Will you still talk to me?

Susan Duncan, Bristol, NH. When I was in the fourth grade, my family moved from Concord, North Carolina, to Leaksville (now Eden), North Carolina. Our street, Patrick Street, was parallel to Henry Street and the dividing line between the “white” neighborhood and the black/African-American neighborhood. Our next door neighbor, Miss Mary, had a large yard […]

Now we can talk about race

Gary Seven Nashville, TN All during the election season, conservatives were claiming that President Obama did nothing to unify the country about issues of race, (as if he were capable of, and was singularly responsible for doing so by himself.) Their claim was that he was the most divisive president in history when in fact […]

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You don’t talk with an accent.

Grace Marie Sanchez, Scotts Valley, CA. When I took a room mate to my house after graduating from college this is what she said to my Mother. I was completely embarrassed that she said this to my Mom but she did not seem to realize this was a faux pas. I remember my Mom doing […]

White Male, Can’t Talk About Anything

Joseph Palmieri, Framingham, MA. As a white male, I feel like I have been subject to a sort of stigma just like people of other races and genders have. Some may think that white men are relieved from a form of discrimination, but this is not the case. I have been told multiple times that […]

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You’re deaf, but you talk good…

Warren Miller, Indianapolis, IN. I have been profoundly deaf since early childhood but raised in a hearing family and attended an oral school. I was not exposed to Deaf culture and American Sign Language until college. Hearing people do not see me as deaf because I “talk good” (even though I heavily rely on a […]

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You sound like a white girl

Joy Owopetu, Manassas Park, VA. What does this even MEAN? I have heard so many times that I sound like a white girl from the valley. It has caused me to experience unfriendly behavior from coworkers who thought I wasn’t “black enough” and I have gotten outright laughed at in public by ignorant individuals who […]

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Why do you talk so proper?

Cameron McCall, Fontana, CA. The reason I choose these six words is because I don’t like how I am stereotyped to be un-educated and ghetto. I am a proud African American male in college and I am proud of the proper english that I use.

She took the time to talk…

Karen Bentwood, TN with me about what her name really was, as opposed to how the professor said it. She would say her name, the professor would butcher it, she would continue to make her points in the class discussion. After class, I decided to talk with her about the interaction. She graciously took the […]

But Elizabeth, you’re not really black…

Elizabeth D Atlanta, GA But I’m sure not white either. You think because I speak a certain way and dress a certain way, because I don’t fit your stereotypes, I’m not ‘black’ enough? Sorry if I shatter your preconceived notions, but as always I’m just being myself.

I will never be black enough.

Lagaria Farmer Springfield, TN This was hammered into me starting in the 7th grade – mostly by other black kids, but it extended to family members as well. As long as I like hard rock/metal and goth/industrial music, sound like a blond Valley Girl, date white guys and enjoy academics, I’m not black enough. Outwardly […]

You talk like a white boy

Joseph Washington, DC from an essay I wrote in 2008: IN 1980, THE year I ran for president, the country was mired in inflation, the malaise of the Carter administration was about to be overtaken by Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America, and like a lot of the country, Ooltewah High School was swept up in […]

Let’s lower the volume and talk.

C.S. Concord, CA Shouting at each other over the fences that divide us hasn’t served us. It shows a fundamental lack of respect and obscures any attempt to view each other, our opinions, our inclinations and needs in a measured, reasonable way. We have to be able to face each other, look each other in […]