Yes, those boys are my brothers.

Julia Guerra, Austin, TX. My brothers are very important figures in my life. They were born to a white mom and a white dad. They are blonde and red-haired, with blue and green eyes. When they were little babies, my white mom married my Mexican dad and he adopted both of them as his own. […]

The difference between realism and racism.

Danny Denzler, Wichita Falls, TX. There’s a difference between being realistic and being racist. Police profiling isn’t racist. Look at the facts. Who commits the most crime even while being less than a 1/4 of the population? Personally, I know that not all blacks are bad, just like all whites aren’t good. I will say […]

My Looks Don’t Define My Bloodline

Sierra McGeoghegan, Weymouth, MA. Growing up and even now I am always denied my Mexican heritage by lots of people of all races. I am Irish + Mexican and a few other races. My family treated my Hispanic blood as a taboo, the Latinos I knew as a child rejected me once I shared I […]

Black girls can rock bold lipstick!

Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. Often black women are told that we shouldn’t pull any more attention to our lips because they are sooooooo big! We have to stop feeding into the Eurocentric ideas of what is beautiful!

United yet unique, diverse yet connected.

Dana, San Antonio, TX. Around the world, my white skin and my blonde hair make me easily identifiable as an American. This superficial categorization has lead me to wish that people took the chance to get to now me for who I am, rather than making assumptions about my character. In return, I challenge myself […]

Justice for all requires White awakening.

Albert Marten, San Antonio, TX. Trinity University I’m ashamed and embarrassed to admit how unaware I was as a white person about the hate, the daily indignities, and in many cases, the physical terror suffered by my fellow citizens because of the color of their skin. The failure of my country to live up to […]

We are people, not your mascots.

Jacob K Tingle, San Antonio, TX. As the grandson of an Oklahoma Choctaw, I am deeply sensitive to the negative impact of stereotypes. Though no one looks at me and says, “He’s Native,” I try to use my multiple privileges to push back against the use of racists sport mascots and logos. We must understand […]

You can sit in the bar

Diane Graves, San Antonio, TX. My husband and I (both Anglo) were driving our adopted daughter (born in El Salvador, adopted as an infant, a U.S. citizen since she was 11 months old) to a guest ranch in Colorado. It was 2004; our daughter was 11 years old. Late on Sunday morning, we stopped to […]

I’m white but I still have a culture (Welsh and proud)

Katherine Davies, Houston, TX. I understand that racial inequality is a huge problem, has been for centuries and hopefully, will not exist centuries from now, but judging someone because of their race, their culture, whether they are black, white, hispanic, asian or anything in between. I get told all the time that white people don’t […]

“You can only check one box…”

I got my driver’s application returned the first time because I chose boxes that aligned with both of my racial identities. The woman gave me one look and sort of laughed a bit, then pushed the clipboard back to meet my hands. I sort of looked over to my mom and erased the two boxes […]

From Unawareness to Critically Examining Whiteness

In my world, white was normal. I believed that race was something other than whiteness. The normalcy of whiteness meant I did not have to think about what it meant to be white. I grew up in a predominantly white suburb, which meant most of my friends were white and most of my schoolmates were […]

No apologies for who I am

Stanton Lawrence, San Antonio, TX. Throughout my professional life, I have experienced efforts to devalue or negatively assess the contributions of blacks in the work place. These efforts are greatly elevated when the individual is strong and confident. It takes me back to the era when we had to “be put in our places” because […]

Bicultural and Bilingual should be enough.

Megan Medrano, Houston, TX. Growing up Latina in south Texas, I have always been surrounded with rich culture. My home was filled with both the English and Spanish language and I was encouraged to live both my Mexican and U.S. Latina identities. I did not realize how important an ethnic identity was until I came […]

Damn, did you see that White girl?

Lisa Jasinsk, Trinity University In 2007, I spent a year working at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY. One day on my way into the office, I slipped on an icy sidewalk on 125th Street, and in a comic prat fall, landed on my bottom in a filthy puddle. A group of guys gathered outside […]

Benefit and burden with being biracial

Ryann Williams, Trinity University In a lot of ways, having two parents of different racial/ethnic backgrounds allows a unique insight into both cultures. It can be extremely enlightening to see how both sides can be so different and yet so similar at the exact same time. However, there is always this feeling as if I […]

Biologically baseless with immesurable social impact

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in his book Between the World in Me that “racism is the father of race.” I teach that to my students every semester. Racism created race, not the other way around. The categorization of people according to a perceived racial difference was one of the worst mistake every to be called scientific, […]

Turban, Assumptions, Fear, Perpetually Foreign, Inferiority

Simran Jeet Singh, New York, NY. Trinity University My visible Sikh and South Asian identity have shaped my experiences with racial and cultural identities. Upon seeing me, people mark me as different and make various assumptions about me. Associations assume (but are not limited to): foreign, violent, conservative, uneducated, terrorist, victim, uncivilized, and dogmatic.

Segregation and inequity; the struggle continues

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 […]

South Texas Born, Melting Pot Raised

Jerheme Urban, Trinity University I am very proud of the fact that I was born in south Texas, a location steeped with history and tradition. It is also an area that is a melting pot of race, culture, and economic diversity- with a heavy blue collar, agrarian influence. After traveling/working across the country, I have […]

Treat others as you’d be treated.

Kindness and the Golden Rule are so impactful when applied to any situation. I remember hearing the Aesop’s story (many years ago) about the North Wind and the Sun. Kindness or gentleness carries the day over aggression, force and a mean spirit. This story tells a lot about how we should treat our neighbors, and […]

Race switches between dominance and minority

Nhi Nguyen, Trinity University In Vietnam, my ethinicity is Kinh, which is the dominant group of Vietnamese. Before coming the U.S., I never really cared about my race because I did not need to challenge any racial inequality. When I’m in the U.S. to study abroad, Vietnamese is a minority. Most people just know about […]

Biracial woman: strength, confidence, confusion, pain.

Melissa Flowers, Trinity University My mother is caucasian and my father is black. I have immense privilege in my life, and I feel that being a biracial woman gives me a sense of pride which leads to strength and confidence. But this comes at a cost. I am often referred to as “acting white” by […]

I will make reparations to you.

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.

Who invented the “race card” anyway?

Kathryn Terry, Katy, TX. I hate the term “race card” because when I hear it, it tells me that the person using it doesn’t have any desire to listen to or understand anything about the experiences of racism that people of color face. If you think there’s a “race card”, who do you think put […]

The word racism is used dishonestly

Howard Hilliard, Grapevine, TX. Dialogue can’t be honest about race when the use of the word racism isn’t even defined. People that have different values than racialists are demonized even if they couldn’t care less about about the color of someone’s skin. Not believing in a certain form of multiculturalism has been conflated by the […]

Wish I was not a racist

Brian Smith, Sugar Land, TX. Part of me wish I wasn’t racist. I did my best not to be like my parents when I was growing up, but as I grew up I kept noticing common themes. I’m 28 now, grew up in middle class conservative Houston, Texas. I watched my dad created a business […]

I’m told to get over it.

Anonymous, Houston, TX. It’s hard being a young “smart” black man, especially in the military. If to good at my job it’s because “we helped you out more because we don’t want you to think we where racists” then if I’m not good at my job its. “Well you know black people are lazy…” Plus […]

When people ask… What are you?

Naomi, Grand Rapids, MI. I am an American, of Mexican decent… No, I don’t speak Spanish, no I don’t know where my family is from in Mexico… My Grandparents and Great-Grandparents were born in Texas… I grew up in Gary, IN around mostly Black people… people don’t know what box to put me in. How […]

My Industry can’t get Latino right.

Ricardo Chavira, San Antonio, TX. Actor who splits time between SA and LA. Alumnus of TV series Desperate Housewives. Id say I was shocked that industry can’t tap into Latino market, but I’m not. I also realize that we as Latinos have a tendency to get in our own way.

There are good ones out there

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.

Two white children in Halloween photo

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 […]

I CAN speak English and Spanish!

Fernando Martinez, McAllen, TX. Some people assume I don’t speak Spanish because I have light skin. But others assume I don’t speak English when they find out I lived my entire childhood in Mexico and English is actually my second language. Little do they know that I can speak both!

White & Proud Not = KKK nor Racist

Heather Mast, Houston, TX. I’m tired of not being able to express my own opinion for fear of being labeled a hate monger or racist! Im sorry for injustice done but I did not victimize anyone. Many are too fearful to “do anything” to help one another of a different race because then, in turn, […]

White doesn’t make me a racist.

Dee Oh, TX. Why isn’t it racist for other people to say that because I’m white, I’m a racist? I am attacked solely because of my skin color from black people. Only from black people. Why isn’t that racist? I add to a conversation that statistically, more blacks are killed by other blacks than by […]

You are smart to be Mexican

Teresa Gonzalez, Weslaco, TX. Many people say expressions like this one without taking into consideration its being offensive. They don’t think or recall that being smart or dedicated to your job, school etc has nothing to intervene with your knowledge or nationality. Not because your Mexican they will treat you how they want. This is […]

My DNA is 2.6% Neanderthal

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.

TV people don’t look like us

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 […]

Drop the guilt, and become aware

Danyahel Norris, Houston, TX. When I have a conversation about race or racism with someone white, I tend to get a few common responses. One being the fact that they weren’t even alive for things like slavery and Jim Crow, so they shouldn’t be blamed for it (not that I ever did). Another is the […]

So, did you all eat tacos?

Hilary Salazar, McAllen, TX. I attended a middle school with only seven Hispanics/Latinos. One day during 2nd period, the librarian called all seven of us over the intercom to come to the library. I had no idea why, but everyone laughed as I walked out of class. I got to the library along with the […]

I’m frustrated with my white peers.

CP, Garland, TX. I’m frustrated. Very much so. There is a lot of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance, especially within my race – Caucasian. I wish so much for everyone to open their eyes, minds, and hearts to the plight of others. To recognize that the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s didn’t eradicate the inherent […]

A little This, A little That

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 […]

Your skin feels just like mine!

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 […]

Half White, Half Hispanic, Full Human

John Michael Rendon Nicholson, San Antonio, TX. Growing up around Latinos and Caucasians, I was either “too White for Latinos” or “Too Latino for Whites”. Very few people saw me as “one of them”, even to this day. Of course, this didn’t stop me from indulging in my culture. I learned Spanish; and I even […]

Hello, I am a Racist

Max Moreno, TX. Hello, my name is Max and I am a racist. I have known this for along time. I no longer want to live in the shadows of this part of me. Today, I am here to say to my family and all my friends that I am a racist. I am not […]

Yo soy Tejano, not “White Washed”

Christopher A Hernández, Corpus Christi, TX. Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Texas, you can always smell the sea; after all: it’s practically in your backyard. But there’s also something else that is constantly in the air that one may not be able to smell, but it’s just as pungent: Stereotypes. I come from […]

My name tells a great story.

Lise (rhymes with ‘please’), Austin, TX. My 6-word essay was originally “What kind of name is that?”– a question (both the polite and impolite versions) I’m regularly asked. My answer is something like this: “Well, my last name is Indian (yes, like from India)–sort of. My father’s family is from India, but the name changed […]

We experience, we teach, we grow.

Eli Russell, Austin, TX. As a writer, these six words are something I’ve said before. I lend it here to hopefully add to the growing conversation, to close the divide in the races, to open racist minds and to unite all Americans, all people across the world in peace. It is up to each generation […]

You are cute to be dark

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 […]

Messianic Jew Yogi? Pick one fool!

Signe Wendt, Austin, TX. Jewish by heritage when I began to worship Jesus I was told I was no longer Jewish and I had to pick one.Now I try to connect Christians to their faith as a yoga teacher and I am not sure who is more uncomfortable with that. Yogis (at least in Austin) […]

African American Marine New Muslim Traitor

Vincent Simon, Fort Worth, TX. I’m a new revert to Islam, served in the US Marine Corps. Because of my new religion, I have been called a traitor to my country. The person who called me this doesn’t know me very well and didn’t serve in the military. I have been criticized by “good” Christians, […]

I am a proud American man

Charles Tanner, Midland, TX. I am an American,there is not a pre or post to that I was not brought here I was born here. Yes my distant family came from somewhere else. But as with anyone who truly wants to be an American they assimilated. Just as if I wanted to make any other […]

Neighborhood party we were not invited

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 […]

I’m not colored I’m an American

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 […]

When do I become just-American?

Wen Wen Yang Dallas, TX I tell people I’m Chinese-American. My parents are Chinese, born and raised in China, while I was born and raised in the United States, so I think the term Asian-American is accurate. I am straddling the divide, but leaning towards American – I’ve never been to China and do not […]

White Slavery & The Myth of White Privilege

DeAnna Calderon, Austin, TX. I grew up poor in the Southside of Chicago. We were extremely poor and even homeless at times. Sleeping outside in the middle of winter when I was a child. When I was 22 I joined the Army. The treatment I faced as a woman in the military felt like it […]

I always knew I was different.

Coleen Owens Katy, TX We (my sisters and I) were often the “minority” – growing up in a military household and moving often – whether it meant repeatedly being the new student or not speaking the language, we had many rich experiences because we didn’t fit in… we were nomadic for a time, and taught […]

All-American Girl: Minority at Work

Stefanie Bernosky, Houston, TX. I was raised as an All-American girl to an All-American family in an All-American town. I even looked “All-American”, proudly featuring my braces and American Flag sweater in this dated family photo (circa 1994). We can trace my family (both sides) to the United States prior to the United States Revolution. […]

We’re all the same, but different.

Cynthia Parra, Beaumont, TX. Through my profession, I have been given the opportunity to work with university students from marginalized groups and I have become a local social justice advocate. What I have learned is that everyone one wants to be be love, accepted, and not judged. We as individuals, just go about looking for […]

Impossible for me to blend in

Jeremy Tolbert, Austin, TX. I work in the high tech industry where there are < 2‰ African-Americans at my job. When I meet new people, I always hear, “I’ve seen you around”. I stand out because there aren’t many people in high-tech that look like me.

Honey, you must come from money.

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 […]

I Don’t Have Any People

Dara Boyd, Austin, TX. I am always hearing people say, “my people”, “your people”, “our people”, but why can’t we just be people? It never crossed my mind to call all white people or more specifically Norwegian people (which is a portion of my ancestry) “my people” because they simply are not. America, hell the […]

Don’t speak Spanish, I’m still Hispanic

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 […]

You’re not like most black girls.

Felicia Oakmon, Autin, TX. This statement is a repeat offender. I am half black and half Mexican, but I wasn’t aware that ALL “black girls”,or ALL people are exactly the same. Instead of judging people by media, social networks,and what you have heard… take the time to have a conversation, take the time to listen […]

No offense BUT, what are you?

Francesca Sam-Sin, Katy, TX. “No offense BUT, what are you?” That’s usually how the conversation about my race begins. When I arrived in the U.S. in the 80’s I was really surprised by the emphasis on race. The first time someone asked what “race” I was, it took me a minute to understand exactly what […]

____ Students’ Association! Fill the blank.

KM, Austin, TX. I am current in college at one of the largest public universities. Not a week goes by where I don’t see a group of students sitting at a table and asking passerby’s to join their organization. One of the most numerous types would be the such&such Students’ Association. I am of mixed […]

I Am Not White Or Black

Matthew, TX. Black, White, Asian, or Pink with Purple polka dots – your skin color is not who you are. Do not obsess over the shade God painted you when you were born. Do not let history define you. Do not allow others to control your actions. Love, respect, kindness. Not hate and vengeance for […]

Never keep secrets from your children.

i, Lulu, San Antonio, TX. I was 52 when I confirmed what I had long dodged: I was adopted — more like appropriated — at birth. Back then and in my part of the world (Texas), those things happened. My adoptive parents are on my birth certificate as the birth parents. Whatya gonna do, right? […]

Adopted at birth; family history unknown.

Kristi Boehm, Spring, TX. Every year on my birthday I give thanks to the woman who loved me enough to give me up for adoption. I couldn’t have asked for a better mother and father, and my family life was nothing but ordinary. As an aging adult, with no idea of whether I’m Swedish, German, […]

By protecting her, I’m oppressing her.

Adrienne Kern, Keller, TX. My daughter was two weeks from turning one on September 11, 2001. She is one of them. An Arab (pronounced with a Texas drawl: A-Rab). A camel jockey. A rag head. She is Turkish and Saudi and Egyptian. She is not white like me, her mother, who is also mixed race. […]