chilly and it’s warm and it’s all degrees between. Race isn’t […]
Abbey Gammill, Lawton, Ok. Im am from the south, and I have grown up listening to elders make racist comments. My mom and dad raised my brother and I to believe that everyone is equal. I never really had a personal encounter with a race issue until I moved into college. My roommates name is […]
Melanie Cogdill, Submitted via Twitter: @mcogdill.
Saheba Cuccia, New Orleans, LA. Aspen X Adopted and raised in the South, I have seen and heard of the racial barriers that some people use to divide us. The color of your skin should not determine anything such as relationships, jobs, and social standing in society.
Amber Jackson Baswell, Columbus, MS. As a military brat I was naïve, sheltered. It was only when my father was stationed in the deep South that “RACE” entered my vocabulary. I was shocked as a 15 year old (back in ’95) to see that churches, schools, hangouts, even the local beauty pageants were segregated! Blew […]
Tim Buer USA My maternal family was from the South. The N-word and racial slurs were part of normal conversation. Those old tapes still roll. My thinking has changed a lot for the better, but I’m not there yet.
Janet Davis, Huntsville, AL. I live in the South where we have always had a larger black population as long as I can remember & we have always gotten along. It’s insulting when I see so many people talking about the Southern states being such a hotbed of racists. No place is perfect, but I […]
Christina Curiel, Fallbrook, CA. In the early years of my life, I always saw myself as a very ‘lucky’ person. When I became older and learned about institutions, and methodology, and racial diversity, is when I learned that racism is indeed real, and still exists in this culture through conditioning as well as many other […]
Katie Eberle, South, San Francisco, CA.
Audrey A Fischer, Wilson, NC. When I lived in Virginia Beach, I didn’t notice race. Up north, it was so institutionalized that I barely knew any People of Colour. When I came down south in the eighth grade, I suddenly was the largest group, but our school was 60 or so percent minority. I was […]
Julie, Summervile, GA. Yes I`m from the South and i`m a redneck but that`s not all of me. My mother`s father is a Native American and what I know of my father`s family his mother was italian. My mother`s mother`s mom was German. So here I am in the South all types of mixed.
Sean B., Riverside, CA. I am half white and half Filipino. Growing up in a melting pot such as Southern California has been awesome. I never truly understood how lucky I was to live here until I traveled to the south (multiple states) to visit family. My wife is Filipina (born in the south). While […]
Donnaven Kroenert, Jacksonville, FL. The Civil War is still being fought in the South, whites are being thrown under the bus everyday, people won’t drop the past, and keep bringing up a subject that just causes more problems.
Alfida Cruse, St. Louis, MO. Growing up half Dominican and half Missouri German (white) constantly left me feeling not white enough for the white kids and not Dominican enough for the Hispanic kids. I have been called out and subsequently shunned when my mother picked me up from school in Arlington, VA (“you’re WHITE?!”) and […]
Nicole Moriarty, Tallahassee, FL. I’m white and I’ve been living in the south for about 5 years and this crazy thing continually happens to me: white people see the color of my skin and assume, wrongly, that I harbor the same ignorance and racism that they do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of my […]
Nicole McFarlane, Fayetteville, NC. I’m a 43 year old black woman who has spent most of her adult life living and working in the South. I notice that when my weight fluctuates I’m perceived differently — as different stereotypes associated with my race, gender and sexuality. At times when I’m heavier, many assume me to […]
Cynthia Flynn Bryn Mawr, PA This was mostly not true where I grew up in inner city Seattle, but when I went to the South in 1968, that was my universal experience of African-Americans. It still happens today, even in professional settings.
Tiffany, Indianapolis, IN. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. But I grew up in the middle class suburbs. My schools were overwhelmingly white. Black was something you saw on the news, heard about from others or saw on Marta. I grew up in a neighborhood where ding dong ditch was called N-word Knocking. […]
Malaika, Suitland, MD. In 2014 I decided to move “down South” because I wanted to escape the higher cost of living (and the crazy, global-warming-induced snowstorms) of the Northeast. I thought moving down South would be a financially pragmatic, yet exciting, thing to do. I found a job down there making decent money and then […]
Joseph Benjamin, San Antonio, TX. I’m a light skinned black man who grew up poor and black in the south, but because of my skin color I’ve always been treated differently from birth to the time when I realized the significance of it being white while black. I went with a dark skinned friend to […]
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 […]
Rachel, MD. …because a past boyfriend of mine was of a different race then mine. I was lucky to grow up in such a diverse community that when a racist comment was made it was shot down even faster. In high school, even though everyone had their groups of friends, race truly did not matter. […]
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.
Karen Charlotte, Montpelier, VA. I’m a native Mid-Westerner who has lived in the South about 90% of my life. I try my best to learn about people as individuals not stereotypes and rid myself of any remaining prejudices lurking in my psyche. I hate it when I find myself in a room with only white […]
Anonymous, IL. Life is hard enough for everybody without guilting everybody for transgressions they had nothing to do with. My ancestors fought for the South, and they were poor white conscripts who starved to death in a prison camp. They didn’t care about race.
Sally Childs-Helton, Indianapolis, IN. I was raised (white) in the pre-segregated south and grew up with separate bathrooms, water fountains, and schools. My parents ran a general store and many of our customers were black and I knew them and their families as members of our rural community. There was a black family I knew […]
Andrea Lopez, Sacramento, CA. When confronted with the question of whether or not I’ve experienced racism in my life, I always remember the first time I felt discriminated against. I was about twelve years old and I was meeting my best friend’s father for the first time. She moved to California from Georgia with her […]
Leighayn Green, Nutrioso, AZ. When I see the Confederate flag on something, I am wary and a little fearful of the person who put it there. My dad and his dad are from Texas. I remember my granddad exclaiming in awe and admiration a run Tony Dorsett made for the Dallas Cowboys back in the […]
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
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.
Shelly Spivey, Taylors, SC. My northern friends assume that because I was born and raised in the south that I am a racist. I’m not. Don’t judge me based on a stereotype that the media seems to want to push out there about the south. Get to know me. Understand that just because I speak […]
Sandra Hart, Brookeland, TX. This is an amazing thing to do. Growing up in the South in a white household with a black cleaning lady I felt there was more to the story. But no one would tell me anything or even answer me truthfully. I felt that Emma on orders from my mom would […]
Collette M. Bloom, Houston, TX. It is a wondrous and wonderful experience to see the “AHA” moment appear on White students faces when they finally understand about tragedy and waste of chattel slavery. Many were quite distressed about the willingness of so many to collude in developing the Black Codes of the South. Statutory inhumanity […]
Kim Conner, Rutherfordton, NC. I always have to defend myself when people learn I am from the South. I’m a 42 year old white woman, married with kids, and I was born and raised in Upstate South Carolina. I am a first generation college graduate, as in my husband. I have an accent. I’m proud […]
Carol Salami-Goswick Eugene, OR I’m a white woman who was born, raised, and lived in CA until I was 54. I was in college during the 60’s and was sympathetic to the black folks struggling for equality in the South. In my 30’s I had a serious relationship with a black man. I worked in […]
Shirley Hicks, Birmingham, AL. When I came to the United States four years ago, one of the first things I noticed was the racial divides. At home, it’s language and class. Here, it’s race, class and access to power. Here in the South, it’s been especially important to know and understand that history in order […]
Kristen, Two Rivers, AK. Grew up in the 60s in south Georgia. As a child, I didn’t know there were differences. I didn’t know to discriminate. They tried to teach me, but I don’t think I ever really learned.
Marsha Surkin, White Bear Lake, MN. I am a white woman, 72 yrs old. When I was 11 I disobeyed my mom and read Kingsblood Royal. This was the first time I was aware of racial diveristy. In the book a man finds out he has a black grandfather and is run out of town. […]
Anonymous, ND. I grew up in a small mountain town in Northwest Georgia after my mother ended her military career and took me back to her hometown. All of her maternal family and most of her paternal family was there, so she thought she would have a great support system,but her family was the greediest […]
Dianne Goodwin Brant, Cambria, CA. My Dad used to travel to South Carolina in the late 50s-early 60s. He told me of the segregated bathrooms, water fountains, etc. I cried myself to sleep at the injustice. Things are changing, but not enough to suit me yet.
Sarah Barnes, USA. I grew up in the south-color was a defining characteristic. So much happened or didn’t happen because of color and sometimes that color hurt
Joe Fricke Greenwood, IN My mother’s Great-Grandfather fought for the 121st Illinois Volunteers in the Civil War, was shot and killed in action against the Confederates near Resaca, Georgia. He is buried in an unmarked battlefield grave. I guess he gave his all for the cause too.
Jay Lassiter, Cherry Hill, NJ. Alternative Race Card: SICKLE CELL TRAIT? BUT….I’M WHITE! (I’m from the south…. you do the math.)
Jim Roberts Atoka, TN I’m half Caucasian and half Asian. Growing up in the rural South during the eighties was a painful and humiliating experience. It seemed as if the only racial identities anyone could process were “black” or “white.” Fitting into neither category assured my brother and me years of abuse from all sides, […]
Lupe Family Covington, GA Take the exhibit world wide. Take to southwest. northwest, south and Maine of USA.
Sylvia Anderson Albuquerque, NM Raised in Detroit, parents liberal, family on both sides of civil war. Grandfather said “The south likes the black man and hates the black race, north likes the black race and hates the black man. My six words relate to a trip south in 1963. I desperately needed a restroom and […]
Sarita Houston, TX As a child in the south, I was picked on for several reasons: I have a dark complexion, I have decent hair, and I spoke English the way I was taught to. All of which cut very deeply. The worst came from family members, cousins, who would introduce me to their friends […]
Christine Marriott River Falls, WI I lived in the south, born in 1956. I saw awful things as a little white girl from a racist dysfunctional family. They taught me how not to be. Maybe it was because they treated me like they treated black people. My school was segregated early. I got in so […]
Karen G Augusta, GA I was raised in the south by my single, widowed mother and a handful of Christian women of both colors. I learned about compassion, empathy, justice and God, at their knees. Later in life I learned prejudice while living in another country, because I was white. And I know that prejudice […]
Dawn E Josiah Landis, NC My daughter is Hawaiian American. I’m the white part of her, her dad is the Hawaiian part of her. After 25 years of marriage, he pushes us out of his life and returns to his roots. I’m the one that deals with the anger and pain from my daughter because […]
Teresa Lynn Rutledge Lilburn, GA Growing up in the South, I saw racism that was accepted because “that was just the way it was.” But at the age of 7, I got my first up close and personal lesson about its meanness. A teenage boy encouraged me to call our maid the N word because […]
Joan Fumetti Windsor Heights, IA Traveling from our white Iowa world through the South in 1961 we stopped at a roadside food establishment. Dad went to get in line behind a black man, who started to give up his spot.. I didn’t understand at the time but I could feel that something significant had happened.
Vladimir Cervantes Columbia South America
Caroline Hutton Raszewski Columbia, SC As boycotts and riots raged around the South in the early 60’s I was oblivious. It was the first day of school. Mother was braiding my hair as my brother, one year older than I, lay on her bed. She grew serious. “There might be little black children at your […]
Anne Elizabeth Wolfe San Rafael, CA My mother grew up in the South . She worked for Civil Rights in the 1950’s and was called a Communist. The label was erroneous as her ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War and Civil War (relatives fought on both sides). My mother was not a Communist, but the […]
Natalie Voss Lexington, KY
Mario Latilleon Memphis, TN Being a light-skinned, articulate, and somewhat nerdy African-American boy can be a curse growing up in a poor black neighborhood in the South.
Samantha Guess Chattanooga, TN Born in the South, raised in the South – NEVER considered myself “Southern”. But at age 25 – I have found that I AM SOUTHERN and there is no turning back and that’s okay. I am who I am.
Chassy Oson Fairfield, CA In this past week I have learned that some high schools in the South still have segregated proms. Seriously? We should have moved past this a long time ago. Also in my history class we are watching a movie about how this one school in the South is still segregated but […]
Joey Moncada Chandler, AZ I grew up in the South during the era of busing. My parents never showed any hint of discrimination against anyone. I was taught, and believed, from my earliest days that all people are equal in the eyes of God, that everyone has the same intrinsic potential and worth. But I […]
Lea Setegn Richmond, VA Growing up in Rochester, New York, I spent my elementary school years in a Catholic school that was 99% white. I am biracial – Dad’s from Ethiopia, Mom’s an American/Scottish/Irish mix – but no one noticed. (Truly, when you meet your schoolmates at the age of 5, who notices if you […]
Samantha Murphey, Submitted via: Scarlett called Scout. Read more about this essay: The Race Card Project http://www.scarlettcalledscout.com/2013/03/14/the-race-card-project/ Trent and I talk and read about race a lot. Atlanta is a minority majority city with a complicated history of racial tensions and triumphs that bleed into the present. Alone, moving here might have been enough to […]
Tami Jacksonville, FL Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation (I am an African American woman who was born and raised in the South).