Racial borders only hold us back

Ricky Verdugo, Irvine, CA For years, I have heard stories of racial injustice and discrimination and have even seen it happen right in front of me. For centuries, humans have insisted on dividing up populations by race, thinking that race decided one’s intelligence or even their level of superiority over others. It is time that […]

Exotic has never been my culture.

Ruby Russoniello-Damaskos, Ruston, WA My whole life I’ve been described as ‘exotic’. I am Aaniiih, Nakoda, and Northern Italian. I’ve always thought of it as an insult, and to this day, I think it means I look very strange.

Benefit and burden with being biracial

Ryann Williams, Trinity University In a lot of ways, having two parents of different racial/ethnic backgrounds allows a unique insight into both cultures. It can be extremely enlightening to see how both sides can be so different and yet so similar at the exact same time. However, there is always this feeling as if I […]

She is so cute!! Your daughter?

Tina C. Ozturk, Washington, DC. You can’t imagine how many times people of all races exclaim my daughters cuteness while questioning my motherhood. I try not to take it personally, but I do find it rude and disrespectful to risk hurting a parent’s feelings just because you are curious. What’s the point?

Mother gave me a different world.

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 […]

Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá

Irvania López Toledo, Eugene, OR Growing up as a first-generation American in a white city was difficult for me, growing up. As early as four years old, I began feeling the pressure to assimilate. I refused to speak Spanish, I idolized straight blonde hair and blue eyes, and I desperately wanted to change my name. […]

Chinese adoptee with two white moms

Ting Goodfriend, Austin, TX Willamette University Growing up in a white household and being told to be proud of my identity from a white narrative has made the journey of my personal identification extremely hard. I’m too white to feel comfortable with my Chinese identity, but too Chinese to feel at home in white society.

I’m tired of the blame game

Darren Joyce, United Kingdom Racism exists. Privilege exists. there are people out to get you. I’m not racist. I’m not privileged. I’m not your enemy. Just because a white [insert position of authority here] is a shameful human being that will target you more than me. Just because this generates a justifiable fear and different […]

The real fear of a black parent

Belinda Gilmore, Maceo, KY It was early 2016, and I was on the phone talking to a friend I had not seen in a while. We were discussing life since she had to leave work due to a health issue. We both have a son the same age that would graduate high school in August. […]

Well… All Asians look the same.

Mya Onishi, Laguna Hills, CA As a young Japanese American girl in elementary I did not like these 6 words. It usually followed a comment about me “speaking Chinese” or “visiting family in Korea.” I am not asking for everyone to be able to distinguish different Asian physical traits, but just to be more conscious […]

Red hair? You must be Irish.

Vered W, CT I have bright red hair, pale skin, and blue eyes. Everybody thinks that I am Irish. I am Ashkenazi Jewish from Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Romania, and other parts of Eastern Europe. I am not one drop Irish, despite how much I have been asked. Whenever people see me they say something about […]

My abuse was invisible because I’m white

Jack, Saint Paul, MN. My mom is an expert in manipulation and fake kindness, always sounding kind to hurt and control and shame. Because of rampant child discrimination across cultures, it was not hard for my mother to convince others that she was right, or to uphold the illusion of a happy “white suburban family”. […]

It’s Difficult For People Like You

Rosa Oropeza, Mission Viejo, CA As a Mexcian-America Woman who has aspirations of becoming a lawyer, I have been met with many people trying to force me into their stereotypes. However, I am dedicated to breaking these preconceived notions down for myself and others.

Let’s define worth from within instead

Naomi Crandall, USA I’ve grown up my whole life in an area most people know to be a “bubble”. Although I occasionally come in contact with people from diverse backgrounds, my world is filled with primarily white, middle-class families. Every day I am learning that my appearance and background do not define me and am […]

Transracial adoptee in a white home

Riley, Salem, OR Being Chinese and the only POC in an entirely white family has been incredibly harmful to my self-worth and cultural and ethnic identity. In no way am I saying I am not grateful for what opportunities I have been given. However, in their efforts to make sure I never felt “different,” my […]

Girl, you are not black enough.

Flora Griffith, Omaha, NE. I was eight years old when I first began to feel like an outsider. My school was very segregated, white people hung out with white people and black people hung out with black people, ect. I felt alone, I was never truly accepted into the black, white, or latino communities. The […]

People of color–do I count?

Sarina Bhandari, Los Altos Hills, CA. My parents grew up in India and had an arranged marriage in 70’s. Shorty after, they moved to the United States. In 1992, they had me, a first-generation Indian-American. I grew up with a lot of privilege, and I’ve never felt silenced by dominant society. In fact, I’ve never […]

But WHERE is your family from

Engel, Italy I’ve always been asked by curious neighbors or just my peers about my ethnicity and have had friends comment on my “year-long” tan. I use to be a waitress and during the summer as my skin darkened I had received many comments from my tables thinking I’m Spanish. I’ve received racist remarks from […]

What if this climber were Trayvon

James Edward Mills, Madison, MI. At the young age of 14 Kai Lightner is doing amazing things in the world of sport climbing. In the spring 2013 he ascended exceedingly difficult routes that included Southern Smoke (5.14c) and Transworld Depravity (5.14a) in the Red River Gorge of Kentucky. On the same two-week road trip he […]

I don’t know my Native language.

Jessica Elaine Matz, LaVergne, TN. I look white and I was raised white, but when we were kids, we went to the occasional pow wow and were told “this is part of your heritage.” My uncle recently joined one of the Cherokee tribes, but I haven’t yet. I feel weird about it because there’s so […]

This doesn’t make you a better person.

Amy Bramlett, Tuscaloosa, AL. My name is Amy. My fiance Keith and I have the most perfect baby girl together. She’s 8-months old and she is a mixture of her African American daddy and Caucasian mommy. Her name is Layla. When I first told my family that I was dating a black man (long before […]

Judged for wanting to be different

Jared Baumer, Laguna Hills, CA. It can be hard to stand out and pursue a path of something different then what society and the world want you to do. People categorize you as weird or a loser if you aren’t doing what everyone else is doing. If anyone struggled with this all I can say […]

People of color under white privilege

Pat Dailey Dolin, Colorado Springs, CO Coming from southern roots I grew up hearing the ugliness of racism, the celebration of the honorable fight against northern aggression and the excuses. I work to be aware of white privilege in everyday living.

I Shouldn’t Get Benefits For Whiteness

Emily Bertot, Clarksville, MD. I grew up in Florida in an extremely non-diverse, middle-class area. Moving up North was a big culture shock, but it forced me to realize how many different types of people there are. I was also made aware of my privilege.

My name’s Jefferson but I’m Latino

Jefferson Valle, Uniondale, NY Being fully Salvadorian and having a white skin complexion, and having a nontraditional Hispanic name has not always been easy. Still, I’ve learned to love my heritage over the years and accept that I don’t look like your normal Latino.

A proud American, unwanted in America…

Joseph A Flores, Roswell, NM The scion of pre-Chicano era parents who believed assimilation into the American culture was the key to success. My English only, college graduate led American lifestyle has been rejected by both the White ‘race’ I was raised to engage with AND the Hispanic ethnic group I ‘should’ belong to… in […]

I’m not your typical Chinese adoptee

Claire, Salem, OR Ever since I was a child I’ve always felt conflicted. As a Chinese adoptee with a white father and a Cuban mother, I’ve never felt myself to be much of anything. It’s like I’ve existed in this weird blob in between races and neither my Asian side nor my culturally white side […]

Being white doesn’t make me rich

Toby Britton, Siloam Springs, AR I grew up in Uganda, East Africa where I stood out like a sore thumb since I was white. The common misconception among Ugandans, and many East Africans, is that if you are white, you are rich. When we would go to the market to buy our food, or try […]

Not Your Model Minority

Alexandria Le, Hillsboro, OR Sitting at home alone I watch as hate crimes against the Asian community spread like wildfire. It was about 4:00 PM on March 19 2021 when I received a text from a friend about the shooting in Atlanta. I read the text but had a hard time processing it…. I just […]

Diversity is enriching but also frightening.

Elizabeth A. Leeper, Dubuque, IA. I am a 62 year old, single, white female. I was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Asia, and now live in Iowa. Education level: Ph.D. I appreciate racial and ethnic diversity and experiencing different cultures, but I also understand the fear of the “other.”

We matter because of our SOULS

Briah Stokes, Baltimore, MD. My race nor sexuality should be an excuse to judge me. At the end of the day, our souls are our substance, our physical beings are just vessels that give our souls a home.

I didn’t know you were black

Jerrell Bratcher, Baltimore, MD Why does the color of my skin offend you? I’m tired of “you are smart.” I’m tired of “you don’t sound black.” What makes it so difficult for you to see my ideas as my own? Oh, it’s because I’m black. Why must everything that I say, think, or do as […]

I am mom, not the babysitter

Mikaela Rejbrand, San Francisco, CA. Being a person of mixed race, my biological mom is white and my biological father is black, and having married an Irish man, my children are much lighter skinned than I am and therefore am often mistaken for “the babysitter”. The constant theme since my children have been born is […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

I’m sorry I’m staring at you.

Jessica Flake, Amelia, OH I work as a demo’s assistant at an international grocery store which will not be named for advertising purposes. Being in Demo’s means I make samples for people to try of various products that we want to sell. I have been called various ‘slurs’ by some people of color in the […]

We plan life so we’re safe.

Jamie Haines, Franklin, VA. As an inter-racial lesbian couple in Virginia, we have to plan carefully. Will that small diner be safe? Can we vacation safely in that city, country? Can we hold hands? Will we have to take Mr. Confederate Flag stalker back to court? Every single time one of us walks out the […]

I’m Black before I’m anything else.

Jan Miles, New Orleans, LA. I’m not a woman–I’m a BLACK woman. I’m not a writer–I’m a BLACK writer. In law school, I was a BLACK law student. If I kill my brother, it’s BLACK-on-black crime. Just as white privilege is societally applied (rather than being internally rooted), blackness is also applied by society. I […]

Vietnamese, torn between remembering or not.

Thien Kim Ho, Somerville, MA. I grew up in what seemed like a movie representation of my own race. My mother was a nail technician. I don’t know if she still is. My father probably still is an engineer. I don’t know whether I had “tiger parents” or if they were just plain mean. I […]

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 […]

Privileged White Girl, Am I Really?

Tina Myrum, Alexandria, MN. Growing up in a small town, there was not a lot of racially diversity. However, I listened to the news, read papers, and learned as much as I could about other races. I learned that we were not that different. Most people looking at me would assume that I have had […]

Successful, Black, Gay, a family’s shame…

Karim Ali, Columbus, OH. I suppose I have been pondering my Race Card (TM) entry for a few months. When I read the comments of Michael Sam’s father (Michael Sam Sr.) about his disappointment in his son for being gay, I was nearly in tears, as it reminded me of my own coming out with […]

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.

Rice is my LIFE. Deal with it.

Emily, Perris, CA. I have NEVER been so proud to be a Filipino-American. My culture is my everything and I would not trade it for the world. Being the handful of Asians at my school makes me even more unique. I want to promote diversity, I want people to be okay with the color of […]

I am the lone black parent….

Rackley Love, Mars, PA. The alienation that I have experienced as a parent is an enigma. Like them, I am a stay at home mom. Like them, my husband has a white collar job. Like them we chose this community because of its highly rated schools and safe streets. And like them, my passion and […]

My children can be badly behaved

Erin Seaton, West Newbury, MA. I have two great kids. They are smart and kind and thoughtful and sometimes they also fall apart. We are white, and one thing I am constantly conscious of is the fact that when my children do fall apart, in a doctor’s office or library or restaurant, no one is […]

WHY DON’T YOU WEAR MY SHOES.

YOU RECENTLY RAN A STORY ABOUT A FELLOW WHO LIVES IN PACIFIC GROVE CALIFORNIA….INTERESTING. FROM 1987 TO 1995 I TOO LIVED IN “P.G.” AS IT’S CALLED BY LOCALS. I WORKED FOR THE COUNTY OF MONTEREY AS A ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST (AKA: “HEALTH INSPECTOR”) AFTER SERVING IN THE ARMY AT THE FORMER FT. ORD IN MONTEREY…..HERE […]

Race is a confusing subject man

Anonymous, Orlando, FL p>Disclaimer the person in the photo is not I but someone who looks like me. My ancestry is Berber Kabyle (North African), Turk (Eurasian aka European and west Asian) and French( Western European). I look mediterranean light olive skin, brown wavy hair, big brown almond eyes, thick eyebrows, long lashes, long head, […]

Growing up in America as “other.”

Marie K. Shanahan, Submitted via Twitter: ‏@mariekshan. When you’re not quite minority enough. In 1997 at age 25, I came to terms with my place and my (mixed) race in America. I wrote a personal essay about it for The Hartford Courant: “Mixed Races, Mixed Messages: What Happens When You’re Asked To Choose Between Two […]

Lifetime in slipstream of white flight

Richard Bacon Chicago, IL Mid 1970s living in perfectly nice middle class neighborhood in NE Dallas Texas. The desecration, by busing, of the neighborhood school (which was mediocre anyway) caused about half the families with school age children to move out in one summer. My best friend moved. Those of us who stayed were dispersed […]

Black lesbian CPA, it’s really me.

Andrea Hyson, San Francisco, CA. About two months ago, I finally met a new employee in another department. This woman and I had numerous phone conversations but hadn’t yet met. I decided to stop by her office to introduce myself. Another employee was at her door as I approached. As I turned into her office, […]

Biracial woman: strength, confidence, confusion, pain.

Melissa Flowers, Trinity University My mother is caucasian and my father is black. I have immense privilege in my life, and I feel that being a biracial woman gives me a sense of pride which leads to strength and confidence. But this comes at a cost. I am often referred to as “acting white” by […]

Being white makes race discussions difficult

Allen Hester Cheyenne, WY I have been involved in a speech in debate program for 5 years now (4 years in high school and 1 in college), so I have been surrounded by intelligent kids questioning, arguing, and persuading others to see things in a different light. This is also where I saw the most […]

Darnella “with an A” thank you.

Darnella Rozzelle. USA I was named after my father, who’s name is Darnell. I did not know this until kindergarten in Frankfurt, Germany. Because I was named after my father, my family called me “Gwinn” (my middle name) up to that point. The first day of kindergarten, all of the children stood up against a […]

Hated wearing green on St.PatrickDay mom.

Daniel Luis Soto New York, NY I consider myself Puerto Rican. Grandparents from PR My great grandfather on mom’s side is from Ireland. Going further back on both sides my heritage spans the globe from Spain to England to various British occupied islands. Im proud of my diversity, but I look Puerto Rican speak Spanish […]

I will burn the house down.

Eric Chesapeake Beach, MD 1974, I was 14 years old; my dad was in the Army, we were moving to Ohio from Weaver, Alabama. The house we lived in we rented. The owner was selling the house and the realtor was in the driveway talking to my dad one day. The neighbor came over to […]

Difference between Phillando and me? Nothing.

Barry, MN. As a black man, who – though I hate the phrase, acts very “white”, I feel as though you have act a certain way to fit into society and get less harassed. I don’t act white on purpose, it’s just who I am; how I was raised. Nonetheless, this “act” shouldn’t have to […]

This country belongs to Native Americans.

Lewis Hernandez, Milwaukee, WI. White people, raped, murdered and stole this country from the American Indian. Now it’s one America. One white. One Black. One rich. One poor. Separate and unequal. Separate and unjust. The American Indian has been fighting terrorism since 1491 when Caucasians first came to their country.

Ready to listen to your story

Karen Orellana, Suwanee, GA. Last year I joined a group that focused on finding civil ways to improve the polarization in this country. We work on asking questions and listening first before sharing our own stories. I know there is a lot to learn about other people’s experiences, especially about race. So my goal going […]

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 […]

Multi-Racial means having a fluid Identity

Jesse Ponnambalam, Bolingbrook, IL. When I see most of the people I know; they all somewhat fit into a specific group. Some may identify as a “skater”, a “Anime Nerd”, a Brony, a “Jock” a “set specific identity here” kind of mold. Now I know that people have more than one Identity, But I never […]

No new White friends since 2008.

Anonymous USA The internet really makes me dislike white people more than I ever have. It’s gotten worse since Obama became president. I dream of a day when black people of means decide to create our own communities/cities/states away from white people, but I know it won’t happen. And I’d rather my kids be gay […]

Every Hispanic Isn’t Always Hispanic Okay?

Mathew Rayne, Houston, TX. Once in awhile you go for a drive and see the people around you enjoying what there doing. Everyone is their own person! Sometimes your expected to do something that… you just rather not do? It’s my family line? In my blood? Just because I’m Hispanic doesn’t mean i wanted to […]

You graduated in four years? Really?

Michael Tackie, Pittsburgh, PA. Upon graduation from college with a B.S.in Chemical Engineering, I got this from someone I had known for three years, someone I regarded as a friend. He was white, and majored in History or English, I forget which. I was initially amused, not understanding the subtext to what he was saying. […]

Name of cemetery doesn’t change history

Lonna Jo Bowen-AlMoctar, Louisville, KY. I am from a clan of hillbillies in Eastern Kentucky. My family has a swath of land, called Bowen Farms, near Red River Gorge. As long as I can remember, the old cemetery on my family’s land has been called the “slave cemetery”. My Uncle has always kept up with […]

When it hurts to be different

Aretha, Toledo, OH Not all differences are embraced and celebrated. There has been times I have felt uncomfortable in situations and circumstances for being different, especially being around others who were different than me. I’m certain that there were also times I made others feel uncomfortable for being who I am around them. How often […]

White Jewish girl in a bubble

Emily Einhorn, Beachwood, OH. Whenever there is talk about racism, a part of me feels guilty. I have lived in a small suburb my entire life. In this town, people joke you’re either black, Jewish, or Asian. I have never witnessed a racist act and I feel as if I’ve missed out on being a […]

Oh, I expected a Black woman.

Jamila Wolters, Portland, OR I am a White-passing, Mexican woman with an Arabic name and have heard this statement from people of all races. The difference is the looks on the faces of the people who say this to me, their own race always and prejudice is always written right there. I am a proud […]

They won’t listen, They won’t learn

Lexie Hunter, Acworth, GA p>People don’t like to listen and learn. In June the black lives matter protests hit an all-time high, and many people simply dismissed the issue because it wasn’t happening to them or the people they care about. They say it is unnecessary, but they do not take the time to learn […]

I am NOT who they are

Lorali Nelms, Jefferson, GA It’s no secret, racism exists. With recent attacks on Asian-Americans and African Americans, more white people are becoming aware of the racism other races experience. I feel like I experienced a sheltered childhood and I thought racism was a thing of the past. However, as I’ve grown up I’ve seen that […]

Sports need to be equally accessible

Chaucer Countryman, The Blake School, Deephaven, MN I chose these 6 words because I feel like everyone no matter their race should be able to try multiple sports. I have been one of the lucky ones who have had many opportunities with many different sports. It makes sad when I realize that some people aren’t […]

Latina proud, I can’t speak Spanish!

Victoria Jolly, LAS VEGAS, Nevada, . My dad was an immigrant when we were younger and only wanted English spoken in the house so he could learn. Even though he left us when I was 5 years old we never picked it up. Just because I cant speak Spanish doesn’t change my love and honor […]

Loving and Hating being Asian

Vivian Li San Jose, CA I deeply appreciate my heritage as a Chinese-American. It has taught me about a complex culture, thousands-of-years-old ideology, and a strong sense of identity. I am proud of the country my ancestors hail from and its incredibly rich and its understudied history. It has given me beautiful looks, and the […]

Racist parents from shame springs motivation

Ingrid Irigoyen, Bethesda, MD For the first decade of my life I lived with biological parents who were avowed racists. That experience was scarring because even as a young child my little gut instinct told me that they were wrong. Even though I didn’t fully understand it, the hate made me feel ill in the […]

Being Black and southern, educated engineer

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 […]

I am Hispanic enough for you!

Ian Diaz, Norfolk, VA Intersectionality exists. Too long have I been told that I’m not Hispanic enough, not white enough, and not black enough to exist in certain spaces. But I am enough. Others cannot dictate my existence. I am who I am and I am a proud, mixed gay man.

Kids’ mother tongue isn’t their mother’s

Elise DuBord, Cedar Falls, IA. Growing up in the Midwest, I started studying Spanish as a second language in high school, fascinated with learning about other cultures and enchanted with the idea of traveling to or even living in a new country. As a middle-class white kid, I was completely unaware of the privilege I […]

Undocumented immigrants need representation in court

Marty Rosenbluth Hillsborough, NC It is a little known fact, but people in deportation proceedings are not entitled to an attorney if they can’t afford one. Spend a day in any immigration court in the country and you can see the effects. Even though the consequences are very serious, in that people can be deported, […]

I never thought you’d like this.

Asia Smith, Kansas City, MO This has been said to me many times throughout my life. I am a black girl who goes to a majority white school. I love my own culture but growing up in Missouri around a lot of non-black people like Hispanics, Filipinos, Japanese, Indian and Middle Eastern has helped me […]

I am more than religion requires

Hannah Drillings, Chester, NY I am ethically an Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jew, but have always felt disconnected from my religion. growing up in an orthodox synagogue, the women were separated from the men, and shunted to the back of the room. I never felt seen or heard as a person. as an adult, I want […]

Why does my name perplex you?

Rohini Harvey, Amherst, MA I get so many questions about my last name- wondering how someone who looks like me came to have the last name Harvey, if it is my married name, why it doesn’t seem to match my first name. This is the name I was born into, though.

Without a paddle and a boat

Joseph Ludwig, Las Vegas, NV Being a guy that has grown up in a “Community” of whites, blacks, Asians, Natives, Latinos and other subgroups in the city of Las Vegas; and not to mention growing up in a multi-racial household (Yes I have done the research and confirmed that I am mixed with almost every […]

Whites are not a monolith either.

Elias Miller, Richmond, VA This is a variation of the famous Shirley Chisholm quote. I feel like so much of the corporate training in diversity, equity, and inclusion has the wrong focus: it teaches us to make generalizations about racial or ethnic groups and to remember those generalizations when we interact with others. The intention […]

“Okay, but where are you from?

Skylar Blechner, Mineola, NY When people ask me the question “where are you from”, I usually respond that I am a 5th generation Jewish New Yorker. Then I get the follow up question of “Okay, but where are you from? Like your ancestors.” I answer the same way and usually get weird looks, but in […]

“You don’t look Jamaican or Cuban”

Michael A. Caldas, Miami, FL I’m a Cuban and Jamaican descent mix. Most people when they look at me think that I am either Cape Verdean, Polynesian, or Middle Eastern. When I was at Tuskegee, on the road there, we stopped at gas station to make a rest-stop and when one of the older white […]

My Skin Color Poses a Threat

Mia Woodard, Dallas, TX Because of my skin color, when I’m out in public I am looked at with disgust and spoken to rudely. Because of my skin color, I am not always afforded the same opportunities as the next. Because of my skin color, the Asian cashier in the beauty store follows and watches […]

People label me white. Thank goodness.

Jeremiah Friedman, Durham, NH As a young man of Polish heritage from both sides of my family, I have many of the physical characteristics that Jews of Eastern Europe share: olive skin, a bumped nose, and curly brown hair. One hundred years ago, my physical characteristics would have placed me in a class of people […]

Black and Beautiful with Breathtaking Strength

Sidni Sera Goodman, Wayne State, Eastpointe, MI Being black in America is more than just challenging. There are so many highs and so many lows. I dealt with one day feeling black and proud, seeing how other cultures love my culture, style, flair, music, etc., then other days, I see how my black brothers and […]

Stop acting like blacks are saints

Jimmy, New York, NY Obviously 400 years of segregation is the cause of today’s black society. And obviously, there is a tremendous amount of white trash, idiots who think Trump is a good businessman, great man, knows what he’s doing, and a class act. There are so many white pedophiles, liars, cheaters, thieves, senseless bigots, […]

They won’t listen, they won’t believe

Merritt Campbell Burton, Lewiston, ID I considered myself color-blind until I learned that wasn’t helping. I was one of those hippy-dippy people who would say “we need to just move past it.” We don’t; not yet. We need to acknowledge and talk about it. Long conversations, uncomfortable conversations. My first experience with racism was as […]

Difference between staying alive or dying

Isaiah Borders, Kannapolis, NC p>Race in America can be a life or death situation during some occasions. Racial injustice is 100% real and there’s a chance you could get racially profiled from the color of your skin. I chose to say “Difference between staying alive or dying” because, depending on what race you are is […]

Afraid for my Native American children.

Jarret Cummings, Rockville, MD My wife and children are members of the Cherokee Nation, but we have the good fortune to live in an area where they are unlikely to face discrimination. I worry about what may happen if my children ultimately go someplace where racial discrimination is still prevalent and how I should prepare […]

Have you found a man, yet?

Kaitlyn Brumbaugh, Mount Holly Springs, PA As a woman, my family makes it seem like my entire future depends on if I am in a relationship and get married. However, I am worth more than my relationship status.

White, privellged, and aware of it.

Grant Peters, Orange, CA I come from a wealthy suburb of the Bay Area in CA. I grew up in a bubble of sorts that lacked much-needed diversity to open myself up to other viewpoints. It wasn’t until my parents got divorced, and my mother had to move to a much lower socio-economic area that […]

I don’t think I’m Mexican enough

Sam, Orange, CA Growing up as mixed race being both Mexican and white, I’ve struggled with my identity as a Mexican person feeling that I wasn’t “Mexican enough”. Even though it is the ethnicity I most identify with, I often feel that I do not do enough culturally for it to “count”.

Utopia is a nonexistent colorblind world

V. Anne Spence, Powhatan, VA. Would I have been called a “N****” if my skin were white”? Growing up in El Barrio and the Bronx in New York City was I called the “N” word by a redheaded transit cop at 12. The last incident occurred in a store in here Virginia. I was in […]

I am striving to be anti-racist

Tara Corallino, Midlothian, VA, . I have called myself an ally for several years, but I am learning (and continuing to learn) that just not being racist is not enough. Being anti-racist mean challenging others, speaking out, and actively supporting others, especially when it is hard. As I have been making this shift, it has […]

Growing up white and being oblivious

Sydney Fitzgerald, Annville, PA Growing up, I went to a private/catholic school that was predominantly white. Along with that, I was raised by two white parents and no knowledge of any other race. My neighborhood had maybe two black families and I only had friends who were white. Because I grew up this way, I […]

“She’s so pretty for being Black”

Morgan Cooper, Stockton, CA. In 2007, when my ex husband and I were expecting our baby girl, we jokingly called her “Blackanese”, a term I still use endearingly. Most simply put, I am half Black and half White and my ex husband is half Japanese and half White. Never in our wildest dreams did we […]

Am I Asian enough for you?

Emily P, Long Beach, CA I am an Asian American that fell along the lines of a “model minority.” I was a straight-A student in high school and was in the orchestra for 8 years. Though people still assumed I was “whitewashed” or too “American.” I always thought about what it was that made me […]

Breaking news: I am not rich

Brooke Evans, Santa Barbara, CA I am white with blonde hair and blue eyes and I grew up in Santa Barbara, which is a fairly wealthy town. Because of how I look and where I am from, people assume I am very wealthy, which is not the case. My family has always struggled with money […]

I’m rich because I’m from here

Madi, Scottsdale, AZ Actually, this is the opposite of what is true, but what everyone assumes. I’m from Scottsdale, Arizona where there are many extremely wealthy neighborhoods and fancy resorts. It is also a predominantly white city, which my family is as well. Growing up my parents really struggled with making money after the market […]

My Dad’s a cop, Am I Racist?

William McCullough, Opelika, AL Especially now in today’s world police get labeled with racists. Why is this? I believe that it’s because of the actions of a few. There are very many racist police in America and they do act upon their so-called beliefs. But because of their actions, all police get labeled as racist. […]

Latine is Geography, Hispanic is Language

Itzel Moncayo, CA I am Mexican-American which means my ethnic identity lies in being both Latine and Hispanic. My physical appearance resembles the stereotypical appearance of someone of this nationality, regardless, I often get asked where I am from. Where I’m ~really~ from. This question does get frustrating but so do the misconceptions within my […]

Engish only, you’re not really Mexican.

Matthew Montoya, Orange, CA I understand Spanish but I can speak fluently. I get embarrassed because fluent Spanish speakers are no help to teach, they laugh if I mispronounce a word. My experience trying to learn was not good and made me shut down from ever trying to. This made those who are fluent speakers […]

No really what are you?

Mia, Honolulu, HI I grew up in Hawaii which was a very diverse place. Coming to the mainland I had a lot of people ask me what I was. When I would answer with “Japanese” they wouldn’t believe me. I admit my skin tone is darker than the average Asian person but no matter how […]

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 […]

Rooted in Hatred, Risen in Audacity

Ellis Clark, Spain. As a seventeen-year-old black male, my view to race has been cushioned by growing up in a comfortable, yet politically aware household. While I knew racism existed, it rarely touched me growing up, and when it did, it was the microagressive type. Real issues with race didn’t begin to pop up for […]

I am not a single story

Geovanni Herrera, Dallas, TX p>I chose these six words after being extremely inspired by a Ted talk called “The dangers of a single story” years ago. Where Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an African American born in Eastern Nigeria faced countless amounts of misinterpretations in her home town before realizing the truth about Americans and their norms. […]

Have BOTH parents in my life.

Maliek Chambers, Long Island, NY People assume that you don’t have both parents in your life if you are black and especially not ones that are happily married. I am black and have both parents in my life and they are happily married and both have careers.

I am Micronesian. So like Hawaiian?

Aliyah, Kansas City, MO As a Pacific Islander (specifically Micronesian), a lot of the islands aren’t very known. I understand not many people are knowledgeable about my ethnicity but whenever I mention Pacific Islands it’s always, so you’re like Hawaiian. I have love for all Pacific Islands but Hawaii isn’t the only island that exists. […]

More Than Just a White Male

Rylan A Brooks, Mount Joy, PA I have never been discriminated against in my life, based on my skin color and my gender. I have seen discrimination first hand on many occasions, once towards one of my best friends. The level of anger I felt was indescribable. I was raised in a household where everyone […]

A black girl’s dilemma in America

Selena JP, Empowering Youth Towards Excellence (EYTE) Program, Elizabeth, NJ There is a great irony regarding my 6 words story- from both society and ourselves. As black women in America, in particular, we are held at a higher standard but we’re constantly at the bottom of the barrel. We are the ones who are blatantly […]

Their Mormon ancestor’s genealogy was “mysterious.”

Judith McConkie, Salt Lake City, UT. The sentence describes our family’s conflicted past. As liberal Democrats in the 1970s my husband and I considered the ban on blacks holding Mormon priesthood to be ridiculous and insidious — a reason to leave the faith. We held on and held out faith that things would change, slowly […]

Where are you from? No, really

Michael Kenji Yamasaki, Rio Rancho, NM. OBSERVATIONS – Where are you from? No really … Where are you from? I can relate to Mr. Marc Quarles (African-American, with a German wife and two biracial children). There were times when I too have been asked, “Where are you from? No really where are you from?” However, […]

Race is a Matter of Mind

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 […]

Not overcooked or underdone. Just right.

Lei-Anna Bertelsen, Bozeman, MT. I’ve grappled with this question all my life. My dad told me a story when I was a second grader after a boy called me names based on my skin color. My dad explained that when God made people, it took three tries to bake us to just the right color. […]

Why am I still called ‘exotic’?

Scarlett Van Damme, AZ. I’m an American, as were my parents and their parents and so on. My sister is blonde haired and blue-eyed, just like my grandma and my uncles. My cousins are various shades of white, brown, and black. My skin color, eye color, and hair color are not too dissimilar from my […]

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 […]

I don’t know what privilege is

Charles Sackman, Mansfield, OH I’m told my skin tone has granted me great privilege. It’s easy to make assumptions based on appearances….folks tend to forget that the heart of all racism is in making these assumptions.

Your hair color doesn’t define you

Madison Wells, Bettendorf, IA As a kid growing up I have always been told especially in school that I have no soul because of the color of my hair. When I would get an attitude people would say “it’s the hair talking”. The color of someone’s hair should not define them as a person. You […]

I’m A Human, Not A Fruit

Gabrielle Guzman San Diego, CA Yes, I am Mexican. Yes, I know I apparently hold the same facial features as someone who would be considered Asian. No, I did not just cross the border. No, I do not speak Spanish, although I can understand it fluently and am taking classes to learn it. I am […]

I am not defined by society

Justina Adarkwah Christchurch, VA I’ve always had a problem with identity, but ironically I realized it was me that thought I had a problem, it was society, my community, everyone else who had an opinion about ‘what’ I was and who I should be. I’m not sorry to let everyone one know that its not […]

Two languages, Three dialects, Three cultures

Vincent Lei, San Ramon, CA. Grew up in Macau, China. Mainly speak Cantonese there. Moved to America four years ago and started to speak English and Mandarin. I made some friends from mainland China and also some American friends. I learnt about the difference between Mainland China and Macau. School system were different. Most mainland […]

Sometimes race isn’t enough; need language

Mary K. Coseo NY I am a Korean adoptee and was raised in the United States. I was reunited with my Korean birth family about 12 years ago. Although I am the same race as other Koreans and my birth family, what I really need to transcend the barriers is the ability to speak the […]

Being Sicilian explains who I am.

Annaleisle Gingher Peachtree City, GA Understanding my ethnicity has explained so much and helped me understand who I am. I may be classified in a box as “white” but I am a second generation Sicilian with dark skin and dark hair. I’ve always identified with other races. Only to understand we are all the same […]

Me llamo Lora y hablo español.

Lora McManus, Altadena, CA. Being transracially adopted (by Caucasian parents) comes with a plethora of advantages and challenges. One of the most common misconceptions that I face on a daily basis is the assumption that I was raised in an Chinese family and speak Mandarin, when actually neither of those are true. Stereotypes are one […]

“I didn’t expect to see you”

Mensah Cone Livingston, NJ I’m the owner of a start-up Mandarin school. After completing a presentation of my school’s offerings to a principal in an urban school, the principal said, “Mensah, that was a fantastic presentation”. She expressed sincere interest in the program for her students. While packing my materials, she said, “I didn’t expect […]

My skin is not my culture.

Rachel Brinson, Centennial, CO. People always want to put me in a box and assume what I find offensive, what I find familiar, and how I choose to see myself and others. No one chooses to see human first, identity second. I will forever be explaining that the body given to me is arbitrary, and […]

In my blood, not my face

Lauren Via “Visualizing Change at “PROOF” – The National Geographic Blog about Photography and Culture To me it’s not about race, it’s about culture. I am 1/4 Japanese, and don’t look the least bit Asian (though my brother does). I grew up in America, but with my mom growing up in Japan, she passed down […]

I’m not that A+ Aisan student.

Yia Yang, Saint Paul, MN. I’m a student, just any regular student who listen and do their work. I don’t always get good grade or the grade everyone expect me to have. I’m Asian but it doesn’t mean I’ll be a A+ student because of all these rumors or post on social media saying “Asian […]

America is not Black and White

Anonymous, NY And every Asian, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American people are living in it. We need to understand why being an anti-racist is not just pro-Black, and Black people need to understand that most don’t see the world like they do. We have different cultures and experiences, but understanding that most of us don’t live […]

Image portrayed, impression made. It DOES matter.

P. Contreras, Benicia, CA. How you choose to dress gives an impression about you. Whether that impression is accurate or not no one will know unless they get to know you. But, they won’t get to know you if your image repels them. Example. Teenage Boy (black, Hispanic, Asian, white) in your neighborhood in jeans […]

Why can’t I simply be me?

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?

I don’t care if I’m good

Ricky Vang, Saint Paul, MN. Being Asian, you were never really praised by others in sports unless you’re really good at it. It just sucked growing up nobody to help keep you motivated because everyone always bashed on “Asians can’t ball” but now its okay. I got to a point where I don’t care, I […]