Payton Collier, Woodbridge, VA “Can you please calm down” is an unwanted sentiment that has been offered to me many times. The most hurtful of these was probably when a friend of mine asked me if I could just “calm down”; I’d gotten “worked up” about a racist comment a classmate had made. As an […]
Wyndee Holbrook, San Antonio, TX. Mrs. Thicklin was my 5th grade teacher. She was my best teacher and she was my first African American teacher. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She taught me unequivocally that race does not define people, regardless of what my dad said.
Cameron McCall, Fontana, CA. The reason I choose these six words is because I don’t like how I am stereotyped to be un-educated and ghetto. I am a proud African American male in college and I am proud of the proper english that I use.
Tierra Wells Holly Hill, SC Personally I have not experience this, but there has been stories told to me about this subject. When an African American walks into a store apparently the sales associate, who happens to be white, begins to look at the African American customer very closely. It’s as if the sales associate […]
Queenie, Virginia Beach, VA. I am an African American mother of a 23 year old son. We have seen lots of race issues on the news, on television shows, and on social media in the last year. The response that I see many white people say is that they are tired of hearing about these […]
Tori Collins, Washington, DC. Depression is real and doesn’t care about your race. If you’re African-American and female not only are you expected to be resilient enough to just take the hits and keep going, if you can’t due to emotional or mental illness, you’re considered to have an attitude, you’re a mean or a […]
Daniel Portland, OR I grew up in a working-class and ever-so-slightly diverse part of a very white city, but I the bus across town with two dozen others to school K-12. As I grow older I sometimes recall classroom memories that make my current self uncomfortable. In 7th grade social studies we discussed slavery, and […]
Julie A. Perkins, NV. I’m 22 years old, half African America, half Caucasian. Because I’m black, I have been racially profiled and discriminated against because of my gender and skin color. But I’ve also had the terrible taste prejudice from many black people due to my mother being white and me not being full black. […]
Carmen Davis Portland, OR I was a very young child from the Midwest traveling with my mother by train to Detroit in the 1940’s. There was an African American couple on the train with a wonderfully packed picnic basket. As a very gregarious child I was eager to explore the car. My mother told me […]
Auguste Budhram Austin, TX I was broke, in my twenties and had just moved to NYC when a friend told me that I could earn some extra cash by being a part of a focus group. When I called the ad agency, I was told I’d be asked a series of questions to determine if […]
Tanya Haney Middleton, WI I am a white mother and school employee; my kids are white, Asian and I have been a foster parent to an African-American child. I have been struggling and driven to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem of institutional racism, but I struggle daily. People look […]
Kiesha Ireland-Tran San Francisco, CA I am an African American girl, yet I grew up scared of black people. I felt that I was unsafe and didn’t belong with them. An adult in my life lead me to believe these things that changed how I perceived myself and others. People identified me as ‘white’ despite […]
Aniaka McCowan, Union City, CA. Everyone one always says “oh my god you have a kid” Just because I hold a child doesn’t mean I’m a young mother. A caucasian women asked me why I ruined my life having a bastard child you probably don’t even know the father. I simply said why do you […]
Eric D., Houston, TX. While my son was in elementary school, I asked what race dose he tells his schoolmates he was. He quickly responded, “White”. When I asked why, he said that his skin color wasn’t brown or black. As he grew older he learned about both his Spanish and African American heritage. Now […]
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 […]
Freda NC I am African American. Growing up I was often asked this question in some form or another “are you mixed, what are you, what are you mixed with, what’s your nationality, are you Indian, where are you from?” As I got older, the question began to offend me more, especially when the person […]
Felix Muhlebach, Chapel Hill, NC. I was at the Head of the Hooch, 2nd biggest rowing event in the US. More than 1600 crews. More than 5000 athletes. I saw only one Afro American crew. No mixed race boats. Check on attached event picture file. Statistically, one out of 5 athletes should be Afro American. […]
Kerwens R. Pinthiere Cranston, RI It really bothers me when people call me African American because of my skin color. I am Haitian and I am proud.
Simone Pratt Brooklyn, NY I can talk about race all day… I work in multicultural advertising so it’s what I do, but outside of work as well… Some context on my 6 words: Race is something that puts us in boxes in our society (“talking Black”… “Acting White”… “Black music”… on and on), however race […]
Brittany Barnes Reno, NV I am adopted. I was born in Irian Jaya, Indonesia, now known as Western New Guinea. I don’t really tell people where I was born, because I don’t find it necessary in conversations and it never really comes up. People look at me and automatically assume that I am African-American and […]
Nicole Minneapolis, MN As a descendant of Germans and Scandinavians, I am termed WHITE. My daughter is is a strawberry blonde with creamy white skin and blue eyes. Again and again I have been asked how it was possible when her father is an African American. I have heard, “he can’t actually be her father” […]
Kelly Blount, Snohomish, WA. If you live in the U.S.A. Your an American. Not African American, not Asian American, Irish American, etc. Once everyone believes that it would help a lot.
Valerie Elverton Dixon, East St Louis, IL. As an African-American woman living in a society where the standard of beauty is light skin and straight hair, I am so grateful that I came of age during a time in this nation’s history when we started to celebrate and to affirm the beauty of various skin […]
Tre’zure Glover, Banning, CA. Being an African American woman comes with its assumptions and stereotypes. The main stereotype and assumptions deals with our hair. Many people question why is our hair so nappy? Why is it so greasy? How long does it take to grow? do you wash it everyday? Those are just some questions […]
Ernest Fabrizio Garcia New Fairfield, CT Neither of us are African-American, but our children are. There seems to be a conception that doing black hair well is partially genetic.
Myla Ledesma, Westbloomfield, MI. My mother is African American and my father is Puerto Rican. Me and all my siblings are biracial, we all look alike the only difference is their light skin and I’m brown skin. We all have medium length hair. Anytime I’m with them we get ask are we mixed and when […]
Charlotte, Houston, TX. I grew up close to African Americans. They were guests in our home and people on the bus with us. I never noticed how taboo touching was between us until I was 30 and a neighbor girl came over to play with my kids. She skinned her knee and as I hugged […]
Ronnie Dunn, Cleveland, OH My family was the third African American family to move on my street, Gay Avenue, on Cleveland’s Eastside in 1964. I was three years old and the youngest of three children. My siblings, a sister and brother, respectively and four years older than I, had already started school. The grandchildren, a […]
Kasey Nichols, Clemmons, NC. I’ve known I’ve been adopted since I can remember and never questioned my ethnicity until I reached middle school age because we had to fill out cards with “check yes if Latino, African American, white or other.” Biologically I’m Mexican and Italian, but I was raised white with my dad being […]
Geoffrey Wodell Wheat Ridge, CO Many years ago an African-American Country-Western singer, Charlie Pride, released a live album. After one of the cuts someone in the audience yelled out “Charlie, how can you look like them and sing like us?”. I have remembered that comment ever since and now, as a Norwegian-American Jew who sings […]
Jane Meacham, Washington, DC. My dad is a lawyer in Kansas City, MO, who always had mostly black, working-class clients. When the city school district started to decline in quality in the early 1970s, we moved away to a nearly all-white suburban school district nearby. So I realize now, all these years later, that his […]
Jeremy Martin, Cincinnati, OH. My 7-year-old daughter about the only African American girl on her cheer team. How do we move past skin color as an identity, even for children?
Susan Kosior, Fredericksburg, VA.
Kevin Hayes, Ackerman, MS. “Love sees no color”. “What the world needs now…”. Pretty much says it.
Jared Blocker, Gainesville, FL. My name is Jared. And this is my attempt at trying to post a race card. I was born and raised in the US, yet I don’t see myself as just black, I also see myself as an African-American. Whenever I hear the term “black” I think of my brothers and […]
Laura James, Mobile, AL. I want to be ok being white, but I’m not. I’ve been haunted for decades by a dream in which I was weighed in the balance and found wanting by a well-dressed group of African-American churchgoers.
Tanya, Manakin Sabot, VA. My (adopted) son is biracial, his bio-father is unknown. I will never be able to connect him with his biological African American family. There is a void that I will never be able to fill for him . This breaks my heart as his mama.
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 […]
Tara Jackson, MS They go to the highest scoring elementary school in the state of Mississippi which happens to be 98% African- American. My kids are white and they don’t care about skin color and because of their school probably never will, I hope.
Demarcus Robinson Park Forest, IL I’ve been thinking about how, as an African-American, I and other minorities actively think about out race as opposed to our Caucasian counterparts. It’s not that I’m thinking “I”m black, I’m black, I’m black” every second of the day, but I know that certain situations force the thought upon me, […]
Carol A. Los Angeles, CA As an African American woman of a certain age I feel a sense of failure that our generation has not made this world safe for our children.
Steve Jones, Durham, NC. I grew up in a segregated community and the concept that African-Americans (of course, not the word that was used) were inferior. It took a long time to get out of that mindset and even longer to acknowledge the privilege that comes with my white skin. It’s a privilege to be […]
Rewan, New York, NY. I’m 15 years old, and I live in New York. My parents were both born and raised in Egypt and moved here in the ’80s. Let me cut to the chase- I’ve been called white, Hispanic, “light skin,” but I consider my self Arabic, because Egyptians speak Arabic and is located […]
Terrie, East Palo Alto, CA. Soon after moving to an exciting silicon valley in the first years of the internet boom, it felt like anything was possible in this new world. I was invited by a friend to a party given by a start-up founder, held at his home. We arrived separately from my friend […]
Morgan Krost, Norco, CA. I think everyone should be proud of their race and be able to show support without it being deemed racist. The media shows a lot of encouragement of Latinos and African Americans for various months or important leaders’ birthdays, but not for White people. It’s like society thinks every day is […]
Cooper Shell, Jackson, TN. She’s White in a Black Body….. That is what has ALWAYS been said to describe me—since I was at least 12 years old. My name is Cooper Shell, and I grew up in Choctaw County, MS. I hail from a blended family which is very typical in my town. I suppose […]
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 […]
Patricia L. Gadsden, Central, PA. As an African American female in the 1960’s, I was discouraged from attending college. It was explained to me that I wasn’t college material. I’m not sure what they really meant since I graduated with straight A’s from high school.
William G Doyle Jr., Castle Rock, CO. From the time I could remember my father expressed his racism against African Americans. I fought him because of it throughout my life. Usually it exposed itself the most after we would go to church and listen to beautiful sermons about God’s love for all people and then […]
David Chen, New York, NY. I grew up in China listening to artists like 50 cent, Tupac, Snoop dogg (lion), and Jay-Z. I have every one of Jay-Z’s songs memorized and for a Chinese kid, that wasn’t easy. For as long as I can remember, I was fascinated by African American (is this the politically […]
Jane Cavazos, San Antonio, TX I have been reading the stories of African Americans for several years–their struggles, triumphs, setbacks and progress…I feel badly about the immense suffering they have endured over centuries of injustice. I will make reparations by volunteering my service in a public library in the African American community.
Malikah Black, Urbana, IL. Based on stereotypes and neither are my sisters. The media instantly judge African American Women on their many failures, but what about their success? You’re most likely to hear about the statics of African American Women getting pregnant in 2015 on social media than those who graduated from college or trade […]
Brandon Hopson, Portsmouth, VA. Sometimes as an African American, I feel as if I have to work twice as hard to top white people in order to achieve success.
All my life, people have mistaken me for “races” that I am not: Mexican, Hawaiian, Filipino, Indian, Brazilian. I was always flattered because I thought this meant I looked exotic and “different,” I wanted to look different. I didn’t want to look “haole,” our stolen Hawaiian word for “white.” That’s when I uncovered the implicit […]
Brandi Jones, Wayne State, Detroit, MI Growing up as an African American in America is exhausting. We are supposed to be the land of the free where you can be who you are. Instead black people who are born here are treated worse than immigrants. We are not terrible people just because we are a […]
Brian Easterling, Paoli, PA.
African American professional Kansas City, MO
Kenneth L. Selmore, St. Augustine, FL. As long as AA’s misuse our economic power in America we will get no respect and our children will continue to die.
Anna Bell, Newport, KY I encounter so many people who think that because I date outside my race (I am African American and my boyfriend is Caucasian), that I no longer identify with my race.
Michael Swanegan, Chino Hilla, CA. Im a 22 year old African American male who lives in California. Whenever I enter a store, gas station, or even a movie theater. I feel an unwanted vibe as if I’m on the radar by all the managers and floor workers. A negative vibe as if I’m being looked […]
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 […]
Dahomey Abanishe, Secrest, FL. As a child in Kansas, I always assumed I was African-American and not because of what I was culturally but because of how I looked. I am Truly a Nigerian American culturally. My father is Nigerian and I was raised eating pepper stew and listening to Fela. No one fried chicken […]
Cynthia Flynn Bryn Mawr, PA This was mostly not true where I grew up in inner city Seattle, but when I went to the South in 1968, that was my universal experience of African-Americans. It still happens today, even in professional settings.
Charles Tanner, Midland, TX. I am an American,there is not a pre or post to that I was not brought here I was born here. Yes my distant family came from somewhere else. But as with anyone who truly wants to be an American they assimilated. Just as if I wanted to make any other […]
Anna Goldstein, Ann Arbor, MI. Understanding Race Project=- University of Michigan
Lorna Green, Altadenam, CA. I am an independent filmmaker, a writer-director, African American, and a woman. This combination confuses some people; it makes no sense to them because most directors are white guys. Granted, I selected a profession that relegates me to invisibility, but what’s interesting is the day-to-day reality of this. Working with new […]
Brittany Carney, Washington, DC. As a person that is three quarters African American and one quarter Japanese, I feel that culturally I’m the other away around.
Alexis Ford Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan As an African American, I have several generalizations placed upon me. Some people just assume who I am. I am rarely asked. While a lot of these assumptions hurt, I know the truth. I know only my own actions and words define me. I […]
Phyllis W. Allen, Fort Worth, TX. I am a sixty year old woman who has lived through segregation, integration, Colored, Negro,, Black, African American, segregation, marches, integration, Pan Africanism, opulent consumption, financial catastrophe and now I’m just me.
Anonymous, Washington, DC.
James Duvall OUTSIDE USA For the longest time, I’ve always tried to put both my Latin side and my African American side towards the end of job applications. Sometimes they would make you choose one or the other. so when that happens I would alternate between Latino and Black. But now I can finally pick […]
Cyerra Hawkins Riverside, CA I’m a African American female and I am irritated behind the fact that people associate African american women as loud and verbose. people are people we all have different personalities and ways of expressing ourselves. Stop with the categorizing and that is for any race or ethnicity. Vicious stereotypes have been […]
Janice Davidsson, Norfolk, VA. You can’t help who you fall in love with and this American girl fell in love with an African boy. So that makes our son African American. Here’s the catch that a lot of people have an issue with… He’s white. He has blonde hair and blue green eyes and is […]
Chevelloni El, Newark, DE. My daughter attends a multicultural festival at her school each year where students share their experiences, cultures and history. She wants to tell about our history an cultures but I would be embarrassed to set up a table that says that we are African Americans- Africa is a whole darn continent. […]
Shirley, Glendale, CA. I find it heartbreaking and appalling when we have the likes of Bill O’Reilly and those in the conservative right say that say “All Lives Matter.” To me, that is as oppressive and violent as Jim Crow Laws. From a Latina feminist perspective, Black Live Do Matter as long as Black African […]
Jeff Boothe TX If you were born here you are not African-American, Mexican-American, and Chinese-American. No one says they are European-American, Scottish-American, and Spanish-American. Why do people dilute themselves to being less than American.
Justin John Banks, Boston, MA. My ancestors were both Native and African American. The U.S. was molded by the labor of both of these brave peoples and although they shed blood and tears in the countries formation, they left their mark on U.S. soil forever.
Veronica Herrera Nacogdoches, TX My daughter currently only 2 months was conceived through a donor who is African American. My wife is Caucasian and I am Mexican/Cuban American. When my wife and I spoke about having kids she wanted to carry the child first because she is older than me. We wanted our child to […]
Davin Bjornerud, Menifee, CA. I don’t know why black folks in America want to be considered African American. There are many traits that make us different and the fact remains that we are born here in America. White folks don’t say “I’m European American”, so blacks or any other ethnic group that is born here […]
Paul Burnam, Westerville, OH. I am a 68-year-old white male. I am so, so tired of hearing about whites who think they are being persecuted such as those who posted to The Race Card Project about the mistreatment of whites. I heard all this again on “All Things Considered” on March 13 when Michele Norris […]
Aku Kadogo, teacher South Korea I am an African American woman from Detroit, MI. I have lived in Australia since 1978. My daughter is African American Australia (Caucasian father). My grand daughter’s father is from Thailand. I am currently living and teaching in S. Korea. I have spent many years with Indigenous people in Australia, […]
Alieu Atuahene Barrie, Palmdale, CA. The hardest part about being African American (other than obvious hates crimes) is the fact that people never pronounce my name correctly.
Alonzo Felder, Durham, NC. Called by many names over the years.
Journey Brown-Saintel, Charlotte, NC. The system of checking off boxes to indicate my heritage is flawed.
Leslie Lannan, Cincinnati, OH. It’s amazing how desperate we are in America to racially categorize our citizens based on how they look. My six words are a reference to a recent doctor’s visit. After discussing my ailments and general health, the doctor had one more question for me. “What is your race?” she asked. I […]
Brandon Watkins, Clarksville, TX. I am an African American from North Texas. I have lived here all my life. I have never been one to see color nor have I ever been one to judge or stereotype anyone. I love all, and raise my children to love all. Some of the things I see in […]
Dee Johnson, New York, NY. To start, I should say that I do not think that African-Americans should leave America. I think that the U.S. is still the land of freedom and opportunity for everyone, regardless of skin color. My question is for those African-Americans who feel that the U.S. is intolerably racist and that […]
Amanda Caraballo, Cleveland, OH. I’m so sick of “African American’s” always using the excuse “The white folk are privileged, and we can’t have this or do the because IM BLACK”…. WRONG! Slavery has been over for at least 149 year’s. I do not own a slave nor do I know one who has. A matter […]
Nichole Wesson, Long Beach, CA. I grew up what I believed to be middle-class in Dallas. I attended private, Catholic schools from kindergarten through 12-grade high school graduation. My high school class was 1/3 African-American, 1/3 white, 1/3 Mexican/Hispanic/Latino. I have done well in my career and recently returned to school to get my B.A. […]
Daisha Taylor Cleveland, OH Every time an African American graduates is another way we prove society wrong. But it is another future persued and created.
Matthew Powers, Riverside, CA. “Growing up Irish and being raised by a single mom in the 50’s and 60’s in Omaha I saw racial tension and acts all around the city, but I can’t say I understood anything about it until my younger sister and I were transferred to a different school because mom couldn’t […]
Jani Lee New York City, NY I accept what African American friends/co-workers say, I would like to answer, “But it wasn’t me.” I listen, feel and absorb their pain in an attempt to try and make things right.
Marquelle, CA. Don’t believe the hype! I am African American! I am not a violent criminal. I have never been arrested! I am not lazy and uneducated, on welfare, or living in poverty. I am gainfully employed, and I attend California Baptist University! I am not athletic. I cannot play basketball or run fast! I […]
Vincent Simon, Fort Worth, TX. I’m a new revert to Islam, served in the US Marine Corps. Because of my new religion, I have been called a traitor to my country. The person who called me this doesn’t know me very well and didn’t serve in the military. I have been criticized by “good” Christians, […]
Lisa Latten, Richmond Heights, OH. I am more than African American. I am tired of being passed over for positions that I more than qualified to hold. I am tired of working twice as hard to prove my worth when my white counterparts who are less qualified laugh.
Jeremy Tolbert, Austin, TX. I work in the high tech industry where there are < 2‰ African-Americans at my job. When I meet new people, I always hear, “I’ve seen you around”. I stand out because there aren’t many people in high-tech that look like me.
Clay Terry, Cincinnati, OH. I just want to put it out there that I have a multitude of African American friends, not all black people are ignorant. However, most of them are. I did not grow up racist nor are my parents racist. I developed my way of thinking from observing the black community around […]
Nichole Pettit, Lake Como, NJ. Monmouth University I’m biracial. I’m not just African American, I’m also American, German, English and Irish! Many say “You’re black,” sure but I’m not just that. Do not reduce my race and ethnic background to a single word. I do not belong to a single group, I belong to many. […]
Edgar Montgomery, Brick, NJ. Monmouth University To know the story of my six words, one just needs to turn on any news channel, daily. Or, check the bureau of labor statistics since its inception. Or, check statistics on levels of incarceration for African Americans. Or, view all forms of media open to human consumption. Or, […]
Darryl Harvey Fort Mill, SC
Tracy, Pittsburgh, PA. During the summer I’m darker so I’m African American, during the winter I’m lighter so I’m other. My family comes from a mix of dark and light skinned Spaniards, French and Jews. We are Dominican. I am American.
Barbara Rodriguez, Florence, SC. Yes, they both are Cuban. The look of shock never ceases to amaze me. Is it because I’m blonde and have green eyes…yes! Is it because of where I live…yes! Growing up in New York, everyone I knew could tell me about their heritage. My neighborhood was a perfect melting pot […]
Taylor Butts, Chesapeake, VA. I’m Black. Completely. I’ve tried to trace my ancestry but couldn’t get very far. I’m very light skinned and “talk white” aka speak proper english so I don’t always fit in with my fellow African Americans but my hair never matched the white girls. Needless to say, I had a hard […]
Jessica Cooper, Glasgow, KY. The first time I met an African-American individual I was three years old. My mother and I were walking down an isle in the supermarket and I looked up to see a little girl with the prettiest hair. She had braids with beads and ponytails and I loved it. My three-year-old […]
Danya Granado Aurora, CO If you must place me in a racial category, then call me black. And no, I’m not offended when you say it. My family is from Trinidad and Tobago. I was born in England. I have a Hispanic last name. I get a lot of questions. Culturally, I feel as though […]
Becky White Feather Riney, Quincy, IL. I am Native American and Caucasian. I hate knowing that there are people out there that simply because of the color of a person’s skin means (to them) they think someone Black (African American) or any race OTHER THAN WHITE is less than or undeserving of their acceptance, love […]
Melanie Cowart, Fair Oaks Ranch, TX. My parents were married in 1934 when miscegenation was illegal in most states. Until I was older, I didn’t realize how much courage it took for them to be together. My mother, who was white, raised her two daughters, now 80 and 62, to be proud African-American women. I’m […]
Elhussein Elnefeidi, Mission Viejo, CA.
Jean, Cathedral City, CA. I am a teacher and they try to tell us that we all have bias. In 11 years I have only kicked 3 kids out of class and none have been African American. They told me if I took “this test” I would be surprised, guess what, no bias. Screw them […]
Jendayi Rachal, California, CA. I am a proud African-American female who is goal oriented and has her priorities in order. I do not follow stereotypes. I like to express myself and be an individualist. And I know how to enunciate and articulate as well. Intelligence does not belong to a specific skin color.
Matthew Garcia, Salinas, CA. I’m African-American, my mother would have my stay at my baby sitters house after school while she was working. One day my mom picked me up from my baby sitters house but before we left my mom and the babysitter were having conversation. I was playing in the living room when […]
Marlene Krantz, Miami, FL. I’m lily white with blonde hair. I have black children and black grandchildren. In 1980 I married an African American man and we had 2 daughters. I lost custody of my 10 year old son because of discrimination. I really feel sad about all this discrimination around the world.
Shaunta Whitaker, Lompoc, CA. I am a grandmother and I love being a grandmother but with it comes some heartache because of some of the stares I have to endure when I am out with my grandson. I am African-American with a dark brown complexion and my grandson is mixed with Mexican, Italian and African-American […]
Willis Mackey Jr., Christchurch, VA. I think that race is not a colour, but an ethnicity. I am so tired of being placed into the stereotypes of an African American. I am skin colour is black, I am a Bahamian. Born and raised in the Bahamas I should not have to be classified because of […]
Alexis Bishop, USA. Quotas? Oh no, of course colleges don’t have those… or so they say. How else, then, can one explain why an African-American would be accepted in a heartbeat over a White American of equal credentials? Sometimes, this is even the case when the White student has higher credentials. Is this equality? Absolutely […]
Patricia Hogan, Missoua, MT.
Lottie MSF, St. Louis, MO. Born in LA, raised in Compton, became an adult in Bay Area, relocated to MO. Loved by entrepreneur/homemaker grandparents. Raised by entrepreneur, GED, get the job done, courageous, make it happen parents with 50+ years of marriage. I’m a well balanced contributing, career woman, parent, wife, aunt & daughter. My […]
Epiphanie Malloy Inkster, MI This stereotypical notion that women of color,especially us in the African American community, are incapable of orating with yell, screaming, being “angry and black” has become accedingly old hat. The shock an awe I receive when I properly articulate my feelings, ideas and general statements/responses is far more annoying and frequent […]
Andrea Krida Goff, Providence, RI. I’m a teacher in a wonderfully diverse urban high school in Providence. Every year during Spirit Week, one of the days is devoted to cultural celebration. We have African-Americans wearing colorful headwraps, Asians wearing kimonos, Dominicans waving their country’s flag, and me. Every year I struggle with a wardrobe that […]
Laura N. Weston, Baltimore, MD. About 80% of the time people assume (mostly men) I am Puerto Rican even though I am half Caucasian and half African American. I stress to everyone who thinks it is important enough to ask me what I am that I am Mixed or Biracial and I state with what. […]
Amani, Jamaica. Caribbean born Americans are way more disciplined than African Americans so they should not be put in the same category.
Tricia Tillman, Portland, OR. I have a funny story about how race and gentrification interact. My son walked out the front door of our house which is in a neighborhood that is gentrifying and yelled back in “Mom, I just saw 2 naked people riding down the street!” When I walked outside, we heard an […]
Jeffrey Miller, Tampa, FL. Our rich history, our artifacts, our language, even our names were taken from us.
Jennifer Woods, Okemos, MI. I am a 65 year old African American and am sick to death that in 2012 we are still, Still, STILL having this same tired conversation about race. That we still have to have “the talk” with our young men. That black people continue, decades after Dr. King’s dream, to be […]
Erica Watts, Arlington, TX. Growing up, I believed that I was all African American. My mother was African American and so was my brother and that is all I needed to know, to know that I was African American. However, as i got older, people began to question my ethnicity. Some claiming that I looked […]
Corey, USA. 93%-95% of African-Americans voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. Is it a coincidence that Obama is African-American? African-Americans can call each other “n*****” and freak out when white people use the word in a non-insulting way. They call white people crackers and they don’t care. If someone commits a crime towards an […]
Celesti Colds Fechter, Tarrytown, NY. I feel as though when I am the only African-American in a setting that I feel obligated to “speak” for other African-Americans. I will not do it and don’t ask me to do it. I had a job where I was the first African-American hired in a professional setting. I […]
Sherhonda Florence, AL As a child, every time a white girl touched my hair, she had something derogatory to say about how my hair felt to her fingers. Those experiences didn’t end with adulthood. I was a career professional at a university in Huntsville, Alabama, when a coworker asked to touch my hair. My hair […]
Mary Ann Costanzo, Beacon Falls, CT. Most of us will not admit that we are biased against black, African Americans. We are not intelligent enough to understand that most of our racism is due to ignorance and fear of our society, government, and culture. Instead of targeting the real sources of our problems (government, corporations, […]
Jake, USA. My mother is from Ghana and my father is from New York. I am African-American and it drives me crazy when people who have a distant relative from Africa consider themselves African-American when they have no cultural ties to Africa. Black Culture is different from African Culture.
Cyndi Morris, Los Gatos, CA. I’m a White mom of a Black son, living in an overwhelmingly white neighborhood. I struggle against my in adequate education on race in America. I’m sure I stumble as I guide my son toward valuing everything about himself, including his African American heritage. I have known that I need […]
Kate Reid, Worthington, OH. My daughters and I in the attached picture. Three races. Three skin-tones. None of which identify with “African-American” yet that is often the assumption and the only “box” to check.
Stewart Ketcham, South Royalton, VT. Out of the mouth of my five year old adopted African America son. I am white. We were eating chicken and my skin was crispier. Relief at the simplicity of innocence!
Jan Spooner, Tucson, AZ. As a white American, I don’t have a strong feeling of culture. My African American, Jewish, Native American and Hispanic friends can all talk about a strong cultural background. Their stories reflect their heritage and what it means to belong to their ethnic group. What is my culture and what are […]
Shree Antwanette Bostick, Montgomery, AL. Although I am proud to be an African American I am not proud of the actions and the way we carry and present ourselves as a whole in my community alone.
Chet Wallinsworth, Hanover, NH. The black population hates when you assume they are African American
Chelsea Delaney, Baltimore, MD. I have read different race cards that elaborated so much about the downsides of being my race, about being an African American and the disadvantages of it. I do believe that both sides need to be explained, but I want to focus more on the positive. Focus more on how liberating […]
Christopher Wydler, Miami, FL. People always ask me does it bother you that more than 90 percent of the university you attend contain African Americans? My response is simply I see people for who they are not because the skin of their color.
Charles Brantley, Tuscaloosa, Al. Words to describe education for African-Americans. Original Post: segregated, excluded, divided along racial lines, diminished, extenuate, unqualified.
Nikai Mutagaana Freedom, PA Is this still a free country? Then why are so many African American young people getting shot by police for being where they “don’t belong?” I get sick thinking about my childrens safety when they are not at home. I am very stressed about my son going away to school. These […]
Adrienne Crew Los Angeles, CA I’m always troubled about the concept of being an “Oreo” and not really projecting an “African American” identity but rather always being the upper middle class nerd that I was born and refusing to “code switch.” What is “Black” anyways? I get this comment both from whites and non-whites.
Misha N Utica, NY I was born in the Caribbean, and I am Black, For some reason people insist on saying I’m “African American”. It’s not a bad word. I am not American, therefore I am not “African American”
Achilles C., Saint Paul, MN. I am a young African American single father, working hard to make sure my two daughters understand and value their own beauty, in the face of constant imagery and media messages that would suggest otherwise – my oldest was 3 the first time she wanted her hair straight like some […]
Vanessa Minneapolis, MN I HATE the term African-American. I don’t hold citizenship to any country on the African continent so why do people feel the need to call me that. I’m the descendent of people who were forcible sold and brought to the country, raped, beaten, and denied personhood and their rights. They slaved and […]
Jenna Roberts Sacramento, CA I was raised in a low income area, primarily white and latino. My experience with African Americans was very limited until I moved to Sacramento, a relatively large city compared to where I’d come from. It was the first time I’d experienced “Urban Youth.” I’ve lived here for 14 years, and […]
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 […]
Alexis Beauford Normal, IL 2 years ago I decided to go natural. A lot of non-ethnic people don’t know what that means. When an African American woman gets a perm, it’s to make her hair straight and more manageable which is the opposite of when some other ethnicities get a perm. When someone decides to […]
DR JAMES LEWIS III EFFINGHANM, NJ I am African American, and I am the neuropsychologist. In many settings especially medical settings the reaction of the family when I greet them for an appointment is simply “We are waiting for the neuropsychologist”
John Lane Cincinnati, OH In college and through my entire professional life, I have always been the only African-American in the “room” I am “safe” and “non-threatening”……… And full of rage.
Carmela Atlanta, GA I am significantly more than the color of my skin. I am the culture of my people and I am amazing. Get to know me and my color and you will be amazed. If not, I can continue to be amazing without you. I realize I have nothing to prove to anybody […]
Abby Memphis, TN Anything I say, African Americans can call racist, but anything they can I can’t say call racist. That’s causing racism.
Nikolette Joseph Union City, CA People always ask me what is my ethnicity. I respond saying Fijian and they look at me like what the heck is that. I explain to them that its an small island next to Hawaii. ”Ohhh okay” as they say. The Fiji water , that’s where you come from? So […]
Colton Denver, CO An incredibly close friend of mine was one of the only white girls at an African-American/Asian majority school. Months ago she was assaulted at a graduation party by a group of girls, for the main reason of her being a “privileged white girl who needs to be roughed up.” She was kicked […]
Anthony Galloway Baltimore, MD In being African American it’s always perceived that’s blacks are a product of an inter-city environment with negative tendencies. Even if thats true you don’t have to be handcuffed to them. Achievement is from individual drive and not based on race.
Rachel Kroontje Morris, MN In the past several months, I almost dated two very nice guys who happened to be African American. To my shock and disgust, I had a very close friend who I would have never thought in a million years to be even slightly racist tell me, “It’s disgusting that you are […]
Maggie Whitman Boston, MA My African-American friend freaks out whenever anyone asks to touch or play with her hair, but she is always coming up and playing with my hair (and other white women’s hair) without asking. I don’t want to say anything… but it seems hypocritical.
Derek Kendall Cullowhee, NC Why Is it when people see a African American student going to college they automatically assume that he must be here on a to play sports. On the other hand when white people are at college its only because they are smart and their parents have a good amount of money […]
Leonard Henry Atlanta, GA Check out this scholarly book, Black Slaveowners: Free black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860, by Larry Koger ISBN 0-89950-160-5. Also read the book Two Princes of Calibar. This is a true history of two West African brothers who were sold into slavery, won their freedom in the courts and went […]
Rhonda Frederick Chestnut Hill, MA
Lamia Barrington Federal Way, WA Although we (North Africans) are considered Caucasian, I always choose African American or Black. How is that possible that we are white? We clearly are not and what gives the government the right to label us as such? I truly believe that we are the group that’s discriminated against the […]
Chanel Tate South Holland, IL This is something my African-American mom would say to me all the time when I was a kid and I called her out on saying something derogatory or stereotypical about other races. She’s dead now and it’s harder and harder for me to remember the sound of her voice, much […]
Michelle Nickol Tucson, AZ Now that both my parents have passed away, I wish I had a camera to record the reactions on people’s faces when I’d introduce my Mother, Caucasian, and my Step-Father, African American. You could see the genetic race meters whirring in their minds trying to imagine how much of what went […]
Leyitha P. Achoute Philadelphia, PA I don’t like to be identify as a African American, it get me mad. I’m “black” skinned, but I wasn’t born in America nor Africa. I was born in Haiti, an island in the Caribbean. Every time I’m filling a form, I just check the box that’s says other race.
Willie McBride Long Beach, CA I was born in Taiwan to a Chinese mother and African American father. I was orphaned an American serviceman and his wife adopted me; my adopted father just happens to be African American and my mother is Chinese. They also never mentioned that I was adopted and so I grew […]
Abesheet Seattle, WA [White] America may lump us all together; but as far as we are concerned, american-born blacks might as well have been white or asian. We have nothing in common.
Lorinda Roberts Carmel, IN For my friend, Rabi, who was born and raised in Africa and is now applying for citizenship, however, cannot describe himself as an African American, according to state college officials.
Ed Karesky Escondido, CA When I was in fourth grade a new family moved into our lower middle class apartment complex. They were African American. I was out riding my bicycle with a friend when the six year old of that family rode his bike up to us and asked if he could ride with […]
Stacey Golden Portland, OR I am Euro-American and my husband is African American. When we decided to adopt children, we adopted children that had bio-parents that were the same race as us, thinking, at the time, that then our children would feel more comfortable in a family that would have been like their bio-family. That […]
Jan Hedlun Potrero, CA I am a white female who was in a relationship with an African-American gentleman. There was no gray area for most people when it came to our love. Sad what the world doesn’t understand.
Tracey Lincoln Needham, MA I am a proud Jamaican immigrant who was raised in that tiny island until I was eighteen years old. There, we have rampant classism, but racism – in a country that is over 90% black – is not something I had to deal with until I went to an elite small […]
David San Francisco, CA Policing blackness is when other African Americans determine what views are acceptable and then deintergrate or cast out fellow African Americans who do not share the same view.
Abraham Wang Chicago, IL I am Asian and I live in Chicago, which has a large African-American population. I’ve been the victim of racial harassment by black youth on several occasions. I don’t judge all African-Americans on the actions of a few because none of my African-American friends behave like that. But I’m disappointed at […]
Jane Fairfield, CA I was bullied heavily by African American women in Junior HS and told to watch ky back. I ran for secretary of my school against a very nice (AA) peer. It was my first experience with hatred I find now that there continues to be much hatred against whites but this never […]
Patricia Jones Charleston, SC My husband and I are the parents of an 18-year-old son who just graduated from high school. As we raised him to this point, we were always concerned about his emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Our goal was to get him through high school and his teenage years without ever seeing […]
Kelvin Scruggs Gulfport, MS Is the United States of America the only nation that classifies people by race at birth? At one time it was important classify people by race. The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the enumerated population […]
Maada Jawa Thomas Plainsboro, NJ
Marcus Atlanta, GA Born of African American parents, raised by my African American mother and Irish-German (adopted) father. Big brother to a bi-racial sister and my cousins are white, Asian and Latino.
Eric D. Riner, VA Both of my parents were born in Haiti and legally immigrated to the United States where I was born. I feel blessed and privilege to call myself Haitian American. I have a rich experience because I grew up as a part of two cultures. My niece and nephew are of Haitian, […]
Michelle Baird Berkeley, CA My daughter is in a fairly diverse elementary school. She is African-American, I am white. She commented one day on the way in to school that all the kids in the class she says is kids with behavior problems are black. She wonders why. So do I.
Manuel Lluberas Jacksonville, FL Africa is not a country or a culture. It is a continent with almost fifty countries, several hundred tribes and as many languages; and that is only the “black part”. North of the Sahara, Africa is Arab. South of the Calahari is Africaner. Other “identity-labeled groups” use Italian-American, Irish-American, etc., even […]
L P SIMMONS, LONG BEACH, CA. IT’S SO HARD BEING AN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE THAT TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE GAINS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. I HAD THE CHANCE TO GO TO COLLEGE FREE AND EXPERIENCE A LOT IN LIFE. BECAUSE THESE ADVENTURES ARE NOT COMMON TO THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY, THE EXPERIENCES AND MYSELF […]
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 […]
Regina Sims Ann Arbor, MI
Eric Brooklyn, NY I gave my daughter a calendar of notable African-Americans for Black history month. She thumbed through the pages and then announced “hey you know who’s missing from this calendar, Britney Spears”. I told her Britney Spears is not in the calendar because she’s not African American, to which she replied “she’s not?”. […]
Anne Palmer-Stein San Rafael, CA I read an article in the newspaper about a 19 year old African American youth (my white son’s age at the time) who rode his skateboard the wrong way in traffic. The police followed him home and beat him up on his doorstep. Afterwards, when his mom spoke up about […]
Alexandria Jones Columbus, OH As a biracial woman (African American and Caucasian) who married a Caucasian man I’m afraid that our future children will not resemble me and I will have to constantly explain/prove to other people that my children are mine!!
Angela Tucker Seattle, WA African American adult adoptee born in the South, raised by Caucasian parents in the pacific Northwest.
Chelsea White (African American) Ann Arbor, MI and… “My skin speaks when I don’t”
Joseph Washington, DC from an essay I wrote in 2008: IN 1980, THE year I ran for president, the country was mired in inflation, the malaise of the Carter administration was about to be overtaken by Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America, and like a lot of the country, Ooltewah High School was swept up in […]
Carl Yard Hamden, CT I think the term African American was self serving for Black Americans .They obviously did not consider people like me who are black and from the Caribbean or Black people from other countries.How about white people living in America but are from South Africa.They to would be considered African American.I prefer […]
Colin Mitchell Sacramento, CA Being black in this country without your family being from this country is a very interesting experience. I was an adult before I figured out why I didn’t quite fit in…
Michelle P. Covington, LA We decided to adopt a child years ago. We are not infertile, but felt like it was a great way to add to our family, while loving someone who needed us. Our research showed us that African-American children, especially boys, are the least adoptable in our country. We decided to adopt […]
Corrie Bugby Murray, UT I am a Caucasian woman who adopted three African American sons. I love them. I cherish everything about them. And I hate it when people assume that they aren’t my children. Like the woman who asked me, “Don’t you think you’d love a biological child more?” ?! I have come to […]
Charles Ricker Charlotte, NC Can’t we be just American instead of hyphenated?
Joseph San Diego, CA There is no box for me. I am lumped in with all others who are not Asian, African-American, Latino, Native American, etc. This categorization process strips me of my identity. When it comes to opportunity, what about the fact that I grew up poor, never knew my father, and never finished […]
Anonymous, Baltimore, MD It was intended to be a compliment from a African-American woman to myself. I took it as that in the moment. Later I wondered how would it feel if someone said “But you’re not black, black.”
Dina Stonberg Philadelphia, PA I have had the privilege to not have to think about race most of my life. Fell in love with a wonderful, kind, caring African American man – formed our family through adoption and now have the privilege of raising a beautiful, smart African American daughter. She is a joy every […]
Jason Smith Long Beach, CA I sometime catch people off-guard when I ask them what they mean by saying “your the whitest black guy I know”. What does that mean? Is there some kind of way I’m supposed to dress, talk and act. I think there is a underlying most of the time unintentional racist […]