Lucy Moua, Fresno, CA. My name is Lucy and I am Hmong. “Hmong” some may question and say as most people are not aware of this particular ethnicity. Growing up, I’ve always thought my ethnicity was well known and familiar to people as I grew in a community where people embraced the Hmong culture even […]
Fess Makame Justice, Oakland, CA. This is a quote by Shakespeare who helped organize the Bible.
Kyla J., Scotts Valley, CA. Everyone deserves to be tolerated, no matter your skin color, language, or family.
Akshan Chand, San Jose, CA
Marc A Quarles, Pacific Grove, CA. Pacific Grove, I’m African-American my wife is German we have two children a son 15 and a daughter 13. We live in a predominately white affluent area on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Every summer my wife and children go to Germany to visit her parents and other friends […]
Michelle T, Los Angeles, CA. What a wonderful and positive way to engage in discourse about race. Well done, Mrs. Norris!
Gym Rati, Pasadena, CA. We were on a road trip and in Colorado a restaurant displayed a sign that Mexicans were not allowed. We sent in our light skinned cousin for takeout. The hamburger felt like sand in my mouth. I was 10 years old.
Suzette Chaumette, San Leandro, CA. We speak of ourselves as a Caribbean family. We teach our girls about the significance of the drum, Haitian Revolution, Toussaint Louverture, Alexandre Petion, Hatuey, Anacaona, Jose Marti, and more. We love celebrating our respective cultures, which are unique, but also our similar backgrounds as Taino, Arawak, African, French and […]
Brejanae Malone, Los Angeles, CA As a black woman we are known to express ourselves through our hairstyle. It’s a sense of togetherness and pride, especially when being asked is my hair mine. To be judged for my race alone is already enough but now my hair is questioned too. My answer to those who […]
Nicole, Irvine, CA Who can give a clear definition of race? Does that definition “A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct within a given society” sound familiar?-most of us don’t even know our ancestry until we take DNA tests so can we […]
Jill Crusey, San Diego, CA Grew up on the south side of Chicago as a white girl who went to a high school where black students entered through one door and white students entered through another. Did not know how to bridge the divide in my heart and move toward my fellow black students even […]
Ava Nanjung, San Diego, CA As an Indian/White mother to my three biological children of color, strangers find no issue asking me or them if they are adopted. Not one inherited my white skin. I wish one of them looked more white. If they did, I wouldn’t have to worry about them simply existing in […]
Nona Lynn Simons Orangevale, CA My Six Words: Have you ever felt different from everybody else? I have and sometimes I still do! In the fifth grade, I was different because I was part Jewish and my classmates weren’t. They went to church and I didn’t. During the last week of school, one of my […]
Malan Hadizadeh, San Francisco, CA I was driving my then three year old son to preschool the Friday before Mother’s Day and asked him, “Who’s the best mom?” thinking that he would say me. His response was “You’re all the same but different.” I was hurt and proud, all at the same time. To this […]
Katrina Nye San Jose, CA I am full Asian and my husband is a quarter Japanese. Once our son was born I asked my husband which one of us will have the responsibility to give him “the talk” about dealing with racism. My husband replied that it had to be me, because even though he […]
Kristal Vanessa Baradi, Milpitas, CA …or Domestic Helper. I am a Filipino- American, I was born in Hawaii. My husband is white, we meet in the Army (yes, I served for 8 years Active Duty). Everywhere we go people ask me where I was from of how long did it take for my husband to […]
Maile Siefert, Belmont, CA
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 […]
Clara Chun, Los Angeles, CA. I’m a Thai-Chinese, Korean, White girl. It’s about as confusing as it sounds, but I refuse to not acknowledge a single part of my identity. Because all of it exists.
Barry Watkins, Santa Rosa, CA. My mother took me back when she told me that. She was loving & guileless. She drove off the road when I told her I had Black roommates in SF, though I grew up in Beaumont, TX. I never thought of my roommates as “Black”, they were individuals – Ron […]
Nina, Marina, CA I’m light skinned, half white, but I don’t feel white. My other half is Hispanic. I ever know what race to put down, so I always pick “other.”
Kellen, San Clemente, CA Thinking someone is less than you simply because they have a different skin pigmentation is asinine…we are all human.
James Estanislao Herr, Los Angeles, CA. Dad’s side came over in 1717–Swiss-German and Irish with some Danish and Greek thrown in. Mom came over in 1954. Filipino, Spanish and Chinese with I guess some Portuguese somewhere along the way given my middle name. Grew up in an all white community outside Philadelphia. Not sure who […]
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 […]
Malika Los Angeles, CA Our daughter began to draw what she saw in the world very early. She wakes up from vivid dreams, grabs a sheet of paper and illustrates the thunder and lightning, fairies and wizards, monsters and princesses from her nighttime imagination. Having grown up in America as a woman of African ancestry, […]
Gordon Lee Pattison, Los Angeles, CA. In 1959, when I was 14 years old, I moved from Los Angeles to Honolulu. I had just started taking French as a foreign language at my junior high school in Los Angeles and wanted to continue. However, there was only one junior high school in Honolulu at that […]
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 […]
Nice White Lady, San Francisco, CA. I’m a white mom to a brown daughter who can’t shake the shame and embarrassment that stems from a long history of white women instigating and being complicit in violence against Black people. When people see me, they see someone who is too fragile, too protected, too privileged, too […]
Lisa Harrison Long Beach, CA This is such a common reaction from people over many, many years. I don’t look half Cambodian by others standards. I just say I’m multi-racial. The list of my heritage is too long!
Jolie Anne Chevalier, San Jose, CA. This is me at eight years old back in 1979, the daughter of an African-American/Seminole Indian mother, and a Irish-French-American father. Growing up, I was faced with contradictions in a world of opposites; although I was multiracial my mother told me I was Black, and to identify as such […]
Ayvee Verzonilla, San Francisco, CA.
April Anderson, Sonora, CA When I read From the Editor in Junes’ Nat Geo (I’m a bit behind) I suddenly had this sentence pop into my head. I didn’t know it was six words until I counted it out. Two of my best friends are Japanese and it has broken my heart to see their […]
Ellise, Riverside, CA. My race is not what you see, It is what I feel. Do not let your stereotypes fool you, I am happy, beautiful, and peaceful about who I am. I use to be angry with who I was. I have been told “I was pretty for a black girl” all my life. […]
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 […]
Brian Batista Elk Grove, CA
Takiyah L., Oakland, CA. If all it takes for me is to take on the burdens of intersectionality, just so my brother and sister, and future generations of Black and Brown youth will not have to experience that, then I am all down for the cause. I would not want them to endure such things, […]
Celia Beasley, Seattle, WA. Being an upper-middle class white woman, I know I will never truly understand what it feels like to be a person of color in America. Despite my attempts to be aware of racism in this county through conversations, news stories, interviews, books, this website, etc, I know that I will never […]
Asma Mohammed Westminster, CA Arabian American. Born and raised in America. Never broken the law. Never punched anyone. Never stolen anything. Name one thing that makes me a terrorist.
Christine Abraham Santa Monica, CA My mom is ashamed to speak Arabic in public in this post-9/11 world.
Sanaz Chloe Homayounieh, Irvine, CA It’s a common joke among Iranians: “They used to classify us as Caucasian, but once 9/11 happened, now we aren’t white!” Traveling has always been an interesting experience for my family. Growing up, being stopped at airport security was not unusual. Whether they checked our hair, ankles, or even our […]
Emily Kim, Garden Grove, CA I look Vietnamese, I have a common Korean last name but I’m neither, I’m Cambodian. All my life I grew up with peers always assuming I’m Vietnamese without even asking what race I am first. I went to schools that dominantly had Vietnamese students witch is why they probably why […]
Mary Barnett, NEWBURY PARK, CA I was about 11 02 12. Mary Penn Carter and I were playing in a section of woods in Danville, Virgina that we called Tarzan’s Chamber beause we would swing on vines fro, tree to tree. This days from boys who were friends from school tied Mary Penn so her […]
Theresa E Wade, Copperopolis, CA Reading about this was really moving and touching.
Ovsanna, Los Angeles, CA I am an Armenian immigrant living and studying in America with my siblings and my parents.
Alicia Wolff, Petaluma, CA As a child in the ‘80s, up north, with a deeply religious family, I was raised to believe God didn’t see color and neither should we. It has taken me decades to understand how that overly simplistic view denies the reality of how race functions in our society and allows white […]
Jemmie Valencia, San Francisco, CA. Proudly that they are Cherokee and they know this because their great great grandmother had long black hair- was a Cherokee Princess, even!, when they find out that I am in fact from the Yurok Tribe of Northern California. With as many white folks out there wearing wolf, eagle, & […]
Nathan Krasniak, Moreno Valley, CA. As a young child, my parents instilled a solid work ethic and introduced me to setting goals. 18 years later I am so very thankful! Initially I wasn’t very receptive. I didn’t understand why my friends didn’t have chores and I had quite a bit of them. My parents would […]
Estefany Anaya, Redwood City, CA.
Zara Edwards, Sacramento, CA.
J Okowita, Los Angeles, CA As the daughter and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I find it strange sometimes that I am so not Jewish looking that even my Jewish friends forget.
Gigi Fierro, Menlo Park, CA Being mixed doesn’t mean I’m not more of one culture than the other, nor does it mean that I’m not Hispanic or European enough to be accepted into either community.
fakeKofi M. G. W. Opantiri, Los Angeles, CA. I am the eldest child of two boys and a girl born to an American-African father and a French-Canadian (white) mother. Born in New York City in 1949, the “one-drop” rule informed me early on that I was Negro and colored. Like millions of American-Africans, I became […]
Mia, CA Growing up in a mainly white neighborhood and going to a prominently white school was really hard being black. I never said anything about it to my family because I have never been good at expressing my feelings, but it would sometimes really bother me. In class when we talked about things dealing […]
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 […]
Alexa Mendoza, Sun Valley, CA My American accent makes me insecure so I don’t like speaking Spanish to anyone other than my mom.
Juliette Delacano, Los Angeles, CA Growing up mixed race, it’s hard to feel a sense of belonging with each side of your family, each community of color, and connected to each culture. It often feels alienating or that you are a fraud, not Black enough, not Filipino enough, somewhere in between, neither and both at […]
Jeni Bate, Salton City, CA I have frizzy hair. I grew up in an all** white town and the only other people with hair like mine were my mother and grandmother, both of whom are/were racist. My mother always denied we have any black in our family, but I thought she was lying because she […]
Richard Cameron, Irvine, CA
Sandra Castañeda Anaheim, CA I have spent 42 of my 44 years in this country and it doesn’t make an ounce of difference, I’m still treated differently. My head says I’m American my heart says I’m Colombian, because that’s where I’m accepted.
Emma Alvarez Gibson, San Pedro, CA. My husband’s heritage is Japanese/Portuguese/French. Mine is Mexican/Irish/Scottish. Neither of us fit in anywhere while growing up; both sides of each of our families considered us oddities at best. People never knew what to make of us. I was too white for the Mexican kids and too uptight about […]
Franke Santos, Los Angeles, CA. Despite being born in the U.S., speaking only English, and being given a white-sounding name, I am routinely asked “where are you from?” When I respond, “Los Angeles,” I get the follow-up “where are you really from?”
Ka’Olu, Los Osos, CA I’m a “third culture kid” raised in Southern California by expat Japanese parents. We were repatriated when I was a teenager, then I moved back to California in my late 40’s. In Japan, I felt I was not really Japanese, but in the US, I don’t really feel American. Because I […]
Tiffany Gonzales, Jurupa Valley, CA CBU HIS 311
Mayra Cramer, Menlo Park, CA. I’m a brown typically Hispanic looking upper middle class woman living in an affluent suburb of San Francisco. I’ve allways had a hard time fitting in because I was raised in “white” neighborhoods and went to elite and desirable schools. My third child is fair and people in the street […]
Melinda Quintero, Santa Monica, CA. Said to me and my 5 month old daughter while in line at a store. Woman was in her twenties.
Shannon Luders-Manuel, Los Angeles, CA. Awesome project, and glad I found it! I’m black & white and write about race issues.
Anyssa Strauss, Temple City, CA.
Anonymous, Redwood City, CA. White people have been trying to kill my people for 2000+years. I think that gives us an out on being part of any “race”.
Michael Fischer, El Cerrito, CA
Haley Cantin, Sanger, CA. I am white american female and I always get “because of your eyes”. When someone compliments me and says I’m pretty I often ask why.. and most responses I get are “because of your eyes”. But everyone has eyes? Am I not pretty becuase of anything else? Do my eyes define […]
Renee Poselski, Riverside, CA. So Cal – Atlanta – Hawaii – Russia: No matter where I have lived, my heart yearns to connect and understand. Writing this, I am hesitating because I don’t want you to think that I can’t understand because I am white. My whiteness is a wall between you and me. I […]
V-Anne Chernock, Rio Vista, CA
Alexis Rae Hernandez, Pasadena, CA Some people are under the assumption that all Native American’s are rich by being paid monthly allotments from the government.
Jose Andrade Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Nancy MacLeod, Philo, CA. I have ancestors that came to America in 1630- among the 1st to take advantage of the indigenous people. What is to be proud of, is how your family lived, how you live. I can be proud of my family because they were hard working and honest- but were they compassionate […]
Robb Pérez, San Clemente, CA. My mother didn’t speak Spanish to us when we were growing up in the Bronx, but I took enough Spanish in school to develop a decent accent. By now, however, I have what could be considered a six-year-old child’s vocabulary. Hence, it’s easier to tell people that I don’t speak […]
Stephen Parrish, Los Angeles, CA I am a 66 yro Gay man who lived through the AIDS crisis: unlearned a lot of ingrained prejudice; learned a lot of compassion. I believe in hope.
Chandra Campbell, Mountainview, CA WHY ARE POLICE CONTINUOUSLY pulling over persons of color, bullying them, ordering them out of the car and setting them on the ground handcuffed, and finally after humiliating them publicly letting them go!
Courters, Bay Area, CA. I grew up in a latin home, of a first generation born parent. By DNA–I am native-american sicilian. I was raised with latin catholic, tibetan, native american, and sicilian culture. As a child, in my desert neighborhood, I stayed dark and it was rarely noticed that I was not “technically” latin […]
Charles Fuller, Marina, CA I believe that “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” There is nothing more essential to human progress than embracing and celebrating humanity’s diversity. “Hidden Thoughts on Race in Six Words” in National Geographic emotionally moving.
Devin Horton, Los Angeles, CA. My race card refers to conundrum of my experience and my physical self being essentially invisible but also having the world simultaneously watch and critique my every move with microscopic precision. It can cause serious anxiety.
Helen Zhang, Camarillo, CA. When I was in middle school, I noticed that my classmates tended to form “cliques” with people of the same ethnicity. However, I preferred to learn about the values and traditions of other cultures. Speaking to people of different backgrounds continues to allow me to stay open-minded and gain new perspectives.
Julie Long, Pioneer, CA. When I was 8, we moved from a big city to a small country town, where there were, maybe two other families that weren’t white. I had no idea at 8 years old what race was. I never even differentiated a difference based on appearance, but I remember being suddenly shocked […]
John Sutter, Porterville, CA My wife, who is white, was discriminated against when she was a restaurant manager at a national fast food restaurant in the South. Her crew was composed of black men, who made life hell for her. They would set off the burglar alarm during the middle of the night so she […]
Anonymous, Cupertino, CA This is my experience as a Russian immigrant to the US! Whenever I hear complaints about immigrants, it is always implied that due to my light skin I am an exception.
Snigdha Gurram, Sunnyvale, CA There are many different languages in India and many other places in the world. The place is not the same thing as the language the whole country speaks.
Beryle Fobes, Torrance, CA Born at end of WWII to res-born Native American hetero male who later remarried a Japanese war bride. White mother remarried racist. Children married Black and Native American; grandchildren more mixed than me. Always looked White though, as do progeny. International family at varying stages of race awareness.
Katelyn Nicole Volz Hemet, CA “You know they say Gingers have no souls right?” “A Ginger gains a freckle every time they steal a soul.” “Do the carpets match the drapes?” Does ANYONE know how tired I am of hearing that? Yes, my hair is red, yes it’s natural, and yes I am Irish. Does […]
Ruth A Kees, Oakland, CA We are a mixture of the changes in a very changing world. Tribes helped us survive and tribes have split us apart and every time it has happen we have to learn all over again we are better together.
Veronica Shao, CA Asian Americans are often seen as more White than we are POC. This view erases the majority of the Asian-American diaspora, especially non East-Asians. Despite our somewhat “White-adjacent” status, we still have to confront racism and discrimination in our daily lives: something that has only become heightened during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sandra Durbin, San Diego, CA. It was hard. I was smart, black and female, 18 years old in 1966. I joined the U S Navy, because they promised me college. I give the govenment 3 years, and they give me four years of college. It was horrible. I was given a Captain’s Mast, at 8:30 […]
Mary Mills, Los Angeles, CA. I am a black female surfer. (What stereotypes?)
Marcus Rocio, Moreno Valley, CA. I’m a black man that doesn’t have a criminal record and loves everyone. I love fried chicken and watermelon but who doesn’t
Poonam Dreyfus-Pai, Berkeley, CA. It wasn’t easy to choose just one sentence (6 words, no less) to summarize the constant negotiation between frustration and a sort of mirthless humor that I experience when dealing with questions about my race and ethnicity. On the most basic level, “Hindu” is a religious identity — not a race, […]
Felipe Ricketts, San Diego, CA Each one of us is unique and a unique expression of humanity. Humanity is the language we all share. Humanity will save the day. We, all of us, are the solution. Let’s find our humanity and act accordingly.
Amy Tanisha, Petaluma, CA. When asked the infamous “what are you?” question, I define myself on my terms. Sure, its easy for someone to understand that my mom is white and my dad is black, but “white” or “black” is not the house I grew up in. I grew up in a house full of […]
Sheli Turner, Los Angeles, CA While I am now a biracial 62 year old woman, who bore living witness to the difficulties my parents had in this country due to their marriage, this means less and less to my sons who are now marrying, and will also have mixed-race children by default. What “race” will […]
Sally Drummond, Pleasanton, CA I am a 71 yo white woman. I have lived in blue states and red states. I have witnessed blatant racism in and out of the US. What I have been most appalled throughout my life, and especially in 2020-2021, is the abject dismissal, denial and ridicule of people of color […]
Charles, Sacramento, CA Many Thanks for this Micro-Platform; Would that it Sheds Much Light on a Huge Topic!
John Rodney Davis, Carmichael, CA As a young child in Northern California, I never felt different in the overwhelmingly white world I was raised in. Occasionally a non-white person would enter the world I lived in —- the “cultural water I swam in. They were different. I was not. Wherever I went —- the store, […]
Mark Albrent, Valencia, CA Paraphrasing Lennon & Costello: Imagine all the people living with peace, love & understanding.
Aviyah Farkas, Los Angeles, CA I am a 73 y.o. woman who grew up on the Lower East Side, Manhattan; a multi ethnic, multi colored place of acceptance. As a young girl watching white southern hate, Bull Connor, German shepherds, attacks against Black children, caused tremendous pain and devastation for me. My father was a […]
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 […]
Rob Moore, Oak Park, IL. I was raised in Southern California, born into a military family. I’ve lived most of my life in a white–or beige–bubble. Recently, because of an important and loving relationship, I’ve been thinking a lot more about race as it affects us today. Reading Claudia Rankine, Patricia Smith, many others who […]
Lily, Lake Forest, CA. Currently taking Biological Anthropology and am finding it both fascinating and eye-opening. My six words are an excerpt from Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way”. It probably looks corny or, perhaps, cliché but I did put some thought into it! When I had first heard those lyrics, I had to research […]
Marie Farrell, Brooklyn, NY. I grew up in San Diego, California where the sun shines all the time. I was the kid that never tanned, just freckled and burned. I was also raised by an Irish mother so there was a lot less love than fights and tension. I recall a day when I bravely […]
Jason Zeller, San Diego, CA Even though my ancestors came to the United States after slavery was abolished and I am not aware of their involvement in any racist activities, as a white person in America I am ashamed of the vile history of racist violence and genocidal activities that white people in the U.S. […]
Emma Cate, San Jose, CA We have four grandsons who are half black, one adopted grandson who is brown, two great-grandkids who are half Chinese. In our extended family, we have people who speak the following languages fluently: German, French, Chinese, Haitian, and Spanish. I think in another generation there will be many families like […]
Cynthia McCarthy, Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
Anoosh Jorjorian, Santa Monica, CA. My paternal grandmother came to the U.S. to escape the Armenian Genocide. My maternal grandfather jumped aboard a U.S. submarine during World War II because the Japanese Army put a price on his head. When they raised my parents, they wanted more than anything for their children to assimilate into […]
Jasmin Fortune, Temecula, CA. I am a multiracial girl who has bullied for the way I looked from K-12. I have been hated because girls thought their boyfriends liked me. I would be threatened to get jumped because they thought I thought of myself as better than them. Black girls never liked me because I […]
Patricia Hughes, Lake Arrowhead, CA. My father’s father took the long route of immigration from Greece during the political upheavals occurring in the early part of the 20th century, and later sent for his family. My father and some of his siblings were born in America. Growing up extremely poor in Denver, Colorado, my father […]
Joyce Fidler, Toluca Lake, CA. In 1956 I was in first grade, my mother was Japanese-Hawaiian, and I knew nothing about WWII. I didn’t realize my mother was part Japanese, nor did I know why anyone should care. Years later in high school I failed to grasp why students on my Indianapolis school bus would […]
Judi Williams, Davis, CA White/colored signs everywhere was so shocking! Am I still in the United States?
Susan Mitschke Ccott, Olivenhain, CA Grandfather Mitschke came to America through Ellis Island. He learned English and acclimated into the USA society. My great grandfather on dad’s side also came to America from Germany and ended up in Olivenhain California… Adam Wiegand
Leticia Hernandez, Lawndale, CA Chicanos, Mexican Americans, despised, ignored and looked upon as less. They are always surprised when we accomplish something. Or even when we open our mouths and use polysyllabic English words!
Marni Berendsen, Walnut Creek, CA I grew up in a town (and neighborhood) in CA that had a mixture of ethnicities. I didn’t know “color” was supposed to make a difference until I was about 12. I’m white. I’m 70. Over the years, it seemed that race become the most important trait that one was […]
Marisha Vandenberg, Riverside, CA I was raised in a Mexican household with my mom and her entire family: Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, 2 Uncles & 3 Aunts. I’m also half Creole, so I was always darker and taller than my family and I had long curly hair. We went to church and I stood out like […]
Katie Webb, Laguna Niguel, CA When asking people from that time period how they weren’t outraged about the events that were happening right in front of them. They will usually say “That’s just how it was”. The same people that taught me to not follow what everyone else is doing, also saying they just did […]
Angela Papakosmas, Aliso Viejo, CA
Jun Hu, LA, CA As the anti-Asian hate incidents, reported and unreported, skyrocketing in the COVID-19 pandemic, I no longer feel comfortable to walk outside, or even run errands. I just want to be safe, want to have a normal life again.
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 […]
Luis Guzman, Sunnyvale, CA You be surprised to speak to someone and find out that you have so much more in common than you thought.
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 […]
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.
Josh, Tustin, CA p>I’m from the Philippines. I have ch**k eyes but that doesn’t mean I’m Chinese!
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 […]
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 […]
Ayush Patel, San Jose, CA
Jonathan, Redwood City, CA
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
Bruno, San Diego, CA. Senior Drill Instructor on race relations in the United States Marine Corps.
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 […]
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 […]
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”.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Zoe Brunings, Truckee, CA Your actions speak louder than your words. Trying to make yourself look better by saying this doesn’t make you a better person. It is your actions in your everyday life that leads to change.
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 […]
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 […]
Kelly Close, San Francisco, CA.
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 […]
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 […]
Thanh Bercher, Huntington Beach, CA Vietnamese-French, Polish-Eastern European / South African Interfaith Buddhist-Jew Multilingual enigma.
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 […]
Jason Fong, Los Angeles, CA. Asian Americans have been in the U.S. for hundreds of years and yet we are routinely excluded from discussions about race relations in America. I’m in the 11th grade and I learn nothing about Asian Americans and our long history in America in my U.S. history class. I don’t think […]
Vanessa Ayala, Fountain Valley, CA. I was 17 when I first realized how important it was for others for me to be politically correct about my race. I was at work one day and an older gentleman stopped me to “compliment” me, he said I looked like a beautiful Aztec princess I just smiled and […]
Ken Yamamoto, Santa Barbara, CA Historical immigration policies
Savannah Terrell, Sacramento, CA
Janeen Irving, San Leandro, CA. For the first 12 years of my life I was clueless to my own color (or lack thereof) growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the next 20 years I tried to prove I was black. To no avail. Now I’ve come to the conclusion I’m an amazing […]
Akaya Windwood Oakland, CA Hated hearing that. I must have heard that 100 times when I was young.
Craig Woolmington-Smith, Orinda, CA. I was raised in a military family where discrimination was everywhere and a highly respected way of life, but the discrimination was based on one’s rank and nothing else. This was true up and down the ladder from Privates to Generals and was my first introduction to meritocracy, although we didn’t […]
Dylan Ha, Milpitas, CA The model minority myth is the idea that Asians are the “perfect” minority. They don’t retaliate against the majority, conform to societal standards, and assimilate into American culture. This myth is used to create a divide between the minorities in America. The myth blinds Asians into thinking that they are not […]
Jane Medina Orange, CA My daughter Annie had just turned 21. So she, my husband, my son, and I put on our cocktail party clothes and went to the fanciest restaurant in Orange, California to buy Annie her first drink. As our car climbed the steep hill where the restaurant sat like a crown above […]
Christine Bunker, Riverside, CA. It is almost that time of year when the weather changes and the tamale pot gets taken out of storage. It is the one time of year when the sound of Linda singing, “Canciones De Mi Padre,” fills our home and our hearts. We feel close to her because she sings […]
Leila Chabane, Palo Alto, CA I’d say that other than not doing enough about my white privilege, I’m also still learning about my ethnic and cultural identity since I’m Swedish and French-Algerian. If my sentence could be 12 words, I’d also add “Swedish and French-Algerian. Muslim. Confused.”
Val’Dionna P., San Francisco, CA. Throughout the years it has been a bit difficult to understand the many emotions and stereotypes being of color and mixed. It is important to understand that how one is raised growing up in a complex world that continues to critique someone on the features or melancholy of their skin […]
Mckenzie C, Sacramento, CA. Science tells us that race cannot be found in our DNA. There is not one person that could find out about an individuals race based solely on DNA, because it is simply not there. The cool thing about this; DNA is the one and only thing that contains our whole genetic […]
Regina Stroud, Oakland, CA The words of Ijeoma Oluo resonate with me when she says, when you have a nation that was founded upon the genocide of a race of people and built with the chattel enslavement of another, it will always be about race as long as this nation exists. That is why I […]
Lili King, Alamo, CA With biracial grandchildren, I am afraid for them and in them have hope.
Osher Fein, Cupertino, CA This took me an embarrassingly long time to realize, but there’s this weird thing that white Jews experience called “conditional white privilege”. As long as my Jewishness isn’t obvious or doesn’t “offend” anyone, I experience the same privilege every other white person does. But, it was the moments of overt antisemitism […]
Karla Zambrano, Los Banos, CA Many people assume that if you’re Mexican, then you’re most likely illegal. “Go back to where you came from” is something that’s said a lot to Mexicans. Many Mexicans, like myself, are born in the U.S. and others earn their place here by working hard and getting their citizenship. So […]
Martin Flores, San Francisco, CA Anti-Racism and Allyship 7 Day Journey
Richard Haynie, Oakland, CA. I walked into a roadside tavern near Allentown PA that had several motorcycles parked outside. Loving bikes, I thought nothing of it. Inside, a motorcycle “club” were the only patrons on that Sunday morning. I ordered some food and, despite a warning from the proprietor, decided to stay and eat there. […]
Michael Morentin, Los Angeles, CA. Growing up a third generation Mexican-American I find myself walking America as a 30 year old Marine Corps veteran and recent college graduate whom is too brown for those around me who are white, and not brown enough for those around me of hispanic heritage. Being third generation Mexican-American the […]
Clyde Jasper Oakland, CA I’m a tall black man with dreadlocks. I’m a husband and a father. I’m a property owner, and a taxpayer. I’m a veteran. I vote. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from a world class university in Berkeley, CA. In passing, I many times acknowledge a white persons presence and humanity with […]
JoseLuis Moreno, San Lorenzo, CA. I’m a student at Bishop O’Dowd High School, in Oakland, California. Ms. Tunik is my current teacher.
Moon Young Jin, San Jose, CA I am Korean. Husband is Filipino Indian American. We have Filipino, Korean, Chinese, White, and Mexican family members who all either share blood or love of marriage. It is beautiful and I am loved and I love them all so much.
AC Hutchinson, San Francisco, CA Race, as we use it today, is a cultural construct as we are all learning. We are all spiritual beings and the more we learn to love and treat each other as we would want to be treated, the better we are. We are all human, and our love and […]
Brittany Pitt, San Jose, CA
Madison Arroyo, San Jose, CA
Juan Aguila, East Palo Alto, CA
Susan Thackston, Agoura, CA. I was listening to an NPR story resently on Morning Edition. The program talked about “The Race Card Project” and that it was collecting peoples experiences during the 1960’s period of the civil rights movement, distilled into 6 words only. George Wallace’s daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, was only three years older […]
Amanda Williams, San Mateo, CA
Samantha M. Morales, Santa Ana, CA
Ayanna Bennett, Oakland, CA I work in equity so I think and talk about racism a lot. It’s easy to get discouraged when I don’t remember the enormity of the wound that we are trying to heal. Huge parts of our country were developed around forced labor camps and governed by human traffickers. That’s a […]
Jeanine Flier, Tujunga, CA. I am a mother of 3 multiracial children. They all have different types of hair. My oldest son has a very curly large beautiful Afro . My middle child as wavy thick hair similar to mine. My youngest child has large black curls. My oldest child is the ONLY ONE WHO […]
Deja, Moreno Valley, CA. This statement literally kills me . “Pretty for a black girl” I didn’t know “pretty” depended on your skill color . Goes to show how some look at “black girls” like their not good enough to be pretty.
Paulyna Ouk, Riverside, CA. Why? Is it because I’m Asian?
Leonard Rios, Imperial Beach, CA. I am an American Indian on tribal roles and racism has followed my people childhood to present. I am a traditionalist and live an old school life style founded on respect and the spirit of taking only what we need and giving when all possible. I moved to Imperial Beach […]
Charles Los Angeles, CA Leaders of color are seldom portrayed in our theater, films or story traditions.
Valerie Braimah, Los Angeles, CA.
Nisha Balaram, Oakland, CA. My dad would joke around, saying that my mom couldn’t help but fall in love with him when she first saw him. My mom was usually busy in the kitchen at the time, and would smile and roll her eyes in response to his comment; when the pungent scent of lentils […]
Shanté, Mountain View, CA
Jacob Geller, Sherman Oaks, CA Pull back the curtain of hate and see the hearts of beautiful people and teach the youth to be strong and love who they are, regardless of race and gender. We are all the same inside.
Kevin Krave, Santa Clara, CA
Quinn, Lake Elsinore, CA Both my parents are very conservative when it comes to politics and everything. I grew up learning from them, but once I hit college, my views started to change. Both my parents have Masters degrees and were principals for most of their careers. They were born in the 50’s and I […]
Mekela J Tyler, Indio, CA. Whenever someone learns that about me, they look at me as though I have three heads. It’s funny that the political party that wants to break racial barriers continues to pigeonhole me into a category based on my race. Talk about a double standard. I’ll tell you why I’m not […]