English and Spanish, Fluent in None

Martin Orozco, Berwyn, IL Being bilingual is a blessing but a curse at times. You feel like you haven’t mastered either language but know both languages enough to speak it. When speaking English, sometimes you can’t find the words and have to fill it in with Spanish words and vice versa. I feel like it’s […]

Am I hispanic enough for you!

Gigi Fierro, Menlo Park, CA Being mixed doesn’t mean I’m not more of one culture than the other, nor does it mean that I’m not Hispanic or European enough to be accepted into either community.

My voice is always hidden away.

Brandy Roberts, Cottonport, LA. I am a loving mom of 2 beautiful kids. I am proud to be white, and I can not voice that to a single person, lest I be judged a racist. I have love pure and strong in my heart. I can not for the life of me understand why all […]

Israel’s Gay Latin Jew from USA.

Brian Isaac Rizowy, Israel. Born and raised in the USA to Jewish parents, one from Sarandi Grande, Uruguay, the other from Chicago, I am nearly 100% Polish, with a dash of Russian and Mongolian thrown in. My great grandmother hid her Asian features with swanky glasses from the 1940s and 50s, lest anyone suspect her […]

Women tell hidden mixed heritage story.

Jodi Su Tharan, Berkeley, CA. My family is Jewish, Apache Chiricahua, additional hidden tribes that still remained unnamed after years of research, Welsh, Scots, Irish, English and probably more. We joke that we are ‘the great unwashed’..not nice but in a way reclaiming the history of poor folks from all over becoming the beauty of […]

Perception equals reality – OPEN YOUR EYES!

Kathy Devine-Henry, Smyrna, DE. Prior to my twenty-seventh birthday, my eyes were not completely open. Up until this point I believed that Martin Luther King Jr. had solved all the race issues in our country and equality for all was the law of the land. Then I began teaching at a Juvenile Detention Center in […]

Kofi is a fake white man!

fakeKofi M. G. W. Opantiri, Los Angeles, CA. I am the eldest child of two boys and a girl born to an American-African father and a French-Canadian (white) mother. Born in New York City in 1949, the “one-drop” rule informed me early on that I was Negro and colored. Like millions of American-Africans, I became […]

They asked why I wasn’t working…

Martín De Greiff, Winchester, MA. Just because I am hispanic, does not mean I should be working on your lawn… I was walking one day early in the morning after a run and I noticed some hispanic guys working on a lawn on a house with an odd machine. So I stopped and asked what […]

Tattoos and piercings don’t equal trashy.

Megan, Keithville, LA. People always call me and my family trashy because we have tattoos and I have piercings as well. People should be able to express themselves in whatever way they want to, whether it be by tattoos and piercings or anything other. Be you 🙂

WHITE: Not Allowed 2 Be Proud

Jason McLevis, Duluth, MN. Growing up in a multi racial neighborhood I am well cultured. It was not until Junior High that I became aware I was supposed to be ashamed to be “White”. I am not allowed to be proud of any of my heritage. I must stand aside in shame while any other […]

Black Vietnamese. Speak spanish. Eat rice.

Hao Nguyen, Durham, NC. I wanted to say… Black Vietnamese. Speak english, spanish, vietnamese. Eat suong kho, pho, and corn dogs. Words that describe my mixed race/heritage children. Having to choose only 6 words, I had to put them in order of words that most describe them. Having to choose what comes first — black […]

“Flesh color crayon: now “peach.” Hope.

John Calvin Miller, Fairfield, IA. “Flesh” color crayon: institutionalized racism revealed These both relate to an incident at U-Tapao Thailand where I served as Race Relations OIC during the Vietnam war. I helped design an embroidered Brotherhood patch for sale to airmen. When it was first being made, I went to the tailor shop to […]

Checking OTHER is so liberating and fun

Maggie Martinez, WEST PALM BEACH, FL. When I get the chance to check “other ” on any form it makes me feel as if I am tearing down another little wall and letting the form creators know that I will not be put in a box. Race is fake and constructed to keep people of […]

“Immigrant” comes in all races/colors.

Jackie Spencer, New York, NY. The generalization we attach to people based on race is appalling. As an example when you speak of “immigrants” you do not think of this white blond person! I hope that raising this point makes people think before they generalize. We are all individuals with different beliefs and personalities and […]

PROUD FATHER OF MULTIRACIAL CHILDREN.

David Reising, Peoria, IL My first wife and I adopted 2 bi-racial boys in ’69, a girl in 71 and another girl in ’74, Had a biological boy in ’79 and biological girl in ’84. Lived a nice quiet life until the boys started school, and quickly learned that the primarily white school wasn’t ready […]

Someday I hope to love EVERYONE.

Nathan Robert Augustine, Walcott, IA I am a white man who has experienced plenty of privilege but also seen a small bit of the racial inequities that plague our society. I attended grade school and junior high in Eugene Oregon where the only non-white kid I knew was a black boy who had been adopted […]

Why not select all that apply?

Anna Murphy, MA My Mother is Mexican and Slovak. My father is Irish. Many applications and census options only give the option for “Hispanic,” or “White, not Hispanic.” I will never select either of these options. By my freckles, fair skin, and name alone, no one would ever think I had Hispanic blood, but my […]

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? […]

Do I look white to you?

Rose Jackson, United Kingdom My dad is white British and my mum is mixed white and black. So I have lighter skin and have a tanned complexion all year round. Because of this people at school have always assumed I am white and not mixed. They often don’t believe me until they see who my […]

The only person in the room

Mia, CA Growing up in a mainly white neighborhood and going to a prominently white school was really hard being black. I never said anything about it to my family because I have never been good at expressing my feelings, but it would sometimes really bother me. In class when we talked about things dealing […]

I never think of you as Asian.

Virginia, Cambridge, MA. I’m half Filipina. And I’ve always thought of myself as half. But one day at a faculty meeting a colleague told me I “passed” as white. It’s bothered me ever since.

I’m brown, glamorous, educated and wealthy.

SOFIA KHAN, Allen, TX People assume because I am a brown-skinned woman, I can’t afford luxury items or regular-priced items! I have heard so many putdowns and have been bossed around by strangers (even youngsters half my age) and passers by even when I am minding my own business. Usually I can extract that the […]

Not black enough, not white enough

Gemma Jackson, United Kingdom I am mixed and British. My mother is white British my father is black Jamaican. For as long as I can remember I have always felt the odd one out. Different. Because of the texture of my hair or the colour of my skin or even the way I talk is […]

I’m a Traitor to the Community

Samantha Foote, USA I live a conservative state and a conservative community. I teach at a local high school. Because I choose to discuss social issues in my classroom and welcome LGBTQIA+ and POC narratives, I’m seen as a traitor and a danger to the community. I’m tired of being attacked for showing empathy and […]

Traditional environment with non-traditional views.

Amanda Cook Lubbock, TX I’m an international business student at Texas Tech University, living in the second most conservative city in the United States. My views on non traditional gender roles and preferred marital status are ridiculed daily. Clearly I don’t have “southern” values. Texas Tech Student. 2013 OTC Symposium.

Who are you? Papers? Go home!

Nicholas Cappella, Denver, CO. If someone in the United States of America doesn’t have official documentation to prove they are a citizen, they aren’t considered part of our society by everyone. These people (typically immigrants) don’t always feel like they have an identity or are forced into not having one by the environment they’re in. […]

Pain anger confusion impatience exhaustion pride

Jua Fluellen, Washington, DC. I would like for more people to deconstruct the role race places in the way they are perceived and responded to within their immediate environment. I would like for more people to develop the skills of conversing about race across difference in a way that can deepen our understanding of what […]

I don’t… but I really do.

Brittany Price, USA. Being raised in such a racist environment makes it hard to be an adult in a totally different mind set. As far as I have come, I still judge people based on their race, including white people such as myself. It’s pathetic that still, in 2015, individuals are treated a certain way […]

Awareness: ONLY the FIRST BIG step

Yzolde Chepokas, Eden Prairie, MN. Going through this process of learning about race, racism, culture, multiculturalism, diversity, and so on, I have come to the conclusion that being aware of the world outside of my own world is only the beginning of this journey of supporting social justice. As this change occurs within myself it […]

Just what do you people eat?

Judith A Harper, Pikesville, MD. Years ago our family integrated a Predominantly Jewish neighborhood in New Haven, Connecticut. I am African-American. While walking our German shepherd, I was approached by an elderly woman who asked if she could ask a ‘personal’ question. It was the question submitted. For a moment, I was speechless, but then […]

Oh you are interested in that?

Sarah Bouthillier, Nashville, TN, . People often like to assume that because of my bubbly personality and blonde hair I do not care or find interest in scholarly topics like politics or social issues.

The plantation haunts my gay marriage.

Erik Shawn Frampton, Charlotte, NC. I am the descendant of a line of plantation owners in South Carolina. As a gay man, my upcoming marriage will finally occur on our 20th anniversary together. My larger southern family struggles to see my identity as sacred, just as they struggle still to see minority life as sacred. […]

With kids, people don’t separate us.

Steve Cox, Jackson, OH. Prior to having kids, people usually thought my wife (Chinese ethnic, Thai national) and I (white) were separate. If we went through a line at the store and we were both caring something, they would assume we were separate. Same thing would happen at airports and people would send us to […]

Riding on a train crying, mommy braiding.

Donna Monroe, Indianapolis, IN. It was the summer of 1957. I was riding on a train with my mother when I saw another little girl who was having her hair braided. She was crying. My heart went out to her because I cried when my mom tried to comb the tangles out of my hair.

Good hair is well maintained hair.

Jessica Elaine Burks, San Diego, CA. I am Black, Irish, and Native American. My paternal grandmother had straight long hair. My maternal grandmother had 4c textured hair. All my life I believed the myth that “good hair and long hair” do not belong to black women with 4C textured hair. My friends and even family […]

Uniquely Made, The American Girl Today

Christina Rains, Riverside, CA. French, Indian, Mexican, Dutch, but American? It is quite clear that you cannot judge individuals by their color. Race in reality just identifies where your family has lived and what part of the world you are from. Throughout my life, I have been called “white girl” but in reality, this categorization […]

Sorry, this AMERICAN sings it better.

Aaron Matthew Villalobos, Norman, OK. While I’m admittedly more apple pie than beans & rice, I have never felt my heritage as a Mexican-American detracted from my ability to honor my country with the gift god has given me–my voice. I love singing our national anthem. I feel like it’s the biggest contribution I can […]

Trying to Navigate, Willing to Fight

Donna Scott, Seattle, WA. I’m passionate about social justice, but I sense the amount of space that I take up, as a white person. I noticed race early on (I’m thinking I noticed it in Kindergarten, I was one of two white kids at my school of ~300) and I’ve been trying my best to […]

I stare longingly at others like me

Mary Ann Paris Philadelphia, PA Except for my brother, there were never any children who looked like me. I am black and white, more specifically Black, Jewish, German, Irish, Italian and polish and my brother and I have European features. We grew up in a segregated part of Philadelphia among black children. They never wanted […]

Only recently have my eyes opened

Fay Gilder, United Kingdom We never had conversations about race in my family. I grew up in a multiracial environment but each other’s experiences were not questioned or asked for. Then I met an activist, a race champion, who showed me my blindness. I read as much as I can. I use curiosity to ask […]

While there’s no finishline: Americans All

William Eckman, Atlanta, GA. We come from different families, different cultures, different schools but for all to win as a great nation we must be less tribal and remember “out of many one”! This is the glue that holds us together and allows all of us to work to make tomorrow better than today across […]

That girl spat in my eye.

Caprice Becker, Manhattan, KS. I was in High School in a very small town of about 1300 mostly descended from German immigrants in the 1870s, all white (except for the one Korean who had been adopted by a local family when she was a toddler) in the early 70’s. All the surrounding communities in Central […]

Identity isn’t housed in a box

Karen Than Myaing Silver Spring, MD In this photo: what do you get when you mix an Israeli, a Trinidadian, a Jamaican, a Caucasian, a Burmese and an African American? Our beautiful family. We are Jews, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist. We are female. We are male. We are children. We are human. We do not […]

“He’s not your son? Oh good!”

Amber Halverson, Eugene, OR. “Oh good! He doesn’t look like he has any white in him at all!” My first real encounter with my own race that I can remember was when I was in middle school. My white godparents had just adopted a black baby. They “kept his black name”, DiMario, as his middle […]

Rural Alaska, six blacks, my family.

Lydia Taylor Memphis, TN I was born and raised in Alaska. When I was 4, my father got out of the Air Force and accepted a job as a State Trooper in Dillingham, Alaska. He moved from Anchorage to Dillingham first, to start his job as we as find us a place to live. We […]

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 […]

Always presumed mixed. Shocked genetically white.

Jeni Bate, Salton City, CA I have frizzy hair. I grew up in an all** white town and the only other people with hair like mine were my mother and grandmother, both of whom are/were racist. My mother always denied we have any black in our family, but I thought she was lying because she […]

“How does one become a Patel?”

Allison Patel, North Chesterfield, VA My boss’s boss’s boss asked me this question at a big event where I was introduced in a place of honor. He thought it strange that a white woman would have an Indian last name.

Character is more important than race.

Richard Byrnes, Sellersville, PA Forget this race baiting. It is divisive. Live by MLK’s philosophy of judging people by their character, and not by the color of their skin. I am white, male, privileged, and absolutely not apologetic for any of it.

Why do people steal from us?

Peter Chin Washington, DC That was the question that my daughter asked me when our house was broken into a second time in three years. As a Korean-American living and working in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, I was tempted to answer her question by telling her about the long-standing hostilities between the two groups. But […]

Becoming American, it is not easy

Sandra Castañeda Anaheim, CA I have spent 42 of my 44 years in this country and it doesn’t make an ounce of difference, I’m still treated differently. My head says I’m American my heart says I’m Colombian, because that’s where I’m accepted.

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. […]

My mixed-race son looks All-American.

Emma Alvarez Gibson, San Pedro, CA. My husband’s heritage is Japanese/Portuguese/French. Mine is Mexican/Irish/Scottish. Neither of us fit in anywhere while growing up; both sides of each of our families considered us oddities at best. People never knew what to make of us. I was too white for the Mexican kids and too uptight about […]

Am I American o de alla

Juan Dominguez, Sacramento, CA. Mexican people say I am a shame to our people with gauges in my ears, the clothes I am wearing, the fact I do not have an accent when I speak. It’s like I was raised in America but by Mexicans that eat tortillas with every meal celebrate mothers day the […]

You’re foreign. Not American. No way.

Franke Santos, Los Angeles, CA. Despite being born in the U.S., speaking only English, and being given a white-sounding name, I am routinely asked “where are you from?” When I respond, “Los Angeles,” I get the follow-up “where are you really from?”

My tastebuds tell me I’m Japanese

Ka’Olu, Los Osos, CA I’m a “third culture kid” raised in Southern California by expat Japanese parents. We were repatriated when I was a teenager, then I moved back to California in my late 40’s. In Japan, I felt I was not really Japanese, but in the US, I don’t really feel American. Because I […]

I believe in the hyphen!

Roberto Jara, Alto, MI. It drives me nuts when people say, “Let’s all be color blind, forget our cultures of origin and just be ‘American,’ instead of ‘Latin-American,’ ‘Asian-American,’ etc. I can be American and preserve by culture of origin! Those of us who come from cultures other than the dominant Northern European Culture, have […]

Be Present, Be Here, Be ME

Mechelle E. Salley, Denver, CO It’s important, especially during these times, to be your full authentic self. Whether that is wearing your big natural afro, wearing clothes that represents you/your culture and /or speaking out against injustices and oppressions in the community and in the workspaces. Being your full true self, being my Black self […]

Smart black kid plays tennis alone.

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 […]

My hair defines me, woman Black!

Meteorologist Rhonda Lee, Shreveport, LA. I was let go from my job as a meteorologist at KTBS in Shreveport, LA for a Facebook post where I defended my hair, and later Black kids. I’m pregnant now and feel there is still so much I need to do to change the world before my son gets […]

Hi. You must be the nanny.

Mayra Cramer, Menlo Park, CA. I’m a brown typically Hispanic looking upper middle class woman living in an affluent suburb of San Francisco. I’ve allways had a hard time fitting in because I was raised in “white” neighborhoods and went to elite and desirable schools. My third child is fair and people in the street […]

Who Will Your Children Play With

Linda Hunt CT I am in a 40 year bi-racial marriage and very early on when my children were small, my grandmother made the comment above. I said they will play with whoever they wanted as long as they were decent.

My natural hair isn’t a statement.

Michelle Mabson, Ann Arbor, MI. Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I wear my hair the way it grows out of my head…no chemical enhancements. BUT for some reason…a reason I suppose I know all too well, the act of wearing my ‘natural’ hair is seen as larger than life. Maybe it’s the fact that […]

Why isn’t my hair work appropriate

Zuleka Grant, Summerville, SC If you ever look on google for work-appropriate or professional hair it is full of straight hair and Caucasian styles, but when you look up what is not, it’s natural black hair: afros, curls, and kinks!

Searching for a way to feel

Hadsim, Chicago, IL. Grew up in Detroit. 1970s. Did time in the Nation of Islam for 2 years. Father was discriminated against at work (thus the NOI). My mother just didn’t like white people. I’m was raised to hate them. And 40-plus years on, my parents’ anger left a residue that difficult to watch off. […]

Strength in pedigree proud of race

Tory Robinson, Omaha, NE. I refuse to be fearful growing up in Texas, I learned fear is an obstacle. I now live in Nebraska a state that hides its racism but I won’t be broken because of the strength in my pedigree.

I survived the white flight.

Misty Johnson, Lilburn, GA. I moved to Georgia in 1988 when I was 8 years old. My father left his job on the oil rigs to start his own landscaping company in Lithonia, Georgia. I was a minority at my elementary school back in Texas, which was predominately Hispanic. The move to Atlanta was different […]

The only white person here? (How does it feel)

Rebecca Zavala, Los Angeles, CA. Well, to start I’m not even white… I get this ALL THE TIME. People assume I’m white or Asian, or a mix of the both. It is not insulting to me now, but growing up it was a little irritating having to continually explain that I am Mexican American. At […]

You’re lucky; you have good hair

Aminah Columbia, SC Being a light-skinned African-American has afforded me the ability to kind of live on multiple sides of the race coin in terms of my superficial assets. Many people assume that I’m mixed; I’m not. Many people assume that I lucky because, since I’m fully black, I have good hair. Man, if one […]

Bad hair good. Hair, me roar!

Susan Williams Frappier, Canada. It`s just a hair thing. I spent my childhood wanting to have bouncy, floaty, flippable hair. It`s only now at 37…38 tomorrow, that I have embraced and called beautiful and amazing MY hair. I no longer want to be like everyone else. I still think the others are beautiful, it`s just […]

Still want to touch your hair

Brenda Becker, Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in a white Queens neighborhood where neighbors worried that “they” would “get in,” and the cool girls had straight sheets of hair. I was delighted to meet and make black friends at my all-girls Catholic high school. It was the 70s, and even as I struggled with my […]

Why we hafta be “Afro” Anything?

Walter T. Pearson, Jacksonville, FL. I’m a black man, of many various ethnicities, Fifth American generation, from a family of military veterans,including my children who are currently serving in the Afghanistan region wars. I have no relatives from Africa (that I know of),so I wonder WHY must anyone that is not white, have to be […]

Skin says black, hair says mixed.

Carolyn Hipkins, Largo, MD. All my life I’ve been told that I have “good hair”. Its very soft and with a loose curl pattern. If I straighten it or put a relaxer in it it looks like Caucasian hair. But let the humidity go up. My hair reverts to its natural curly state. I spent […]

Mommy, I want to be Vanilla.

Jasmin Marie Harpe, Burlington, NJ. It has been hard to fit in to both societies growing up as a biracial child, especially being in academia where there are few people who look like me. I had a lot of race issues growing up with my father who has very fair skin, and my mother who […]

Privilege cripples; step out, run naked.

Tannya Forcone, Akron, OH. My truck isn’t allowed to go faster on the freeway because it’s yellow. Why should my skin color allow me any other benefit? Privilege is embarrassing. Inequality causes our society to stagger in a circle, never moving forward toward justice.

All white childhood, now I’m learning.

Laura Haney, Fordland, MO Growing up in rural MO there were no black people. I never heard a racist remark growing up, I never heard anything on the subject, period, not at home and certainly not at school. When I was a kid, (I’m 53 now) there was a black family that lived in town, […]

“Change your English level to native”

Silvia Zorrilla, Seattle, WA After applying to jobs for over a year and not getting a single call back for interviews, a local independent recruiter told me to change my English level in my resume to native. I had listed it as advanced since English is not my first language. I was very skeptical. Surely […]

The Truth Spoken Behind Closed Doors

Anonymous, Miami, FL. Though I was born and Raised in a suburb a few miles south of Miami, Florida. My mom and dad are from Ethiopia and Sudan respectively. As a child, I’d say about 99% of the community were “white”. During middle and high school it shifted to about 49% “white”, 49% Hispanic and […]

Your son looks nothing like you!

Dr. J., Irving, TX. It’s true, everyone tries to find similarities between babies and their parents. But the search ends when people see my son’s curly golden hair, blue eyes, and light complexion. Someone once asked me, “are you sure you want to name him Diego?” (when he was 9 months old). I’ll admit it, […]

You can not cross Father Lawler’s street

Joseph L Collins Jr Omaha, NE Ashland Avenue in Chicago was the street you could cross at 69th street or you would get beat up by White men/boys in the early 60’s. A white priest was a defender of the neighborhood that let that hate happen. God is about Love and that religious leader did […]

I am me, do not panic.

James Eliot Griffith Stillwater, OK It’s irritating how in this day and age if I just tell someone I’m Mexican (which is the side of my family I identify with a bit more since I grew up on the border in South Texas) everyone is perfectly fine and its all cool. But if I happen […]

I’m not going to pick one.

Sierra Moore, Springfield, IL. The picture is one of me as a baby. Since my early childhood until now I’ve been encouraged by people close to me as well as acquaintances to identify myself as one race. I’ve also heard people guess what my ethnic background is (which no one has fully guessed correctly). They […]

Are you Chinese or something?

Brigitte Dees, Stillwater, OK. Growing up half Japanese, Native American, and white in Oklahoma was a challenge. I don’t look like anyone else and people have reminded me of that my whole life. As an Asian girl I was expected to be quiet, studious, and polite. The reality is I have ADHD and dyslexia, which […]

Brown dad. I never felt white.

Terri Kimmel, Corpus Christi, TX My dad had jet black hair and tawny olive skin. His mother was Sicilian and his father had an English surname, but family lore says there is Native American ancestry. My mother is fair-haired with light skin. My parents divorce when I was in elementary school and dad maintained custody […]

Delicious ambiguity: the permanent inbetweener.

MaiLynn Stormon-Trinh New Zealand I am the only child of an American woman of Norwegian descent born in Fargo, North Dakota and a Vietnamese man who moved to the US in the mid-seventies and cut all his Vietnamese familial ties. I look more Asian than white, but culturally, I was raised in a white world, […]

He put pickles in my pancakes.

Jeannette Chavez Albuquerque, NM It was the early 70′s in the Texas panhandle. On a road trip we stopped at a diner to eat. He didn’t want us in there. He ruined our food. He put pickles in my pancakes. His action enraged me. Now it scares me.

Too Light, Too Dark…Who Cares

Wilhelmina Street, Baltimore, MD. Actually, more people of our very own race seem to struggle with the idea of an extremely light person marrying someone who is extremely dark. Even after 30 years of us being married I still catch racist remarks and side glances from those on our side of the tracks. In my […]

Ignorance of history, convenient or willful?

Emily Green-Cain, Nashville, TN. I grew up in the city where James Lawson led teach-ins for non-violence that led to sit-ins throughout the Southeast. No one in my schooling, neither my parents, my church or the local education system taught me anything about these events. I did not know the specifics of what happened here […]

It’s time to expect the unexpected.

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 […]

Wash your hands. Brown is dirty.

Michelle C-H Dorchester , MA When I was a little kid, in the 70’s, My family was the only black folks most of the people around us had ever seen. Everyday in my elementary school I got some ignorant comment. “Are you brown cuz you eat brown bread?” and the like. The worst was from […]

Have a protective wall, can’t pass.

Amanda USA I have been bullied throughout my years. Being bullied caused a wall to be built around my heart and I couldn’t feel or let any emotions out. I let darkness take over my life, but now that I’ve grown up and found light, I feel relieved. I am who I am, I will […]

I was fragile now I’m stronger!

Abigail, Forest Lake, MN I grew up in the rural Midwest. Being a Korean adoptee in a Norwegian and Swedish area, I really stood out. I have felt the ugly racist, hateful remarks my entire life. I grew so I wouldn’t be consumed. Flower you say? I’m a mountain!

Sick of being “The White Girl”

Ellie Warring, New York, NY. I am a 14 year old white female and every single day I am judged for my skin color. Everyone assumes that because I am white I am a Trump supporter, rich, happy all the time, racist, and snobby. They tell me that I have no culture. And I’m tired […]

Sheltered friends. Life is not effortless.

Mary Beth Bergeron Rapid River, MI I am white. I have lived in Tidewater, VA and a highly diverse college town in southwest Ohio. My husband and I have just moved home to the UP of Michigan after 32 years away, homogenous and familiar. I am reminded of how effortless it is–regardless of your race […]

Jewish daycare, Catholic college, Hindu wedding

Charles Hirsch Mount Washington, MA I had the wonderful opportunity to grow up in a multicultural community. I attended daycare sponsored by the Jewish Community Center, was a confirmed member of the Congregational church (United Church of Christ), I chose to enroll at Catholic Saint Michael’s college where I learned about Catholicism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. […]

Grateful, granny called me black boy

Kevin Browne ,‏ Submitted via Twitter: @drbrowne #TheRaceCardProject  “Black Boy” for Michele by:  Kevin A. Browne I was grateful; granny was prophetic, almost making me out of clay, caressing my tar with old love. black before it was a color. we come from an oily family, our skins sticky to the touch. we, who gushed […]

I wish I could do more.

Kit Tompkins, Boardman, OH I was born with albinism. I know a little bit of what it’s like to be left out, teased for the way I look, for strangers to comment on my hair. But I also grew up in the south. There were maybe three black kids in my whole high school of […]

I ‘speak well’ ’cause I’m adopted

Grace Jiahui Robinson, Kentwood, MI Of all the six-word phrases I could’ve chosen (‘I am NOT your sexual fantasy,’ or ‘I’ve felt safe here til 2020’), I feel like the story behind this phrase really encapsulates my experience as a Chinese-American adoptee. I went to a private Christian school where the only other kids that […]

Who’s the white guy with Cameron

David Mercando, Norcross, GA This October my wife and I celebrate our 31st anniversary. We are a mixed race couple. I am white and my wife is Filipino. We noticed right away that we were not treated as equal to other young couples in Princeton, NJ in the 1990’s. It slowly changed but is still […]

Never complete, white skin, African soul

H. Allan White, Huntersville, NC My earliest and formative years were spent in an era of segregation and the early trials of desegregation. Despite an upbringing in the U.S. southend, I developed a keen interest in different cultures, different people…anything different. It was that interest that help instill in me wanderlust…a desire to go see […]

I have an Indian accent, so?

Batul Roowala, United Kingdom Born and brought up in Mumbai.. I migrated to the U.K., working as a pharmacist, 18yrs ago. Still at times I get mocked at for my Indian accent and usually it’s by the people of my ‘own’ race!

Acknowledge the human race’s African origin

Ted Fink, Rhinebeck, NY As a kid growing up in the 1950’s, my Grandpa wouldn’t let me play with the black kid who lived next door because he was…black. But in school, I was taught to love my neighbors as myself and the lessons helped me to see his command as wrong at a very […]

Big-eyed Asian? Yup, that’s possible.

Sonyca Bermundo, Chicago, IL. I am an Asian born with really big eyes. It always frustrate me when people say, “All Asians have small eyes,” “You have big eyes for an Asian!” or “ Why are your eyes so big?” To be honest, I don’t understand why it’s a big shock to most people that […]

I am white but not Trumpy

Ronnie Savoie, Gonzales, LA I’m Cajun (Acadian diaspora settling in Louisiana) and have a tiny percentage of Micmac First Nations people from the 1600s. My maternal grandfather was pretty racist, but is my favorite person of all time, and who imparted to me my love of history, although he only had a fourth grade education. […]

Not all white conservatives are racists

Emily, Houston, TX. Many people complain about discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudices relating to race; and I am under no illusion that what they experience is real and happens every day. After experiencing such treatment, I would hope that those people would be more sensitive to the subject and try not to stereotype people. Unfortunately, I […]

Scottish West India. Kilts and coconuts.

Francine Piggott Butler Delaware, OH Piggot Road is in the Scottish District in Barbados. The oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere is also found in Barbados. My mother recently told me, “Oh, my grandfather wore a yamulke (kippah).” There’s a lot about my family history I don’t know. I’ve always identified as an African-American, but […]

You’re the blue-eyed guest of honor

Haley Cantin, Sanger, CA. I am white american female and I always get “because of your eyes”. When someone compliments me and says I’m pretty I often ask why.. and most responses I get are “because of your eyes”. But everyone has eyes? Am I not pretty becuase of anything else? Do my eyes define […]

Noir, Schwartze, Negredo – I Am Black

Courtney Jones, Denver, CO. People hide behind the stereotypes, racism, politics, and labels to avoid CONNECTING with others. Are we afraid people have more in common with us than we allow our differences to believe? My pride in my race contributes to my Life & community. It takes nothing from you & we all gain […]

East Europe substitutes Roma for Blacks

Harold Svignor, New York, NY. Humans inherently think in “Me up – You down” terms. We are innately tribal, and somewhat hostile to “the other”. That proclivity has created not only tribal strife, but war, sport, and many other human traits. It is universal and cannot be overcome….except by religious self denial. Non-caucasians have yet […]

Brother played Cowboy, never the Indian.

Bonni Hamilton, Eliot, ME. I grew up with two Native American siblings who my parents adopted when we were very small. When he was young, my Lakota brother always wanted to be the cowboy in Cowboys and Indians. He knew from personal experience the Indians always lost. The memory still breaks my heart.

E Pluribus Unum is no longer

David Stoddard, USA Our current obsession with racial identity and group identity is not making our society better. Our commonality as Americian citizens has been lost by many in the rush to be defined by our race or group. Or as in the case of some shame for their racial heritage. It is sad that […]

Trying to make amends but failing.

Kate Beem, Independence, MO I am white and middle class. I grew up in a town in SE Missouri whose population was about evenly split between Black and whites families. But the wealth was overwhelmingly held by white farmers who still maintained sharecropping relationships. Even as a child, I recognized the inequality. I have been […]

It was just not talked about.

Debra Miller, Rochester, MN Our mother hid our Native American ancestry until I was a late teen. I was raised in an area that continually brow beat and bashed Native Americans and I was afraid to tell anyone about my bloodlines back in the 70s. As I aged I realized it was OK to be […]

You seem to be educated enough

Rubbyat Nawaz, Canada On my way back home, in the subway, I used to read books to take advantage of the forty minutes ride. My fellow rider meant well, but he did not found any other opening line to strike a conversation. That opening line stayed with me forever. Sometimes I question myself, will my […]

There is but ONE Race, HUMAN!

Jim Roaix, Lake Worth Beach, FL I was born in northern Maine, so far out in the woods that it took two days for tomorrow to get there, and we scheduled Summer for July 7th from 2 to 4 in the afternoon. I was exposed to all races at a very young age and always […]

Half brown. Half white. From Vancouver.

Yasmin Pallan, Canada As a half Indian, half white person growing up in Vancouver and later Toronto, I was and still am tired of always being asked the question “where are you from? I mean, where are you REALLY from?” People like absolutes and obvious answers and mixed race is never that. To add to […]

Family love comes from open hearts.

June Wells, Harrisonburg, VA My new family saved my life. I was finally safe and just one of “the kids” with my foster parents, Sam and Lucille Ewell. This was in Virginia when integration was still a fairly new thing. My dad, a teacher, lost his job because of Prince Edward County, VA. Still, he […]

“My Blood is Red, What’s Yours”

Ralanda King, Philadelphia, PA. Born and raised in the city of brotherly love, but I’m full of sisterly affection, I not black but brown and beautiful. the heart can see what our eyes can’t or refuse too. but, don’t charge it to my skin, but to my heart.

I wish I were more Hispanic.

Raysa Rivera, Worcester, MA. I have struggled with my inability to fit in within the Hispanic culture. I cannot speak the language without having trouble with grammar and sounding like a “white girl.” I’ve gotten mocked because of it all the time. My family has also decided to leave some of the cultural traditions back […]

Let me walk in your shoes

Renee Poselski, Riverside, CA. So Cal – Atlanta – Hawaii – Russia: No matter where I have lived, my heart yearns to connect and understand. Writing this, I am hesitating because I don’t want you to think that I can’t understand because I am white. My whiteness is a wall between you and me. I […]

I am richer, because of learning.

Robin Sluzas, Chicago, IL I am a senior citizen. As a new college junior, I took a History of Radicalism class at the University of Illinois at Chicago not having any idea what to expect. From the moment I read Felix’s pre-Revolutionary War, Petition for Freedom, submitted to the Massachusetts General Court on January 6, […]

Do not kiss the taxi driver!

Anne Sanasy, Bradford England In 2012 I suffered a brain hemorrhage, I am white British, my husband is from Mauritius, we married in 1977, he took me to a stroke club, and as he left – I gave him a kiss, the lady running the group said Anne don’t kiss the taxi driver! I was […]

White mother glad sons biracial 2021

Monae Dasher, El Paso, TX I was the white girl that embraced integration in school, first to befriend the one or two Black children my age in elementary. In middle school, large integration happened and physical fights broke out and my heart ached to see my friends on both sides beating each other up. I […]

Colored people? What? Red? Green? Blue?

George Sakalian, Sweden These were my thoughts when as a small boy in the 1930’s i first heard of “colored people” with no explanation. I lived in an ethnically mixed neighbourhood in the U.S. and played with other small boys…black or white. I never thought of the black boys as being different until some time […]

I can’t help being born white

Christina Sinclair, Warren, RI I try my best to stay out of the line of fire when it comes to race. As far as I’m concerned as long as my own thoughts and opinions are private and locked away if they aren’t socially acceptable and I’m not hurting anyone then why can’t I think the […]

Great-grandparents were white illegal immigrants.

Robin Shudak, Wilkes-Barre, PA Both sides of my family are Polish, who escaped from Poland the rise of fascism. Their destination: the US. My maternal grandfather’s family, who were Jewish, were denied entry. My paternal grandfather’s family, who were fleeing because they were caught as part of the resistance and his brother was already “sent […]

Who we were vs now

Ricky, Salt-Lake City, UT I am proud to be black yet I am embarrassed by other black sometimes. I have been fired many times just for standing out as a black man with intelligence that seemingly intimidates other races who assume that I am ignorant and should be inferior to them. It annoys me that […]

(We) had trouble with another white teacher.

Diana Imhoff, Brookings, OR p>I was raised in a white community, so I had never really seen racism. I taught school in a minority elementary school. Then a parent of one of my students who constantly disrupted class unleashed this on me. I didn’t care what color her daughter was, but it was clear that […]

Sipping lattes, we call it racism.

Michael, Livonia, MI It strikes me over and over again that we confuse the problems of being poor with racism. Dr. Martin Luther King understood the problem isn’t race: it’s economic. The reason we see a deepening divide, and a growing sense of racial tension, is because more and more middle-class white folks — the […]

“Is your Father A U.S. Citizen?”

Sebastian Pacheco Lancaster, PA I will never forget the time when I was trying to save my father’s life. It was January 2006 and I called my father (he was 77) who lived in Puerto Rico. He retired as a Union Painter for a hospital in Bronx N.Y. for 30 years. He was not in […]

Not wanting to deny my roots

Laura, Red bank, NJ. Let me just start by saying that racial forms are the death of me. I keep clicking back and forth between non Hispanic white and Latin American. Here’s the thing. My mom and her family are from Puerto Rico. The language and culture are very important to her but here is […]

I’m not proud of being a WASP.

Nancy MacLeod, Philo, CA. I have ancestors that came to America in 1630- among the 1st to take advantage of the indigenous people. What is to be proud of, is how your family lived, how you live. I can be proud of my family because they were hard working and honest- but were they compassionate […]

Speak Spanish Poorly? Then Don’t Speak.

Robb Pérez, San Clemente, CA. My mother didn’t speak Spanish to us when we were growing up in the Bronx, but I took enough Spanish in school to develop a decent accent. By now, however, I have what could be considered a six-year-old child’s vocabulary. Hence, it’s easier to tell people that I don’t speak […]

The confederacy did not raise me.

Emily, Philadelphia, PA. I am a white American. My family is here because the Turkish government was committing genocide against Anatolian Greeks in the early 1920s. My grandmother lost her family and came to NY, and when Smyrna was burned she had no home to go back to. The confederacy does not serve my family. […]