Erica Jameson, Ashland, OR. My parents adopted five muti-racial children, something unheard of in the rural mountain town we lived in. Between being confused about being different, to occasional thoughtless racism, the line “You can pass [for white]” still makes me uneasy. Does this mean that I should want to? I still don’t know.
Nancy MacLeod, Philo, CA. I have ancestors that came to America in 1630- among the 1st to take advantage of the indigenous people. What is to be proud of, is how your family lived, how you live. I can be proud of my family because they were hard working and honest- but were they compassionate […]
Dev Michel Luthra, Jamaica Plain, MA. I am the child of an Indian (Asian) father and a European mother, both of whom were raised in Africa. I have spent most of my life here in the US. My brother and children were born here. I still struggle with how entitled the white elite is in […]
John Fondren Tuscaloosa, AL Thanks NPR
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 […]
Cole, St Paul, MN. My people have believed they are superior for as long as I’ve known. Not only is it frustrating that my race fails to see others as equal but the fact that even after all my people have done they still can’t see how they’ve impacted the lives of other races. Seeing […]
Erik Shawn Frampton, Charlotte, NC. I am the descendant of a line of plantation owners in South Carolina. As a gay man, my upcoming marriage will finally occur on our 20th anniversary together. My larger southern family struggles to see my identity as sacred, just as they struggle still to see minority life as sacred. […]
Christina Veland, Virginia Beach, VA Throughout my entire life, I have heard the phrase “well, of course you’re good at that. You’re Asian!” But there is more to me than the color of my skin. Beneath the surface is a real person with real struggles. It is difficult explaining to my peers that it hurts […]
I.Maz, Submitted via Twitter: @DarkHairedDaisy #theracecardproject
Robin Fisher, Boulder Creek, CA. I identify with people in marginalized demographics who have experienced victimization at the hands of the social majority since I suffered abuse there as well; not the same kind, but abuse nonetheless. I watch their journey carefully to discover clues on how to move beyond victimhood. I understand the rage […]
Lucy Jones, Portland, OR. I am 32 years old and white. I have had social anxiety all of my life. As a child, I was around black people often and I was comfortable, but quiet because of my anxiety disorder. This changed in college. I grew up in Ohio and went to school in southern […]
Isabelle Norconk, San Diego, CA. As a white woman, I don’t experience the struggle and discrimination that other men and women of minority groups feel. That’s not to say I have no problems, they just don’t have to do with systemic racism and racial stereotypes. Something I can do to combat this and to add […]
Autumn Segrest, Highland Heights, KY. As a white woman from suburban America, it can be hard to understand the struggles of the countless people who were not born into whiteness. Their experiences with racism and prejudice shape their identity as much as my privilege shapes mine. But through education, whether it be traditional schooling or […]
G. Arunima New Dehli, India I am visiting from India, and for many of us the civil rights movement, and the debates and politics of race have been deeply formative in our political growth.
Garrett, Beaverton, OR. Most people label me as a “rich white boy”. That’s the complete opposite. I grew up in poverty. My Mom made less than $10,000 a year when I was a kid. She raised me all by herself. She had zero assistance from the government and now I’m going to be a college […]
Mike O’Begley, Canada. The ideas behind whites being inherently privileged, regardless of all the nuances that make up human life, are often untrue since privilege and class is a lot more complicated than you make it. And even if it were totally “correct”, only serves to alienate possible allies from the struggle of people of […]
Dr. Deneese L. Jones, San Antonio, TX. Trinity University Race still matters! Even after sixty years past the Brown v. Board decision where the courts mandated: “With all deliberate speed.”,race is still a significant factor in our educational institutions, the criminal justice system, and employment. There are real differences in how different races and ethnicities […]
Jane Cavazos, San Antonio, TX I have been reading the stories of African Americans for several years–their struggles, triumphs, setbacks and progress…I feel badly about the immense suffering they have endured over centuries of injustice. I will make reparations by volunteering my service in a public library in the African American community.
Jameson Magdaleno Sacramento, CA This is my personal observation as a Mexican American regarding the plight of families with illegal immigrant parents who have children born in the U.S. today and their struggle to stay united. – Jameson Magdaleno
Michele George, Author, Columbus, OH. The struggle of being born in a brown body is heavy. Society treats ‘us’ as though we choose to have brown skin, choose to be persecuted, choose to be who we are created to be. The irony is my red is blood. The blood of those that kill me and […]
Brandi Taylor, Sacramento, CA. I’m not perfect but I am me. I’m making it thru my struggle. I have a few cuts and scratches but I’ll prevail.
Dmity Mirov, Russia. History was built on power struggles. A ruling class clashes with a subjugated but prosperous middle-class which employs the lower class as soldiers of rebellion. Equality is a lie the dominant classes have developed to control the proletariat and usurp their opponents. Equality itself is an illusion and those who seek it […]
Nathalie Barahona, Kearns, UT. For many years throughout my middle school and high school years as I was growing I felt as though many of my teachers doubted my abilities or intelligence in some classes that may have been harder such as honor or concurrent courses because of the lack of minority students that actually […]
Domhnall Mac Cann, Northern Ireland. This is my revoke of my yester days This is my chance to repeal, retract, reverse Every broken and unfulfilled promise Truly countermand this incertitude Which I have became accustom with Habituated towards easily and effortlessly Undoubtedly i will mitigate this self hate Seriously attenuate at any means necessary I […]
Jade Mack, San Antonio, TX. Racism today comes in many forms. In America, racism is xenophobic, and can come from any race. Racism is interpersonal, and anyone can pass their hate or disdain for another race onto anyone. Racism is internalized, subconscious: that white is normal, and white people are individuals, while everyone else is […]
Kevin Grumbles, Springfield, OR. I am a 30 year old white male, no one cares if I succeed or fail because there are thousands more just like me. My struggles are forgotten, no one cares about my demographic.
Marlo Torres, Riverside, CA. I am Puerto Rican and I have always grown up with the question of; You’re Hispanic, why don’t you speak Spanish? At first it was always something that I just laughed off and my usual response was I don’t know or my parents never taught me. As I grew older and […]
Elizabeth McGhee, Tuscaloosa, AL. A couple years ago I got to be a part of one of the best experiences of my life. I was part of the 2013 Tribal Princess Competition. Every Thanksgiving in Poarch, AL three girls are chosen to represent their tribe throughout the next year at different events. When I made […]
Lindsey Halsey River Falls, WI Sometimes I feel that racism is taken to such extremes that we forget how much everyone struggles and is judged through life. I’m a young, white, middle-class college student who struggles with school, an income, and creating a future. We all struggle throughout life, racism isn’t completely to blame.
Alan, University City, MI.
Clara Silverstein, Boston, MA. As one of the white children in Richmond, Virginia in the 1970s whose family willingly participated in busing, I had few friends of any race. What we could have used at the time was leadership instead of racist rhetoric, white flight, and school administrators who cancelled all after-school activities. The possibility […]
Ann Hirschhorn, Silver Spring, MD. My parents grew up in a time where interracial couples were criticized for diluting the race of their children. My father expressed a fear that because I was of a mixed race background, I might not feel that there was a culture or place where I belonged. My mother grew […]
Chenelle Nixon, New York City, NY. Queens. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: The Brooklyn Museum What is a race when no one is winning? Race should not define superiority but a majority of human spirit reaching the finish line of equality, freedom, abandonment of self-hate and persecution the color of ones skin.
Anonymous, CA. Why isn’t there scholarships for white people? Why is there scholarships based on race anyways? Why isn’t there white history month? Why aren’t white people referred to as “white” but black people are generally referred to as “African American?” Why do they get often times get offended by being called “black” but white […]
Ursie Bankhead, Buffalo, NY. I have a PhD, have studied race issues. And still struggle in my workplace. Mostly within my own department. I have support from several friends of various races/ethnicities/backgrounds, etc. But, it is difficult at times being “the only” and to experience microinvalidations during staff meetings or to end up in a […]
Student Century College, MN As an English language learner, sometimes I feel bad, shy, and ashamed. I still struggle as everybody moves on. Every day I am waiting to understand what everybody understands. By that time I am going to feel I am a big man. See more from the Century Race Card Project conversation: […]
Isabella Thomas, Philadelphia, PA. My name is Isabella Thomas, and I’m a student currently attending Central High School in Philadelphia. The concept of ‘race’, to me has always correlated with ‘color’. Or perhaps an erasure of identity. I am not simply white, just as my peers- my friends- are not simply black, or Asian. I […]
Hope CA We can and must do better if we are to create the world worthy of our collective sacrifice
Felix Brooks Jr., Kalamazoo, MI As the father of a biracial child I told my daughter not to let anyone place a label on you. You get to choose for yourself . She took me up on that, and owned her own choice, and never struggled with who she was as a person .
Remy, Surprise, AZ. Being white isn’t a luxury. Being white can be a burden. What I mean is. People automatically assume I am raciest based off of my skin color. By law, companies have to hire a certain amount of minorities, so by that fact alone, white people get overlooked because companies already have enough […]
Anastasia Rogers, Detroit, MI. I am a firm believer that everyone, no matter if you’re a man, woman, or something in between, black, white, Asian, or a different race, should be treated equally and with respect. That being said, I often find myself making snap, harsh judgments about people that I’ve never even had a […]
Noelle Vitt, Norwichvt, VT. I was ostracized in 1964 for dating a black student. I remember this era with such pain.
Alec Marchant Ashland, OR As a white male who finds much inspiration, pleasure and interest in cultures other than my own, I sometimes worry if I muddy the lines between appreciation and appropriation. Through my studying and relationships with these other cultures, I know I have been guilty of appropriation on at least one occasion. […]
Mary Lambert Merrick, NY I lived through the Civil Rights Movement. I once walked out of a store in SDouth Bend IN and was confronted with a full scale KKK march. I remember the riots of 1968–I lived in a mixed race neighborhood and we often sat on ourporch and watched the fires buring a […]
Nancy Rawn Storrs, CT I have been so proud of my beautiful boy for all of his 20 years. He struggled with so many high school identity issues but it has been especially painful to watch him struggle with the big question of “Who am I?” in this white community and white family. He has […]
Vanessa Minneapolis, MN I HATE the term African-American. I don’t hold citizenship to any country on the African continent so why do people feel the need to call me that. I’m the descendent of people who were forcible sold and brought to the country, raped, beaten, and denied personhood and their rights. They slaved and […]
Doris Bell New York City, NY Brooklyn In my experience in the public school system in NYC starting in 1927 there was always an awareness of discrimination that I had to overcome in order to achieve my goals.
Sheila Mahoney Boston, MA I was 10 in 1965 and am the Granddaughter of Irish immigrants also brutalized by white supremacists who went to Ireland from England to perform their cruelty. I cold relate to other American children in the south because of what my people in Ireland had endured. When will it all just […]
Don Rackley Chattanooga, TN I know “minorities” who have succeeded as well as anyone on the planet. I also know white people who have failed miserably. It’s not about the Race; it’s about the Culture you choose to accept. I was part of an “interracial” marriage for 13 years, and I got to see how […]
LISA DEL SOL New Your City, NY AS A CARIBBEAN THIS STRUGGLE IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF MY CULTURE AND I OWE SO MUCH TO THOSE WHO HAVE COME BEFORE ME, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OF MY FUTURE ENDEAVORS AND MY SUCESS.
Verdis Parks Columbus, OH When I see my people marching together I remember how I felt growing up at that time. I see my children growing up clueless about there older peoples struggle.
Brian Lounsbury Alexandria, VA The Civil Rights movement was powerful, and such a struggle to overcome the injustices of one group toward another in a fight for justice. The music that brings all together and honors the civil rights all deserve!
Glenn Wilson Des Moines, IA And I’m white. Throughout grade school and high school, I never had a black classmate. I don’t know the “struggle” nor did I grow up near the rough areas of a large city. Nevertheless, my roommate of two years is black. So what’s the big deal? All I did was […]
Lincoln Ferris Seattle, WA When meeting someone we don’t know, our ancestral mind seeks to confirm “are they one of mine, or not.” That means we must work in every encounter to be open to discover who this person is by what they say and do, not by what the visual cues may conjure up […]
Danielle Branciforte Tallahassee, FL I am now 61 and have had a severe hearing loss since the age of 12, requiring me to wear two hearing aids. Throughout the years it has been a constant struggle to fit in. I am not deaf, so have been regretted by that community; and because I look and […]
Jeff Bowlin Kingsport, TN Throughout history the white race has been the dominate race for only one reason, struggle. Humans with lighter skin lived further north and had to endure cold winters. In order to survive, they had to invent better places to live, and more ingenious things to survive in harsher environments. Humans with […]
David Trahan New York, NY Someone once told me in conversations that even thought I was gay, at least I’m white. As if I wasn’t allowed to feel oppression and struggle, because white trumped gay. There’s another side to it, I know. In some ways it can be harder to be gay and black, but […]
Sarah Fenstermaker Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan So many more words to say, which will be found on other cards from other participants. Great idea. Thank you.
Troy Bouffard Submitted via Twitter: @ArcticTroy #TheRaceCardProject
Anonymous Berkeley, CA This is the struggle I have inside ever time I am walking alone at night and come across a man or group of men, often men of color. Should I cross the street to be safe and be “that girl” that crosses the street in fear of the black man? Or should […]