My experience Seattle, WA People say “reassuring” discounting things like “I never think of Asians as people of color, you’re like white people with funny eyes.” and operate using stereotypical assumptions believing they are operating “color-blind”. In most workplaces recognition of racial diversity is limited to certain days of celebration and when it makes HR […]
Amanda Sperow, Chehalis, WA. Oregon State University Because I am a young woman with blonde hair, and I take pride in the way I look most people presume I am a “bimbo” or dumb blonde. It’s sad our minds don’t extend beyond the sexuality of an individual, and we can only see as deep as […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
JB Tellez, Seattle, WA. All my remembered life I have been fortunate enough to be raised by a loving chicano father (and grandmother, great grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins too!) Here’s a picture with my abuela/grandmother and primo/cousin. She called me ‘Jonny Ojos Azules’ (Jonny Blue Eyes). Sometimes people will be surprised when I tell […]
Fleetwood Wilson, Seattle, WA.
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 […]
Mara Sobotka, Seattle, WA. It is true, and my heart is irreparably broken.
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 […]
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 […]
Maria Anderson, Seattle, WA.
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.
Daniel Sconce, Wenatchee, WA. Imagine you are blind and visiting another country. Imagine you don’t know the language and have none of the currency. Would race matter? What would you do with your judgments and assumptions?
Clare Chun, Seattle, WA. I’m an aspiring actress and filmmaker. Whenever I share this with others, every so often I get hit with, “Oh like that Lucy Liu girl!” First off, I am Korean American and she is Chinese American, secondly, we don’t look or act anything alike. Yes, as shocking as this sounds, we […]
Christine Farrell, Naches, WA. My dad was an Italian/Irishman who grew up in the Bronx and Harlem areas of New York City. He grew up tough and he grew up mean. He was the only white kid in many of the schools he attended. He was involved in gangs, had been in and out of […]
Yasmin Igal, Seattle, WA. Africa is a huge continent made of 1000s of languages and assuming I speak African because I’m Somali doesn’t makes no sense whats-ever. Born in America and being raised here, children use to ask me that and i thought it was a joke, but sadly it was a legit question for […]
Issabella Pena, Tacoma, WA.
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, […]
Sarah Lucero-Prestidge, Seattle, WA. 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 people accepted me for being White […]
Lincoln Ozawa, Renton, WA. I asked my parents if they think I’m white and they couldn’t answer. Father is of Japanese & Hawaiian descent, mother is of Norwegian descent. I have my mother’s skin, my brother has our father’s skin.
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 […]
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 […]
Fa’aumu Kaimana Elsea, Seattle, WA. The 7. One of the more dangerous routes in King County Metro’s transit system. Never mind that, it’s the stigmas that’s brought about by this statistic. Are we unconsciously becoming afraid of the people in that route when after all, we are just ordinary transit riders?
Allison A, Yakima, WA. Sometimes it’s nanny, sometimes it’s babysitter or neighbor, but being asked if I was their grandmother was a first for me. At times, the question is about adoption . . . “Where did you get her?” The questions come from complete strangers, usually white people. The need to figure out this […]
Molly Daggett, Seattle, WA.
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 […]
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 & […]
Ms. Forthekids, Tacoma, WA. Let us keep this ‘race’ conversation going!
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 […]
Gene Tagaban, Ruston, WA.
Andrew, Tacoma, WA. We adopted our son when he was two weeks old. He’s seven now. My naivete about race has only gotten clearer and clearer these last 7 years.
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 […]
Evan Contreras, Puyallup, WA. Music is powerful. Share it with everyone, and you may find more in common than you expected.
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 […]
Maleny Vega, Moses Lake, WA.
Samantha, Seattle, WA. I’m an Asian American woman who gets this all the time. Throughout high school, people assumed that because I was Asian, I should be smart. Most times I laughed it off, but that’s allowing the stereotype to live on. It’s interesting to look back and see how other Asians in my year […]
Heather, Seattle, WA. I grew up as a black female in the US and I’m happy with that. Why are we now expected to identify as African-American? Is this how the younger generation feels? I would love to hear their perspective. I think people should be able to self-identify as they decide is best for […]
Marie Abaya, Seattle, WA. No choice.
Treysea, Tacoma, WA. I grew up in San Diego, CA in a predominantly blue-collar, working class, relatively ethnically and racially mixed community. Most of my friends and classmates growing up came from two-parent families – however strained or toxic the home, although there were plenty of kids that were also in foster homes or lived […]
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 […]
Heather Melberg, Renton, WA. I am born and raised in Seattle. Lived in Japan my junior year of high school. Fascinated with all races and cultures and our stories of now and the past.
Matthew Hartter, Seattle, WA. The feeling of uselessness leads to a desire for superiority.
Jason Nilsen, Olympia, WA.
Lorraine Longley, Ephrata, WA.
Jessica Seargeant, Bellevue, WA. I am half Japanese and half Caucasian. I’ve been told I’m not Asian enough by Asians and not “white” enough by Caucasians. I’ve been accused of choosing between my races when it suits me and advised to just say I’m “white.” Why can’t I just be both?
Anonymous Kennewick, WA Being Latina, with a white name, but in knowledge of my Latino surname. I try to be supportive of my friends with their biracial and transracial adoptions, but it is so hard. I have suffered and struggled so much with my identity. People have such good intentions, but the children suffer. Then, […]
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 […]
Bob Preston, Seattle, WA. 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.
Jaqui, Bremerton, WA. So often, when having a conversation about race white a white person they are unable to step outside themselves. They are either A) focused on how they personally never owned slaves/lynched someone etc or B) more worried about their own hurt feelings, because somehow pointing out that the system of oppression that […]
Greg S. Furman, Vancouver, WA. They will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Except white males. Your privilege predetermined your only value.
Leslie Troyer, Sammamish, WA. I was raised in a very WASP’ish environment. There was very little opportunity to interact with people of color or alternative life styles. When opportunity did present I focused on the situation, not what the person looked like. In High School, I worked for a woman while working on a charter […]
Chris Porter, Seattle, WA. Living in two worlds where aceptance is difficult gives way to the double closet for many gay black men.
Fiona Hinkulow, Renton, WA. and I’m not adopted!!!
Steve Morris, Seattle, WA. In the mid-1950s my father made a business trip from our home in Connecticut to Florida and back. He decided to make the trip by car, and to take my mother, my brother, and me along with him for a family travel experience. In the Deep South I witnessed undisguised segregation […]
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 […]
Anonymous, Spokane, WA. Playing on the radio when my 16-year-old friend in high school came back to school after her brother was murdered someone playing Russian Roulette while drunk in her home. Native American Family
Jim Minkler, Spokane, WA.
Aubri Norris, Spokane, WA.
Rylan Martin, Spokane, WA.
Anonymous, Spokane, WA. On location Spokane Falls Community College.
Esther Wakeman, Spokane, WA.
Tasha Swain, Spokane, WA.
Megan Nelson, Spokane, WA.
Polly McMahon, Spokane, WA. They are all stereotypes that limit us.
Dakota Dubois, Spokane, WA.
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 […]
Alethia Grace Cyrus, Tulalip, WA. My most striking experience of my own internal “like me is normal” sense came midway through reading The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer. The front cover shows the protagonists, two of whom are Black. The story is set in futuristic Zimbabwe, and I’m pretty sure I […]
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 […]
Ty Pethe, Seattle, WA. For better or worse, we are social creatures that innately create groups of people like us. Whether it’s race, nationalism, gender, sex, ethnicity, economic class, sexual preference, religion, culture, age, sub-culture, political identity, philosophical identity, geographic identity, etc., we all tend to find value in our own (shared) identity. It tells […]