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White choir weekly sings black gospel

Merrile Sing, Seattle, WA. A predominantly white choir in Seattle has built relationships with multi-ethnic communities and raised funds for the needy in the past 10 years by singing African-American gospel music. Gospel music, through its message and interactive call-and-response nature, opened a door. Since its inception, the University Presbyterian Church (UPC) Gospel Choir, located […]

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Pick ’em up & lay ’em down.

Anonymous, Seattle, WA. My five-month-old Ameri-Kenyan daughter and I were part of a group of 300 Americans with the National Parks Service who commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights March. For five days, we marched from Selma to Montgomery. She rode just over my heart, clapping and singing as we went.

Babies switched at birth. Mine’s black.

Anonymous, Kirkland, WA. In 1963 – yes, 1963! – The Dick Van Dyke show aired an episode where Rob mistakenly thought his new baby had been switched at the hospital. When the other parents arrived to (what Rob thought) make the exchange, Rob was shocked to see that they were black and there was no […]

Do you make your own tortillas?

Norma Torres Addis Seattle, WA The first time I heard this question, I thought it was funny. After hearing it a few times, it made me wonder. If my heritage is Mexican and I don’t know the first thing about making tortillas does that make me less of a Latina? So many times organizations I […]

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¿Eres mexicana? Entonces, ¿por qué el disfraz?

Maria Seattle, WA You’re Mexican? Then why the disguise? I was asked this by a viejito selling his wares in Tijuana, México, probably about 20 years ago. He had been shocked to hear me speak Spanish. I would of been in my early 20s, all rebellious with punked out bleached blond hair, red converse & […]

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Deliberately deviant to preserve white privilege

Marcos Cu, Seattle, WA. I would prefer to write about diversity instead of someone else’s prejudices. For example the Mayan’s mathematical wonders architectures. The Kwakwa ka’wakw Pacific Northwest Coast people, totem poles monumental sculptures, the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s literature thus we talk about what matters not what put us down.

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You do not look INSERT RACE

Jamie M. Young, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges I was born in Subic Bay, Philippines at the former U.S. Naval Base. My father is from Minnesota (of Norwegian/Irish decent), and my mother is from Minuhang, Leyte, Philippines. I am mixed race, but I have fair skin and […]

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Running for the freedom in myself.

Bob Preston, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges I thought of this while being told about this project, immediately, and since it has helped me through my transition back to my regular life from military life.

But Your Not Really Black

Damme Getachew, Seattle, WA. My parents are from Ethiopia and so I self-identify as Ethiopian. I’m frequently asked “Where are you from?” as if being a person of color means that I was born somewhere other than the United States. Aren’t we past that?

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Where did you GET her from?

Beth Watson, Tacoma, WA. In ‘post-racial’ ( I use this term sarcastically) America, living in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t believe how many times I have been asked outright, “where did you get her from?” in response to seeing me and my bi-racial daughter in public. This question, of course, comes at the end of […]

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Deconstructing “whiteness” won’t change my skin.

Mariel Rieland, Seattle, WA. I’m about as stereotypically European-American as you can get… Born to an upper-middle-class family, raised in the suburbs, graduating from a private Christian university. And yet, I’m a sociology major who studies systematic social inequality for a living. I’ve learned how to deconstruct the broken systems of race, gender, and class […]

White woman got six ‘second chances.’

Robin Dalton, Spokane, WA. I am not using my real name, and will obviously not post a photo. This is because even my family does not know how often I was picked up for shoplifting. I’m not a kid, I’m a 40-something white (Scandinavian pale) woman. The (white) security guards, defense/prosecution attorneys and judges continued […]

Once uneducated/naive. I’m changing that.

Jordyn Ducotey, Seattle, WA. Recent events have really made me challenge my own thoughts and the perceptions that I have been taught. I consciously make an effort to expose myself to the injustices that are occuring in the world around me. I actively seek stories and look into them instead of listening to what my […]

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Blackanese is not Black or Japanese.

Brian Murray, Seattle, WA. Growing up it was always hard to find my own identity because I came from a bi-racial background. I am half Black and half Japanese and always had problems being accepted by either racial group because of my uniqueness. Although coming from a low-income housing development called the Rainier Vista Projects […]

Breaking the stereotype black male nurse

Chris Porter Seattle, WA History and TV have provided many roles, mostly negative, for black males. Our society rarely sees black men in the role of care taker or nurse, providing nursing care and in the role of leader particularly in a female dominated profession. It has been my life’s mission to tear down that […]

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Is my color who I am?

Lora-Ellen McKinney, Renton, WA. I am not my color, though I am in some ways what my color represents in America. I am, by this definition, an African American first because this what people see. I also identify with African American history, culture, family structure and faith practices. But alone in my house where I […]

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Chilly chainee, courageous changer, world warmer.

Melinda, Ephrata, WA. 50- year-old woman born in the south, grown in Alaska’s wildness, married too young. Courageously moving from isolation to a warmer world. Race goes deeper than color and texture, it’s how we love or don’t, what we teach or don’t, it’s chilly and it’s warm and it’s all degrees between. Race isn’t […]

You’re not American, are you?

Salah M. Abed, Moses Lake, WA. I grew up in small towns in the Pacific Northwest; I quickly got used to being the only Arab-American. Every day somebody would ask me, “Where are you from” or “What are you?” This variant came from one of the first people I met when I moved to the […]

You’re nice for a “white” girl

Colleen Schwab, Seattle, WA. I grew up in a very diverse area of CA where many children were first generation immigrants, and many children were of multi-racial backgrounds, mostly middle to lower class families. And my whole family has grown up with and around people from many different backgrounds. So I had no issue trying […]

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Do you want some BLACK COFFEE?

James Johnson, Seattle, WA. One of my white peer teachers asked each black student if they wanted some BLACK COFFEE upon entering her class. Each student said no thank you. She asked them again with the emphasis on BLACK COFFEE. The student was 13 years old. This occurred in 2012 not 1932.

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No one else chooses my identity.

Natalie, Seattle, WA. My grandmother never got to pass for white. She was sent to indian boarding school. 50 years later, I grew up in white suburbia, where no one assumed I was Native or even mixed-race. I self-identify as Native, I speak Chahta, I participate as a tribal citizen, I carry on the family […]

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Norwegian with nappy hair doesn’t fit.

WilmaS, Seattle, WA. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked if my sons were adopted…It’s happened a lot. A complete stranger approaches my family, usually in a grocery store or some other public location, and compliments me on my family. “Your sons are so handsome,” the person will say, and by […]

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“But you’re not like other Mexicans.”

Tom Vásquez, Seattle, WA. I was in high school when this happened. I’m a son of a Mexican-American, so I’m 50% Mexican blood. 50% French-Canadian and English. When I was in high school, I was struggling to understand what it meant to be Mexican-American. The other Mexican kids in my school … well, the ones […]

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Invisible African American immigrant Chinese son

Nic Rossouw, Seattle, WA. My son and I are both immigrants. I left apartheid South Africa in 1983. My family are white Africans who have lived in South Africa since the 16th century, only a few of my cousins and I have left. I sometimes half jokingly call myself African-American, but it is not really […]

Dad said America is not ready.

Michael l Koetje, Vashon, WA. I grew up in a sheltered deeply religious community. Just white folks. When an older friend went away to college and brought a black guy home in the Mid-60’s, those were my Father’s words about the children they might have. I said America needs to be ready. I believed what […]

Uto-Aztecan Soul trapped within a Whitina.

Sarah Lucero-Prestidge, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges FYI: I have donated my DNA to the NatGenome Project, and found that I am roughly 30% N Euro, 30% Mediterranean and 20% AmerIndan, and 10% East&West Asian and 10% African. Before I knew this, I had always felt like […]

Seattle, only white girl in class.

Yaela Ettlinger, Olympia, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges Born 1950. Attended Madrona Elemetary on 34th street and Union, Seattle from 1955 – 1962. We could all play together until 3rd grade. Then the other African-American girls began to follow me and my best friend Joan around the playground […]

I am simply human, nothing more.

Patti J Baines, Anacortes, WA. I belong to the curly haired, wide bottom affiliation of short women with freckles that inhabit this part of the world. I’ve come to wonder how it is, that based upon a collection of attributes and features we gather ourselves together or at other times serve to drive us apart.

I’m tired of being the “Other”!

Kevin Stordahl, Seattle, WA. Every time I fill out important documents they ask for my “race” and every single time they do I wonder a couple things; one, why do they need to know that? And two, where is my category? I have never considered myself one race or another. I have always just felt […]

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I grew up in the 98118

Guy Godefroy , Seattle, WA. Submitted via Twitter: @mrfatlace Additional information for the 6-WORD ESSAY: http://southseattle.komonews.com/news/arts-culture/445093-census-bureau-98118-most-diverse-zip-code-us

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Ashamed that accomplished minorities surprise me.

Daniel Robbins, Seattle, WA. No matter how liberal and progressive I might claim to be, no matter how many workshops I’ve been to or essays I’ve read about privilege, I still hear my inner voice express pleasant surprise when I see a minority doing well at something. Whether I see a minority excelling in business, […]

I hate being called white girl

Alexa Fay, Seattle, WA. I dance at a predominately black dance studio, and anyone who sees my friends there is quick to point out that I look different from everyone else. I wish they cared more about my personality than my skin color.

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I am black and a target

Chris Porter, Seattle, WA. It is hard for me to think about living in a country where my life seems to have little value. It is hard to think about living in a country that is the envy of so many around the world and yet I am not part of that envy. It is […]

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Adoptive parents see teachers judge brown

Lynn Schilaty, Snohomish, WA. when attending a teacher parent conference my husband and I didn’t expect what we saw on the faces of teachers when they realized WE were the (white) parents of our adopted daughter. We could see in their split second recalculation on their face as that they struggled to take our daughter […]

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I talk the walk too much!

Eric Wall, Kent, WA. I was fortunate to be part of an integrated busing program all through elementary school. I went to college and got a master’s degree in Multicultural Education. I still spend too much time talking the talk and not walking the walk. Fully understanding the impact of Race is truly a life […]

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Stop using RACE as an excuse.

Renee Chapman, Colbert, WA. I have seen race used as an excuse for bad behavior or saying something is happening to someone because they are Mexican, Asian, and Black etc. I had a personal experience with it when neighbors aggressive Rottweiler killed my 6 mo. old puppy, police were called and neighbor was really angry. […]

Young black gang kids scare America.

David Evans, Seattle, WA. People equate young black gang members with crime and trouble… I was watching the PBS special and when the young black guys were speaking I felt they were in gangs and up to no good. You need to change the image of the young male black gang image or you will […]

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“Who’s that white boy talking to Ning?”

Antonio “Tono” Cruz Sablan, Tacoma, WA. Immediately when I was born in 1996, I was adopted by two very loving individuals. My parents, Antonio “Tony” and Brenda Sablan, have provided me with years of unconditional love; the Chamorro community, however, was not always the same. My father is a Chamorro, native to the island of […]

Progressives destroyed race relations in America.

Stacey Seattle, WA The Civil Rights movement was hijacked by progressives. Since that time, they have destroyed Dr. King’s “Dream”. The virtual enslavement of the near-entirety of America’s black populace to the statist ideological plantation is destroying any hope of reconciling the differences between majority & minority. No longer is a man encouraged to exhibit […]

She wishes for American eyes.

Rose McKenney Lakewood, WA I’m glad we’re finally acknowledging the number of multi-ethnic people in the US. Sadly people my age (50s) have been asked to choose one; yet I know several multi-ethnic people around my age. They lost a lot because they or their parents felt the need to choose one tradition or ethnicity.

My “ah-ha”: race is socially constructed!

Jack Bautsch Seattle, WA The RACE exhibit at the Seattle Center in late 2013 was a real eye-opener for me, a white male. What previously seemed like clear distinctions between races became, after experiencing the exhibit, much more nuanced and arranged along a continuum. I feel more kinship with POC than before seeing the exhibit.

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Melting-pot Melungeon: Not “Other!” Try “Most.”

Marion Reid Kee Redmond, WA Some of my ancestors went through a lot so that I could be “white” and not have to know about them as African, Native American, Eastern Mediterranean. Others who were considered white may not have been free. Some of my Celtic ancestors were forcibly resettled by the English. Others were […]

You aren’t what you look like.

Marcus Garcia Moses Lake, WA I’m Mexican but people pretty much never get it right like i get asked if I’m white,greek,persian,middle easter,black(shocked about that one),dominican,italian,jewish,etc. and i get called slurs that i don’t even know what they are or mean. when i was younger this would make me upset because i know what i […]

I welcome diversity and shun suffocation

Kacie Vancouver, WA I grew up in a very white area of the U.S. and still at 23 years old, I’ve had very few friends of different races or lifestyles. Only within the last year have I learned a lot about a different race (Hispanic culture, particularly Mexican) and it has been the most eye […]

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I will never really ‘get it’.

Celia Beasley, Seattle, WA. Being an upper-middle class white woman, I know I will never truly understand what it feels like to be a person of color in America. Despite my attempts to be aware of racism in this county through conversations, news stories, interviews, books, this website, etc, I know that I will never […]

Colorblindness spreads, reinforces American racist history

Cynthia McCullough Port Orchard, WA Race studies student. Americans seem to think that being colorblind is a solution when in fact it is a tool to maintain White supremacy. The colorblind mentality is the denial of the history of people of color and supports the institutional racism deeply embedded in American culture as many can […]

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Being a mulatto woman is complicated.

Dorian N. Spokane, WA. I am mulatto. I have a black father and white mother. I love being bi-racial, I take pride in it and feel very lucky to have heritage that stems from two completely different directions, but it took many years to achieve this level of confidence, because when strangers, family and friends […]

A cloak behind which people hide

Nathen, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges You are what you make of yourself. There will always be those that will tear you down, call you names seek to defame you, they are not important. What is important is what you choose to do with your lot in […]

Why am I always somewhere inbetween?

Anna Catlin Baker, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges I was adopted when I was 1 year(s) old from Southeastern China by a single Caucasian woman. I found out later in life that my birthparents are actually Vietnamese. I was raised “white”, American, but I look Asian. When […]

Not unless your ancestors owned mine

Solveig Whittle Woodinville, WA In 1992 I moved to Seattle and began working at a new job. The first week I saw in the company email roster that someone else had the same last name as I did. I dialed his extension and introduced myself as a new employee. My last name is not common […]

I apologize to Sue’s family.

Carole Woods Sequim, WA Sue worked for my grandmother without pay in Sumter, South Carolina, from her teenage years in the early 20th century until she was quite elderly. Then she was ‘given’ back to her relatives. My grandmother claimed Sue’s father ‘gave’ her to my family. She was a member of the African-American family […]

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Always, what are you? Long story.

Mariko Lockhart, Seattle, WA. Collected from The Race Card Project, On Location: Seattle Community Colleges My dad was black, born in Panama, as my grandfather from Monserrat went there to work on the Canal. My grandmother was from Jamaica. They moved to Chicago where my dad grew up on the South Side. My mom’s parents […]

Adopted. Closed Record. You tell me.

Melanie Randolph Longview, WA I really knew nothing about my heritage until I was 44 and chose to research my birth family. It’s weird to know nothing at all in a world that is so hung up on where they come from. I look so generic. Brown hair, brown eyes, average height. I assumed Italian […]