Barbara Racca, Austin, TX. When I was younger, that question would immediately cause my shoulders to hunch and a look of hunted suspicion to cloud my features. Today my embracement of otherness is shadowed by so much more than a child’s rejection of being different– Am I rejecting aspects of my race by qualifying that [...]
Dave Parnell, Carrollton, TX. Our kindergarten daughter wanted to go to her friend’s Halloween party. I saw that the address and the protective father in me did not feel safe letting her go. But I called and the black man I spoke to certainly heard the fearful white father on the other end of the [...]
Nzingha Shakur-Ali, Dallas, TX. First week of college, 1999, Abilene Texas. went to an off the way antique shop. The store owner didn’t want me there, and let me know it. About 5 other people in the store, all white, glaring at me.
Anna Hill, Dallas, TX. I assist Hispanic school children with their homework after school. They bring their issues to me and the majority are black educators making differences between black children and Mexican children.
Arlinda Vaughn, Dayton, OH. My partner is a tall, dark muscular black man (with a PHD). When he lived in Texas, the police arrived at a gas station that he was in and tased him 8 times without warning or discussion. My brother (with a degree) has been regularly pulled over. Once, a police officer [...]
Nicholas Thomspon, Denton, TX. We discussed racism in my freshman sociology class. “Institutions are racist” is not an original thought of mine, but I do fundamentally agree with the idea from a sociological perspective.
Jeremy J., Denton, TX. I hate when people are talking crap about a race or group of people and they feel like they have to mention “there are good ones out there.” Who do you think you are.
Christopher Brown, Dallas, TX. I’m here to spite all those who reference black men as useless, dead-beat or otherwise absent when it comes to fatherhood. I’m am only one, but I’m one in a line of dads who exemplify the term and the best meanings associated with it.
Jaime Almandoz, Dallas, TX.
Cristina Reyes, Houston, TX. I chose the six words I wish I could go around the streets of Santo Domingo yelling. I have never understood, in all my years, why the Dominican culture steadily continues to deny their “blackness.” Their children aren’t taught to consider themselves “negro” instead they are to consider themselves “indio.” The [...]
Brett Maisel Nacogdoches, TX As a young, naive police officer I mistakenly thought most people would appreciate my sincere desire to help and protect the citizens of my community. I was shocked to find out that some people (who didn’t even know my name, background or what was in my heart) hated the very sight [...]
JC Ousley Houston, TX In 1998 I bought a new red corvette despite my mother’s plea, she said the car was trouble for a black man. On the day the car was delivered, I was driving to my parent’s home to show off my new vette when I was pulled over by three Chicago police [...]
Georgia Calhoun Kingwood, TX
Ninfa Pena-Purcell College Station, TX This picture of my parents captures a young Mexican American couple with aspirations to live the American dream in the 1950s only to find out that their family of six children would never be welcomed in their neighborhood. Years later this experience has stayed with me and made me resolve [...]
Christine Faris Lufkin, TX Actually, no. Yes, I was blessed to come from a middle class family. And yes, I’ve been blessed to travel the world. Wanna know how? I worked my ass off. Blew out a knee, graduated high school early, started college at 16, took summer school, worked multiple jobs, all so I could [...]
Star Houston, TX I am a 15 year old middle class white girl. I lTexasove everybody. Why do black/mexican/etc. people I have never meet bully and a avoid me? I go to a school where my brother and I are the only white kids, and he is my only friend. Racism is real and its [...]
Gene Michael Lipan, TX Tired of being made to feel like I am supposed to be guilty of something. No black alive in America has ever been a slave to anyone; No whites alive in America have ever owned slaves. GET OVER IT!!! STOP MILKING THIS “RACISM RACKET”!!!! NOBODY OWES YOU ANYTHING, least of all, [...]
Rusty Shackleford Arlen, TX
David Duncan San Antonio, TX Our father would never disclose the full specific reasons for his anger regarding the Trail of Tears and the treatment of the Cherokee people. He talked of land granted his father being stolen by an overseer appointed because ‘Indians’ could not be trusted to manage their own property. His father [...]
Patricia Valdez-Harrison El Paso, TX El Paso Texas for the fourth year in a row as been reported to be the safest city in the country even though it shares borders with one of the deadliest cities in Mexico. I chose to end my sentence with lose not only for the lose of so many [...]
Diana Vicars Austin, TX These were the words my mother said to me in 1950 when I read out loud the sign over a water fountain at a gas station during a car trip from Texas to Florida. I was six and a begining reader. Dehydrated from car sickness, I lived for the few and [...]
Zuhura Hussein Houston, TX
Lea Houston, TX Be aware of what is happening not just in your inner bubble but in the world. Know your rights. Know your culture. Know your voice.
Joshua San Antonio, TX We are all one race and have only minor different biological features. Do you really believe that is the driving force behind our discrimination and stereotypical caricaturizations of each other? If we were all perfectly homogenized and mixed race, would will still discrimination against each other based on class, money, or [...]
Louis Goldsmith San Antonio, TX My brain confuses me or is it my mind or my soul or …
Amanda N. Normal, IL I grew up in Texas. I always had people telling me that Caucasian people were better than any other race. Being told that always made me feel guilty. When we learned about the KKK in school I always felt uncomfortable like all of the African Americans were staring at and blaming [...]
Renee Lewin Asutin, TX My mother is Mexican-American from the Rio Grande Valley, my father is white from Orange, NJ. I was raised in a home where English was primarily spoken, but Spanish was still commonly heard. As I was growing up I viewed myself primarily as Mexican. I spent most of my time with [...]
KK Boas Austin, TX Associated Press says “A man with a gun. A black teen, shot dead” ABC news says “The trial of a Florida man accused of shooting a black teenager begins today in a case that has drawn similarities to the George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin case.” Even the Daily Beast, in an [...]
Gary Burkholder San Antonio, TX
Jackie Houston, TX My parents are South American immigrants who were granted amnesty during the 1980s. I was born and raised in Texas. I didn’t have many Hispanic friends growing up. I grew up around many Texas Germans and am now at college in Houston studying German. People are surprised when they discover that I [...]
Charlotte Houston, TX I grew up close to African Americans. They were guests in our home and people on the bus with us. I never noticed how taboo touching was between us until I was 30 and a neighbor girl came over to play with my kids. She skinned her knee and as I hugged [...]
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 [...]
NIK BANNISTER Houston, TX Louisiana epitomizes how race and education interfere with opportunity, cultural identity and upward mobility.
Nancy McGruder Dallas, TX Thank you for doing this.
Alexander Hileman Commerce City, CO People are afraid in parts of the USA to be seen with white people. I was down in Texas, and a couple of black kids asked us if we wanted to play some basketball. We said yes and we played for about an hour and a half until they said [...]
Alondra K. Poindexter Arlington, TX I am a doctoral candidate at Texas Wesleyan University. I am currently working on my dissertation “Cultural Identity and African American High School Teachers: The Impact On Their Instruction Of African American Students In Texas”. Less African American Teachers = Lower African American Student Achievement? Segregated higher academic achievement, integrated [...]
Kelly B. Ferrell Sterling, VA As the child of nomadic parents, we lived where we could and/or where my parents found work. At one point in the mid “70s, we lived in up-state NY, outside of Ithaca. We were the only black family in the area (in the county the way I remember it) and [...]
William Halley St. Jo, TX
SaMantha Shields Houston, TX I’ve been all over the world and I’ve been called pretty much any race you could think of. It drives me crazy that when people meet me they assume I’m mixed or of a different race. A lot of times I’ve heard, “You’re so pretty though.”, “Your eyes are so light.”, [...]
Natalie Mariam Pattillo Alpine, TX It always seems that my ethnic background becomes a guessing game at dinner parties. Even strangers will come up to me and ask me “what are you..wait, let me guess…egyptian, hispanic, black.,? Usually, I want to say “I’m a human” but I allow the guessing game to continue until they’ve [...]
Ike Midland, TX If people are going to call me a cracker, which by the way doesn’t bother be at all, at least let me be a Ritz cracker or better yet a cheese cracker.
Malley Morales Dallas, TX Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “and then Jesus whipped his slaves, who were inadequate because of their skin color.” We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all equal.
Secunda Joseph Houston, TX I’ve always seen the beauty in myself even as a kid. My brother and I were the darkest of all aunts, and cousins besides my brother, and around family ” I was everything good” one of my several nicknames was chocolate drop. Then kindergarten started what I heard was “with your [...]
Mary Bunce Benson Lufkin, TX My maiden name is BUNCE, because of which on my wall beside my bed hangs a tapestry with the words of “Amazing Grace.” Pride in the family stories of, several great grandfathers back, New England sea captain Harvey Bunce turned to horror when I learned that slaves were his homeward [...]
Graciela Kavulla Houston, TX As a young woman I was asked. Where are you from in Mexico.? As a 6th generation Chicana, I stammered and; did not know what to say. Now and for years (at 73) I answer truthfully, “I know no one in Mexico. As 6th generation my family was probably here before [...]
Ana Artigas Houston, TX I am the child of an Italian-American mother and Spanish (from Spain) father, and I was born in Mexico. I am married to an American man of Dutch and British ancestry, We have friends in mixed race marriages. All of us have children, and there are very few TV programs, none [...]
Jeff Boothe TX If you were born here you are not African-American, Mexican-American, and Chinese-American. No one says they are European-American, Scottish-American, and Spanish-American. Why do people dilute themselves to being less than American.
Bill Miller Houston, TX No liberal guilt here. I treat everyone as an individual and not as a member of a group.
Carla Prater Bryan, TX I recently found out that I have family roots in Texas. A man who rebelled against his father over slave owning and moved here. It is easy to be proud of my descent from a prominent abolitionist in central Texas, but it also means that I am the descendent of slave [...]
Ernest Henson Longview, TX African first question Black man’s last
Paul Houston, TX Hypocrisy.
Robert Sowards Austin, TX I’m sure it’s simply a cultural thing. Even so, I find the baggy pants that show part of a young black male’s but crack, and “shorts” that go down to the ankles on the one hand but sag below the crack, to be a bit disconcerting, and even intimidating depending on [...]
Dr. J. Irving, TX It’s true, everyone tries to find similarities between babies and their parents. But the search ends when people see my son’s curly golden hair, blue eyes, and light complexion. Someone once asked me, “are you sure you want to name him Diego?” (when he was 9 months old). I’ll admit it, [...]
Sherley Bedore Lubbock, TX Texas Tech grad student. 2013 OTC Symposium. American. I speak very fluent spanish and english. I’m half american(white) and half mexican-descent. Mom was born in Chihuahua state in Mexico. But, I get asked if my dad is my step dad.
Taylor Shackelford Lubbock, TX Texas tech student. 2013 OTC Symposium. Student government senator committed to equality. White, male, country roots, city raised.
Amanda Cook Lubbock, TX I’m an international business student at Texas Tech University, living in the second most conservative city in the United States. My views on non traditional gender roles and preferred marital status are ridiculed daily. Clearly I don’t have “southern” values. Texas Tech Student. 2013 OTC Symposium.
Rayna Delaney Pharr, TX This occurred to me in 1969 as I started college. I was a naïve white girl from a rural all-white neighborhood. Had read a lot about Blacks and their struggles. I was surprised when I sat down next to a group of Blacks and they ignored by attempts to start a [...]
Phyllis W Ross Austin, TX
Elizabeth James Sugar Land, TX I wasn’t really aware of this till I became older, yea my mom looked different than I and pretty much everyone mostly on my moms side of the family but I never put much thought into it. I got this a lot in middle school and high school actually “Well [...]
Philippe Nassif Houston, TX A blessing and a curse growing up mixed racial in the deep south. Born to a Mexican mother and Lebanese father, I have successfully learned to identify with all of my heritages while feeling like an outsider at the same time. When you are with Arabs, there is always your “other [...]
Katya Abazajian Houston, TX The government’s method of collecting data on ethnicity/race through the Census reflects the confusion and incorrectness in today’s label-obsessed culture. Our government is not on the forefront of the necessary social change.
Veronica Herrera Nacogdoches, TX My daughter currently only 2 months was conceived through a donor who is African American. My wife is Caucasian and I am Mexican/Cuban American. When my wife and I spoke about having kids she wanted to carry the child first because she is older than me. We wanted our child to [...]
Sid Makeba Raleigh, NC I was so proud in the fall of 1960 to join and wear the uniform of The United States Air Force. What a rude awaking I got in San Antonio Texas when Puerto Rican buddy and I tried to go to the movies. The cashier lady told us we had to [...]
Roger Hernandez Angleton, TX 48% Native American 22% Mediterranean 14% Northern European 8% Southwest Asian 4% Northeast Asian 2% South African but my wife says I’m a 100% Caveman.
Roberta Wyse Torres Houston, TX When I completed my childrens’ forms to enter kindergarten, I was confronted for the first time with that droplist, “Check race: select one only:” Really? It went on to explain that if you did not select, then the school would select for you based on the teacher’s best guess, because [...]
Dania Abreu-Torres San Antonio, TX My husband and I are Puerto Ricans. I am more “white” than he is -He usually was mistaken as a muslim-. We have a blonde, blue eyed girl. In Florida, he use to take her to the supermarket. He was followed by a lady and asked if the baby was [...]
Phyllis W. Allen Fort Worth, TX I am a sixty year old woman who has lived through segregation, integration, Colored, Negro,, Black, African American, segregation, marches, integration, Pan Africanism, opulent consumption, financial catastrophe and now I’m just me.
Melissa Rabinowitz Dallas, TX
Lisa Freund Taylor Laclede, MO In reality, she was our caregiver. Raising a white womans children in southeast Texas in the 60’s. Divorce broke up our family and she just disappeared.
Beth Secor Houston, TX This situation I am going to describe happens to me relatively frequently. Another white person, more often than not a stranger or someone I know in passing, will make the assumption that because I also am white, that I too share their racist views. This other white person will lean toward [...]
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 [...]
Tess Escoto Citrus Heights, CA My roots are in Texas and Mexico. While some may look at me and say that I appear to be Latina, often they aren’t sure. My father’s last name is of Italian origin and my grandmother and grandfather (paternal) both had blue eyes and black curly hair. My mother’s family [...]
Kate Venta Dallas, TX I’ve had several experiences talking to black friends, and I say something that I never would think would offend them.
John H McKinney, TX King’s speech referred to the time when a man (actually he referred to his children) would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I think there are many, many who,lack character and use the color of their skin as an excuse. There [...]
Marilyn Anne Kay Wimberley, TX The year was 1968. We were gathered in the formal dining hall of the sorority house, lit only by candles, for our sorority initiation. All white females dressed in matching white gowns. One of my sorority sisters commented, ‘we look just like the Klan.’ This was at the University of [...]
Philip Bailey Euless, TX With all the anger blacks direct toward whites about racism the black community seems to forget that whites have died for blacks. As an example Andrew Goodman, and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner who were shot in 1964. And don’t forget that out of the 250000 that made of the 1963 March on [...]
Randell L. McKenzie, M.D. Dallas, TX I am white, 62 years old and am considered “too liberal” by white friends and family. My life has shown shockingly different reactions to same situation/event by black and white persons.
Charon Mcclain Dallas, TX In 2009, my father a proud military man passed. He was a great dad and loving husband. He was a proud man who had been in the Air Force and run his own business. I thought I knew all the stories that could be told. Until a pilot sent his condolences [...]
Tamie Odom Sherman, TX I was only five at the time. Me and my 2 sisters were going to an all black school in Newburg, NY. The race riots were happening and lots of tension was in the city. Black kids hated me because I was white. I had no idea what I had done [...]
Julia Renee Shaw Dallas, TX Thank you for this project.
Su Stevens Dallas, TX I spent the first 24 years of my life in Mississippi. My father was from New Orleans and my mother was born and raised in Mississippi. I am Caucasian. My parents believed and taught us that every person was the same no matter what was different about them. At such a [...]
Taliba James Houston, TX “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.’ Anais Nin
Ralph Brown (Coach~B :)) Dallas, TX My six words are in response to these six words: “We don’t allow colored in here” which were said to me on March 19, 1963 by a young female movie ticket clerk at the Majestic Theater in Dallas, Texas. I was attempting to see the world premiere of “How [...]
Fernando Ospina Keller, TX
Victor Santana-Melgoza El Paso, TX For most of my life I have been rejected by many people in the Hispanic/Chican@/Latin@ community for not learning and practicing Spanish (as well as not following other cultural cues). I was raised in a household where English was the main language spoken. I am 4th generation American, raised by [...]
Laura Speegle Waco, TX I teach elementary school in Waco, Texas. I can’t remember why this little bitty girl, maybe 4 or 5 years old, was sitting in my lap crying… but suddenly she reached out and stroked my pale white are and looked up at me in surprise. After making this observation she snuggled [...]
Vanessa Uzoh Dallas, TX My freshman year of college was the first time I actually had to think about how identified myself within my own racial community. I didn’t know how to handle this and other questions that people asked me, but I knew that I definitely wasn’t going to let the opinion of others [...]
J.C. Dade Houston, TX When I listened to the President of the United States speak of having being profiled because he was Black, I recalled the experiences that people had shared with me over the course of my lifetime as well as some of my own. My father often spoke of being pulled over on [...]
Glenn Dixon Ft. Worth, TX Those were the words that opened my eyes to the state of racism in America. At the time, I was sitting in the back seat of a police car next to another guy, both of us in handcuffs. The question came from a Fort Worth police officer who was curious, [...]
Cole Chandler Waco, TX It is difficult to stand in solidarity with one another and overcome our fears of one another when we continue to segregate ourselves in our supposedly integrated society. We are not even diverse, much less reconciled. What a tragedy.
Riad Nassar Austin, TX Up until 9/11 race wasn’t something I ever thought. I didn’t look at my Hispanic friends as Hispanics nor were my Black friends as Blacks. Being Egyptian was just a thing and they accepted me for me and not my race just as I accepted them for the beautiful people there [...]
Mark McLemore Austin, TX I wonder how white people would perceive race, poverty, judicial discrimination, permanent underclass, drug abuse, lack of access to affordable healthcare, limited education and negative stereotypes if they were enslaved for over 400 years and cut off from opportunity and protection from the federal government.