Uncomfortable around non-Asians, don’t know why

Pamela Hung Boston, MA I grew up in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in Southern California. It was a hard transition living in places where Asians were the minority…non-Asians were just so foreign. But I’m doing exactly what I’m fighting against: making others the Other. My brain has learned to fight these Othering thoughts, but I […]

Liberal yet never felt at ease.

Susan Eugene, OR After a lifetime of feeling uncomfortable around most people, white or of any race, my face now defaults to a doubtful distrustful set of creases in the presence of strangers. Sometimes I feel like telling the rare black person I see off campus that I’m awkward around everyone, but it’s also true […]

Black is not a dirty word.

Janice Fairfax, VA I used to work in retail where we received commission, requiring customers to identify us. Customers always felt uncomfortable referring to me as “black.” I started to notice this tendency in other areas of my life. The hesitation suggests a sub-conscious/conscious negative mental connotation with the word. I like my blackness, do […]

White privilege equals open vernacular relishment

Kathryn Sanders Summerville, SC I am white Southern woman . I will never forget overhearing a group of white co-workers harshly criticize a black co-worker’s slip into African American vernacular at an on-the-job baby-shower while handing out gifts. I have some Appalachian forbears and am an English major and I take great pleasure in using […]