Kristen Ellerbe, Richmond, VA. Calling me an Oreo or not really black, or basically a white girl means that you define some part of my personality, attitude, preferences, or demeanor as being owned and attributed solely to white people. Is it my intelligence, my sense of style, or how I speak? Is it because I’m […]
Olivia Divers, Norfolk, VA. When you’re mixed with black and white people always have this preconceived idea that you have to “pick” which of the two cultures and behaviors you pick up on. You’re expected to choose between “acting black” or “acting white”. I am both. I will always be both. I love both. No, […]
Janice Davidsson, Norfolk, VA. You can’t help who you fall in love with and this American girl fell in love with an African boy. So that makes our son African American. Here’s the catch that a lot of people have an issue with… He’s white. He has blonde hair and blue green eyes and is […]
Lawrence Dortch, Vienna, VA. I’m tired of smiling all the time to alleviate other people’s fears of me. I am not a monster and I shouldn’t have to dress a certain way or smile when I don’t feel like it to make white people feel comfortable.
Desiree, Chesapeake, VA. When I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I use to hear about black people are the most uneducated race, and have the highest drop outs rates. In my family neither mother or father side have education. If anyone is educated there are distant family members. Therefore growing up the […]
Anthony Turoczy, Manassas, VA. My Great-grandparents came to America in 1904 from Hungary. They worked in the mines during the day and went to school at night to learn how to speak, read and write English. Don’t blame others for your bad choices; work hard and make something of yourself.
Abbie Elliott Leesburg, VA For my entire adult life, dating has been a challenge. As an Asian-American, I vehemently resisted falling into stereotypes. But, as an Asian-American on the dating scene, my looks delivered my first impression for me. Men developed ideas about me even before I spoke. Where they expected to find a quiet, […]
Brianna Branch Norfolk, VA I’m black and therefore I am seen as a threat to others because of my skin color. I have never tried to or had the desire to harm someone else. Sometimes people lock their doors when they see my friends and I walk past and yell racists comments out of the […]
Kristen Ellerbe, Richmond, VA. As a mixed child, I have never felt at home with any culture. My mother was born in the Philippines and my father was an airman stationed there. They are wonderful parents who are absolutely in love with one another. I am one of three children, the middle child and only […]
Carolyn Lynchburg, VA I have met more black people who hated other races and were very open with it, but maybe white people just don’t admit to racism as openly. I always believed in MLK’s dream and the utopian vision of the star trek series. I was very surprised when I got bussed to an […]
Jonny Cecka, Richmond, VA. I have always had progressive attitudes about equality and so-called “race,” but visiting the Lincoln Memorial with my adopted 13-year-old son, Ace, was profoundly moving and made me understand the sacrifices of Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and countless others in a deep, personal way.
Kristen, Virginia Beach, VA. I have ALWAYS been pale. Like so pale its embarrassing to wear shorts (especially in the beginning of the summer). If ever I get a tan, its gone in like 2 weeks. Yeah, I don’t think it will ever be “cool” to be this white.
Kellianne Murtha, Chesapeake, VA. Times have changed, people have changed so why is “race” still thought to be an ongoing problem? We are no longer who our ancestors were and we no longer believe all of which they did. Race should not be a problem and should not be a deciding factor for things, such […]
Mike Elliott Alexandria, VA My mother was brown. Her skin a shade so perfect until the day she died she was “Puddin” to her family and friends. My father a lighter shade of brown was “high yellow” and proud to be colored. He had a fraternal twin who was dark like an egg plant, blue-black. […]
Anonymous, Chesapeake, VA.
Tanya, Manakin Sabot, VA. My (adopted) son is biracial, his bio-father is unknown. I will never be able to connect him with his biological African American family. There is a void that I will never be able to fill for him . This breaks my heart as his mama.
Anonymous, Virginia Beach, VA.
Jasper Little, Chesapeake, VA. A lot of people are also very surprised the way I sound, they say I sound white.
Hisham Jabim, Reston, VA. I am a Muslim borne and raised in Palestine. I am married to an American woman name Rebekah and we have a three year old daughter Hanna. My wife and I lived in the middle east together for almost 10 years and now we moved to Northern VA. Bekah is a […]
Jesse Dukes, Charlottesville, VA. This question was on my mind recently, when I wrote an article for Virginia Quarterly Review about Confederate reenactors at the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg. I don’t actually have any Confederate ancestors I’m aware of, but most of the reenactors do. All of the reenactors I talked to considered slavery to […]
Teresa Figueroa, Stafford, VA.
Anonymous, Mechanicsburg, VA. It is hard not to be myself to please someone else who does not really care about me at all. I hate having to be someone different when I am in public so I do not scare anyone else. It would be different if I was ignorant and loud in public, but […]
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 […]
Antoinette G Murray, Norfolk, VA.
Patty Hall, Alexandria, VA. I have a precious bi-racial blessing; My Grandson. He doesn’t see color either, but sadly he knows other people do. There’s a song that many of us sang in Church growing up. “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and Yellow, Black and White they are […]
McKinley Dixon, Richmond, VA. In the dominantly caucasian school that my sister used to attend, she would get picked on for her hair being curlier and fuller than the other girls in her school. It got to the point where she would straighten it every morning before we go to school. Damaging her hair, for […]
Ariel Foreman, Raleigh, NC. I just moved to North Carolina from Virginia. I’m scared to travel on highway 14 between Home and Raleigh especially at night…because it’s heavily monitored by police. I should not be scared of a group that’s suppose to protect me.
Cara Hill, Chesapeake, VA.
Kara Cox, Charlottesville, VA. I constantly get people making racist comments about others to me. They see blond hair and blue eyes and assume I feel the same way they do.
Juan-Day Charlottesville, VA I chose these words because there’s nothing left to say. I’ve grown tired of the same dance around this issue. Race matters because history matters. History hasn’t been kind to brown skin. Educate yourself and your loved ones. If WE don’t appreciate our brown-ness it’s laughable to expect others to.
Anonymous, Concord, VA. Not my words, but Rodney King’s. Did we not get that message?
Vidhya Mallikarjunan, Blacksburg, VA. I was born and have lived in the US for my whole life. And I’ve been blessed to live in a town where my race doesn’t come up too often especially in negative ways. But still so innocently people will constantly ask “where I’m from” but I’m from Blacksburg. It’s so […]
Elias Jones, Charlottesville, VA. It is tribalism that leads to assumptions both affirming (they are like me, they accept me, I am safe with them) and disruptive (they don’t like us, we don’t trust them, they are different). Tribalism perpetuates white privilege, empowers classism – which is informed and compounded by racism and sexism – […]
Ehsanullah, Ashburn, VA. Family of four From Afghanistan Love Basketball
Steven, Aldie, VA. I feel that because of my skin color, my race, and all of the characterizations that have been made about both, there is a fear is exuded when people see me. Some of it is ignorant like the seeing a well-built black man being some type of demon or beast. Like how […]
Katie Pickard Fawcett, McLean, VA. Grew up in Eastern Kentucky in a county that is in the bottom 5% economically in the country. I have done social work in Appalachia, tutored students for SAT prep in VA, worked at the World Bank for 10 years, and am the author of To Come and Go Like […]
Susan H Berger, Portsmouth, VA. I am a proud Unitarian Universalist of Jewish decent. If we don’t stand up for each other who will stand up for us in this world. UU’s and others hid Jews in WWII. I am a member of our Racial Justice Task Force. “Black Lives Matter.”
Victoria, Fairfax, VA. I was born in Conway, SC. I’ve lived in the States for nearly two decades now (all of my life so far). It wasn’t till I was in elementary, and I had to ask my mom why boys would say “ching chong” to me that I realized that I was somehow different. […]
Staci, VA. I have seen the term “white privilege” used a lot recently as though it were an actual epidemic. What infuriates me about this term is that it is NOT relevant in the year 2017. Black people have more opportunities GIVEN to them than white people when it comes to education and the workforce, […]
Mike Snow Spotsylvania, VA I have listened to the Race Card Project for some time on my NPR station and it has encouragd my own thoughts on the subject. I admitted to my self many years ago that I had thoughts and views that one could deem as “racist”. This smacked me in the face […]
Bobbi, Virginia Beach, VA.
When I entered high school, I quickly learned terms like white privilege, white fragility, and microaggressions, which challenged my identity. While I understood I benefited from white privilege, I did not like the label. Still, the racism embedded in our institutions and the frustrated feelings of my friends motivates me to want to be part […]
Kristina Weems, Virginia Beach, VA. In order to implement any real change, we must take off our blinders and cure our cultures ignorance. Love needs to prevail! 🙂
Hannah, Norfolk, VA. I chose this quote from a popular John Mayer song because it so relevant to where we still are today. This song, created in 2006, is more relevant 10 years later than it was then and that is a problem. And even though I am not a minority, the hate in this […]
Bettie Wilkins, Roanoke, VA. I was born in 1940 and my parents were sharecroppers. My father was drafted in 1942 and came home in 1944 with a partly collapsed lung. He was in a trench with other GI’s when the Japanese threw a burning bomb with gas into it. He was lucky because three men […]
AJ, Falls Church, VA. I am a white American female with multiple disabilities. I realize that generally speaking, my whiteness and U.S. citizenship is a benefit for me in society. But recently, I had several experiences where a person of another race assumed something about me that was false, and it pissed me off. In […]
Ngan Lam, Virginia Beach, VA. I learned race, prejudice, racism, stereotype, and developed my own personal biases, but when I look at my child I only see a precious human being and spirit…just him and forget about all that I learned.
Andrea Catala, Burke, VA. It seems that half of the U.S. felt fear and panic of non-whites or immigrants taking over our country. Well now I’m fearful and panicked that half the country hates non-whites. Is that true? Was this election truly an anti-establishment referendum? Or was there sexism and racism that tinged the voting […]
Debra Cope, Alexandria, VA. Adoption is beautiful, and I really don’t mind helping others navigate the awkward preconceptions that accompany it. But this phrase just burns me because it equates my spunky, lively child with an object . She’s not my toy — she’s my daughter!
James Moore, Sterling, VA. No one told me when I adopted my baby girl that I was no longer white. I had to find out the hard way. One friend at a time. Sadly.
Yousuf Khan, Potomac, MD. I was born and raised in Springfield, VA before moving to Maryland. When you ask me where I’m from, expect me to proudly say Virginia.
Nayna Sasidharan Arlington, VA That asked within the first few minutes of meeting someone
Nicole Reynolds, Virginia Beach, VA. Race often goes hand and hand with self worth. Who am I in the world? What does that answer mean? How does it affect my life? Is there anything I can do to change that? I have Ugandan Blood, Taino Blood, Spanish Blood, Past African American Slave blood. What race […]
Elizabeth Johnson, Arlington, VA. There are so many things I wish I could say but am worried they will come out the wrong way. I want to say I see you’re struggling. I want to say I see racism among my friends and within my own family. I want to say it’s wrong. I want […]
Cassandra Young, Norfolk, VA. Often times when filling out a survey or application we are asked to select our race. Many of the times the directions state to only choose one. I am biracial and one race does not define me.
Evelyn Ingram, Leesburg, VA. Yesterday, I cried typing these words and I couldn’t click Submit. I think I’m stronger today. I can’t wait to pass this along. -Evelyn
Lexie Nobrega, Norfolk, VA. I was never “black enough” to fit in with the black kids, but I am not white either so I obviously did not fit with those kids either. I was called an “oreo” often-black on the outside but my personality was equated to that of stereotypical whiteness. I always embraced being […]
Ladaja Kennedy, Norfolk, VA. Growing up, I went to a predominately white school with mostly white friends. Because of this I was usually not hanging around with people of my same race and ethnicity, thus not sounding like the others or having connection like everyone else did when it came to it. Then later when […]
Anthony Taylor, Norfolk, VA.
Rachael Hall Miller, Virginia Beach, VA.
Jessica Clark, Chesapeake, VA. We are not born racist.
Amanda Baran, Arlington, VA. “No, I’m not Mexican. Nope, not Latino. I’m an American who’s half Syrian and half Indian. Well actually, my father’s former nationality was Syrian. His parents were refugees from Turkey who were expelled during the Armenian genocide. No, they weren’t Armenian, they were Christians who were forced out and into Syria […]
Kelly Ferrell, Sterling, VA. I am disappointed but not surprised that charismatic politicians have taken the easy route and invested in hate rather than commit to making our country and our world more inclusive. Home-grown extremist groups that terrorized communities of color had been marginalized for some time. Now they feel that they have an […]
Christine Thai-Pappa Fairfax, VA I was at a National Convention for my sorority, which is an Asian- American Interest sorority. A number of us had gotten onto the elevator at our hotel. There were girls from the University of Virginia, Berkeley, Standford, Cornell, and Carnegie Melon. At the next floor a group of older Caucasian […]
Erica Sykes, Chesapeake, VA. I am always approached and asked, “Are you mixed?” What does my nationality have to do with anything going on in your life? It’s none of your business.
Leslie Morris Roanoke, VA I am in management at one of the top insurance companies in the United States and this was the ignorant comment I heard when an individual on my team transferred a man to me to resolve his issue. He said “You sound like a black person.” I asked if that was […]
Raheem Cash, Alexandria, VA. As a kid I spent a lot of time being one of two or three black kids in honors classes. Spent a lot of time being only black kid that played tennis. Spent a lot of time not being considered “black enough”. Well I’m not a kid anymore and fortunately I […]
Alyssa Bowen, Virginia Beach, VA.
Jacob A. McCleese, Chesapeake, VA.
Nicole A. Moore, Virginia Beach, VA. Submitted via Twitter: @namoore Nicole Moore, Public Historian, Blogger, Consultant and Interpreter of Slave Life http://www.interpretingslavelife.com/
Pavla Pletkova, VA. Looking at my picture you could never tell. Listening to me speak you could never tell. What I’ve been told is I look like a “regular light skinned black girl”. But little do they know I’m far from regular. As far as I know, I have never met another Czech-Ghanaian person, well, […]
Courtnay S., Arlington, VA. Why are we so uncomfortable talking about racial privilege? Does anyone shy away from saying they are privileged because of their income, sex, language, or education? Western privilege exists. English-speaking privilege exists. On that same token, white privilege exists. It is okay to have money, to be male, to be American, […]
Rebecca Green Watson, Leesburg, VA. I’m ashamed to say that.
Alfida Cruse, St. Louis, MO. Growing up half Dominican and half Missouri German (white) constantly left me feeling not white enough for the white kids and not Dominican enough for the Hispanic kids. I have been called out and subsequently shunned when my mother picked me up from school in Arlington, VA (“you’re WHITE?!”) and […]
Nyssa Thongthai Richmond, VA I am Thai-American. I was born here and raised in Thailand. I came back here when I was 15. I’ve lived in Norfolk, VA for 12 years now and when people asked me where I’m from, I would answer Norfolk. And lots of time they would counter me and say “No, […]
Romaine Martin II, Richmond, VA. I Think Ancestry.com is very therapeutic. You can spend hours researching your family’s cold cases. One bit of information I found out left me feeling unsure of how to feel at all. “Green Gore was born, in 1816, the son of Robert Gore (1783 – 1870/1880) and Tomsey Jarrel,(1778 – […]
Katherine Finn, Virginia Beach, VA. I do not look good for a white girl, or look good because I am white… I am me, and my race does not change or affect that.
Jim Michonski, Virginia Beach, VA. I grew up in a military family. The March on Washington happened when I was two years old. We mostly lived outside of the US until I was nine. I don’t have memories of and was not exposed to the racial turmoil of the 1960’s. One of the strongest experiences […]
Lynne Moffitt, Virginia Beach, VA. When I was living in Louisville, I came home from work and was mugged when I got out of my car. I had looked around before I got out and this nice young man was walking down the sidewalk. He looked like a typical University of Louisville student which was […]
Britt Mikelle, Centreville, VA. People always ask me where I come from. I tell them, “from love.” Only love or lust would have created me. I am a mutt in every since of the word. Growing up in a multiracial home, I did not know racism untill I was old enough to date. My family […]
Michala Day, Farmville, VA.
Mary Horton Richmond, VA I didn’t realize until shortly before her death how different the world my mother gave me was from the one she was raised in. My mother had Alzheimer’s, and in the last few years of her life, she reverted to some of the attitudes and behaviors she had learned while growing […]
Ebone Newton, Norfolk, VA.
Justin Shazier, Aldie, VA. Just because you are a certain race doesn’t mean you cant like certain things.
Hilary Gladstone, Chesapeake, VA.
Carmen Mendoza Tintaya, Arlington, VA. My parents are from a remote village in Arequipa Peru, where only until 2006 accessible roads were built. Now with both my parents gone, I find myself looking for my identity and looking towards that little village. I haven’t made the trip yet. I moved to the US when I […]
Heather Simms, Suffolk, VA. Something that has bothered me throughout the years is the immediate perception because I am a middle class white individual that I automatically have some sort of racism integrated into my DNA. I respect and love everyone regardless of color, ethnicity or appearance. Racism is a concern in our society but […]
Richard Reed Watts, Burke, VA. As a boy, me and my brother would disappear upstairs at our grandparent’s house, exploring for hours everything we could get our hands on. It was dark and smelled old and dusty and it was wonderfully beautiful. I remember distinctly coming across the old fragile parchment that was a list […]
Virginia Jones, Danville, VA. I’m a 54 year old white lady living back in the south after 15 years away from home. Its not the same everywhere. I’ve been an RN in central Phoenix, a wife of a Vietnam Veteran who was terribly discriminated by his own country and I’m a mother of a blonde […]
John Stephens, New Market, VA. Many years ago, when I was a young man, I went to see the movie The Defiant Ones with Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. The film was about two convicts who were both strident racists. They escaped from prison but they could not escape each other because they were shackled […]
Susan Kosior, Fredericksburg, VA.
Anonymous, Purcellville, VA. Living in a world where quotas of minorities must be accepted into major institutions, being a white male becomes a disadvantage. If I am paired against a minority of same academic and extracurricular achievements as me, I will most likely be brushed aside. I believe the only true way to make things […]