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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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
Alfredo Zavala, Paso Robles, CA. Grew up in Southern California to a Mexican father and a Dominican mother in a bi-lingual home. I am the product of many cultures. Mexican, Dominican, American, Californian, Surfer/skater/ punk, Catholic, Evangelical and Latino White boy in east LA and Orange County. Caribbean music is part of my DNA as […]
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.
Colette, Sacramento, CA. “I love Asian girls” “I love Japanese people” “Konnichiwa” “Ni hao” “Sayonara” “Kamsammida” ‘Your a bad Japanese. You don’t know Japanese.’ “Are you Chinese?” “I don’t think people in Osaka speak Kansaiben” “I know Chinese” “You look the most Japanese” “You could be an other Asian too” One Caucasian man approached my […]
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 […]
Vince Domingo, Fresno, CA. I’m proud to be Filipino. And I’m also proud to be an Asian Filipino. No, not a “Pacific Islander Filipino”, whenever you see them, avoid them as much as you can, they’re terrible people. They hate puppies. Okay, okay, I jest. They are just misunderstood. This is not even a geographical […]
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?”
Stacy Cole, Los Angeles, CA I used to live in St. Louis, Missouri. That was where I first experienced a taste of being “the other”. I worked at a restaurant where almost all servers and customers were black (I’m white). I had some close black friends before that, so I didn’t think anything of it. […]
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 […]
Z Frohna, Los Angeles, CA. So. I’m a white woman who lives in L.A. But I’m also disabled, and a part of the LGBT+ community. Am I privileged? Yes. If someone has privilege, whether it is the dreaded white privilege or economically fueled privilege, it doesn’t mean, “they are a terrible person,” or, “their life […]
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 […]
Jaylah Davenport-Acosta, Palo Alto, CA
Torleif Soderstrom, Palo Alto, CA
Amber Nicole Gutierrez, Hemet, CA. Everyone grew up with a different life-style, just because I look of Mexican decent does not mean I am the same as every Mexican stereotype. I am an American and have grew up in the middle of both worlds of “American” and “Mexican”. I understand Spanish and speak some. I […]
Issie Gotto, Piedmont, CA
Patricia Burns, Los Angeles, CA. Thank you.
Jeri Grigsbay, Magalia, CA.
Robert Symens Bucher, Oakland, CA. Aspen X I am a white man, and I realize that the concept of race was created by people like myself a long time ago. The purpose of race was to create a tiered society in which white people had superiority to the other races. It is important for all […]
Charles Stremel, Mission Viejo, CA To preface, I am white, I’ve grown up well-off and never really had to worry too much about things. My parents divorced around my birth, but I was too young to even remember, so I wouldn’t even call that a hardship. My views on the current topics that discuss commonly […]
Le Hoang Nhat Vy, Huntington Beach, CA As an Asian American growing up, I have been continuously been called the looking same as my other Asian friends even though we are two completely different people regardless of what any people say. It really irritates me when that happens. I grew up in Vietnam for my […]
Cecilia Joy Contreras Solano Riverside, CA
Rob Silva Oakland, CA First generation with Indo-Dutch/ El Salvadoran heritage. Family has seemingly always been the non-white in the group, especially when listening to the my parents’ stories of assimilation. So strange then when my son was bullied at his new school in Berkeley for being the white kid.
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 […]
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 […]
Tyler Henry, Ladera Ranch, CA In history, race has been used to segregate, define, and degrade people. It also has been used to raise people higher than one another creating inequality in humankind. All of these are different acts of evil. A person’s culture is a product of race. It allows people to connect with […]
Jolynne, Chino, CA. If someone makes me nervous it’s usually because they’re different to me. Different than what I’ve been exposed to. It’s hard to emotionally stay with the difference regardless of what that difference is. The brave ones of us stay.
Harleen Thind, American Canyon, CA. The reason why I chose these six words are because my mother and father are of different races, my father is European and my mother is Indian. Indians and Europeans were enemies in the past, they despised each other in the worst of ways. My father decided not to care […]
Denise Duvernay, Cupertino, CA. People are always trying to figure out exactly, what I am. But does learning my nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual background, or any other particular thing tell you anything about WHO I AM? So often, I feel like people are just looking for any excuse to dismiss you, or box you into […]
Betty Rosenda Green, Chino Hills, CA. With the recent controversies of Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone in blackface and Zendaya Coleman having been cast originally to play Aaliyah, I believe it is important to see how deep mainstream media like Hollywood work to erase Black Women, particularly with darker complexions specifically in this case, by […]
Darius Alexander, Laguna Hills, CA I hate when I meet some white people and after having a deep conversation with me, they say, “Wow you talk extremely well for a black guy no offense.” Stop doing that. It’s like you’re saying that blacks aren’t supposed to speak with good grammar.
Jesus Castro Menifee, CA California Baptist University CBU HIS311 I was born in Mexico and am the first person in my family to have a career with retirement benefits. Proud to be in this country and served in the Military. I now have a family and I am teaching my 2 year old son the […]
Steve Scott Hollywood, CA
Miranda Metto, Richmond, CA. Very tired demands from racist aggressive, rude, uncivilized ignorant black people and their white fan club to pity and apologize to people who aren’t contributing anything equal or better than anyone and to be expecting all white people to dumb ourselves down so they can keep up.
Todd Inoue, San Jose, CA Stay vigilant. Protect yourself at all times. And wear a damn mask.
Christina Williams, Aliso Viejo, CA. Race is such as small idea in comparison to bigger ideas like love, togetherness, family, connection and happiness. I wish to raise my children in a world where people are celebrated for ideas and compassion and not for superficial ideas such as skin color and ethnicity. Race is outside of […]
Denise Taylor, Temecula, CA. We love movies with popcorn, breakfast for dinner, prayers before bed, and extending kindness. Just love… a lot of love.
Christine Leach, San Francisco, CA. If the sun is intense enough, I can and have gotten sunburned in ten minutes, literally. I joke with my friend in Nigeria that I can’t visit him because it’d be too painful, physically. It’s a silly point, but one I’ve joked with friends about, who are black, hispanic, or […]
Monique Hollis-Perry Alpine, CA Military bases overseas were homes to many biracial families like mine, and my sister and I went to school with classmates who looked like us. It was many years and thousands of miles from being sent to Fort Gordon, GA as a test case in the 1960s to see how (or […]
Naim A., San Francisco, CA. These are the words I hear every time I go to the airport. Being Arab-American, I always face discrimination whether it’s from peers or random people on the street or social media but never let it get to me. The airport is the one place that always seems to get […]
Robin Perez, San Francisco, CA As a young kid, I never thought of getting into hockey as I had always known it to be a so-called “white sport” that disinterested people of color. I would later find this to be more of an oppressive statement than I would realize, as it is used to exclude […]
Joseph Velasco, Santa Barbara, CA My brother and I have been a quest for most of our lives to try and understand our family stories in the context of what it means to be “American.” As a person of color, I am reminded by some that I am other. But as a Chicano and Akimel […]
Alondra, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Coming from a family of immigrants I saw how much they sacrificed and how they struggled in the pursuit of the American dream. My father was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and when he moved to the U.S he had to give up his education in order to help his family. […]
G, Mission Viejo, CA My whole life has been slightly more challenging due to the fact that I am a first-generation American whose name is different than the traditional “Michael” or “Jake”. Growing up, the first day of school was always a bit of a struggle. I always knew when a teacher reached my name […]
Steven J. Scott Los Angeles, CA
April Wright, San Francisco, CA
David B. Wright, San Diego, CA I believe my parents raised me to believe that there was only one race and we all belonged to it. I have striven to live up to that and still need to improve. I am a Wright which means Builder and I am constantly trying to build the bridges […]
Anonymous, Los Angeles, CA This is a reaction to the recent news stories of the African-American film actor who was unlawfully detained by NYPD and Macy’s after purchasing a pair of sunglasses from a Sunglass Hut at Macy’s. He was asked to show his ID and told he couldn’t afford the item, though he has […]
Alisa Dennis Los Angeles, CA Many white people do not personally know any blacks, or very few. As a result, their only reference point for black culture is drawn from stereotyped, caricatured images from T.V. news, sitcoms, Hollywood movies, or quickly driving through the outskirts of economically marginalized black neighborhoods where they are likely to […]
Malik Price, Los Angeles, CA
Charles, San Francisco, CA, New Rochelle, NY, Worldwide Essayist Richard Rodriguez, said it best back in 1997, what can be the American inability to not conflate race with culture and class. I quote: “Essayist Richard Rodriguez of the Pacific News Service talks about race and class on the PBS News Hour October 31, 1997. RICHARD […]
Claire Rainey, Los Alamitos, CA. I have a friend from Spain who I adore. He is gay, I am a Christian. One day we were road tripping with our mutual friend from France. She was telling us about her new found “love” Fernando who happens to be 100% Mexican. My Spanish friend condemned her for […]
Floria, San Jose, CA In the words of Annalise Keating, “racism is built into the DNA of America.” It is inescapable and seeps into every aspect of people’s lives, from housing to access to education, jobs, and more.
Jessica Soriano, Fontana, CA. My race does not define me, and it will not have any impact on the goals that I have set for myself. I am reaching for the stars and will settle for nothing but the best.
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 […]
Ashlee Johnston, Ladera Ranch, CA. People tell me they thought that I am White but once I tell them about my Asian/Hawaiian/Spanish/Canadian…. background they say they can tell. I am proud to be so many things from all over the world.
Antoinette Abdelmalek, Trabuco Canyon, CA Funny right. But I feel as though if you really want to laugh I should share some of my personal favorites: ‘Do you drive a camel to school?’, ‘ Are you related to King Tut?’, and ‘ Can you read Hieroglyphics?’. No, no, and you guessed it, no. Growing up, […]
Delaney Toler, Mission Viejo, CA
Anonymous, Perris, CA. I have green eyes, blonde hair, and light skin so I must be white, but wait.. I speak Spanish. I am Mexican American.
Aimiee Gauvreau, Redondo Beach, CA. I’m almost 47 now; I felt more alone as a child and teenager of the 70s and 80s. I teach high school English in a beautiful California beach community, and the kids are more open now, yet I see how the aloneness persists within them too. Maybe in another 50 […]
Juanita Duran-Wilson, Arcata, CA.
Imelda Rivera Edwards, Antioch, CA. My 13 year old son shared this statement with me when I picked him up from school in Dublin, California that has predominantly Asian and white student population. He said, “mom, I told my classmate that that’a racist remark.” I said, “Good for you.” (BTW, I’m Filipina and my son […]
Katarina Iannucci, Mission Viejo, CA
Johnny Wannamaker, San Clemente, CA Living in the overwhelmingly white populated South Orange County and attending public school here has allowed me certain insights as a biracial student. The issues around race are not addressed. Although I never faced physical harm, I was acutely aware of the social coding that kept myself and other students […]
Odile Sullivan-Tarazi, Redwood City, CA. Of course, culturally it has been made a thing, and a thing which privileges some and penalizes others. We need to fix this.
Taylor Hirano, Irvine, CA. Growing up in a mostly Caucasian community, many of my fellow peers didn’t know they were racist against me. It could come from backhanded compliments like “You’re so pretty for an Asian”, to minor comments such as “My sisters boyfriend is Asian, you probably know him”. Whenever I said anything they […]
Julia Wright, Irvine, CA.
Lauren Machado, Lakewood, CA
Samantha Tong, Castro Valley, CA
Melisa Azimi, Irvine, CA The first thing that comes into peoples’ minds when I tell them I am Persian, is their hatred for my country. Iran and the US have a lot of tension between them and are often against each other. I think what people fail to realize is that the problem is the […]
Karlee Jackson, Mckinleyville, CA I’ve never understood race. Is race the color of my skin, my heritage, the way I feel about myself, or what the world tells me I am? Growing up I’ve been placed as a white girl and people believe in privileged; however, the color of my skin isn’t my story. Just […]
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 […]
Laurel Nelson, Corona, CA My whole life I never felt like I was the ‘right’ race to fit into being ‘pretty’ because of this phrase I was always told. Every race and every individual is beautiful. CBU HIS311
Ian, Lake Forest, CA Being an Asian American, we are constantly under the attack of racial discrimination and stereotype. In middle school, since I lived in a white town, being the ONLY Asian in my school’s 150 years of history, I get asked the same question every single day: “Hey! you Asian right? so you […]
Meghen, CA I’ve been babysitting for my current family for about a year and a half now, and I’ve heard of and been present for stories in that time on being Black in a predominantly white neighborhood. One of the first and better chats was my 10 year-old getting excited about moving as she would […]
Tate Lee, Mission Viejo, CA Specific mutations can be specifically beneficial for an environment. In a cold climate, shorter and thicker arms would prove to keep someone warmer, while longer and thinner ones would expend more energy to keep blood circulating. We can see from history that physiological changes occur when individuals live their lives […]
Renee Chen, Mission Viejo, CA As a first-generation Chinese American, I found it increasingly difficult to be accepted by both cultures as it seems that I don’t fit in as either Chinese or American; I’m either too “white-washed” by my relatives or “too Asian” by my peers when I was younger. And they base it […]
Thomas Hardy, Chico, CA I grew up in an extremely poor family. My father was a WW11 vet that lost most of his knee in the war. He was tough though and had his own tree service where he, himself climbed. We had 7 kids and 6 of us boys slept in one bed, shared […]
Luis Enrique Jimenez Jr., Los Angeles, CA IT’S TIME TO LET CLASSICAL MUSIC DIE By: Nebal Maysaud Western classical music depends on people of color to uphold its facade as a modern, progressive institution so that it can remain powerful. By controlling the ways in which composers are financed, it can feel like our only […]
Khoa Le, Elk Grove, CA. Ever since I started school as a kid, whether it’s a math class, history, or English, a teacher will always have technical difficulties with their computer. They then ask the class, does anyone know how to fix this. An Asian kid raises his hand and helps the teacher. As I […]
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 […]
Juliet Kim, Irvine, CA In Korean culture, mental health and awareness is not something that is openly talked about. Being a first-generation citizen of the United States, I grew up with both American and Korean cultures that have shaped me into who I am today. I feel that mental health and awareness is extremely important […]
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 […]
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 […]
Tiana, Wildomar, CA. Typically I get complimented on my hair that I have inherited from my mother’s side. As a mixed breed people struggle to figure out what I am exactly, but my hair is a tell tale sign that I am not white. Aside from various compliments I always get that one girl that […]
Nikki Hearn, Sacramento, CA. Being “Black” just the way God made me is enough.
Clare Norris-Bell, Los Angeles, CA. In the Black community, hair has been been a measurement of one’s value for generations. In the African-American culture, “good” hair refers to hair that is not kinky or not what is pejoratively called “nappy”. It is hair that is closer to the texture of people in parts of the […]
Stefanie Walker, Sacramento, CA. Sometimes I just want to dye my hair and see what it would be like to blend into the crowd-to not be defined by my red hair color anymore-to not be a “red head”. Red heads are the biggest minority of all in my opinion, how many do you actually know? […]
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.
Stephanie Connors Eureka, CA Music is one of my biggest reminders of the cultures that I grew up with. It fills me with nostalgia and pride, longing and love of the people who came before me. The people from: everywhere! I love all of it now. From day to day I swirl around in a […]
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 […]
Maynard Hearns, Santa Cruz, CA. The black story in america is very simple: we were slaves, and then we weren’t. We were never given freedom, or equality. When we begged for it, we were lied to. When we Marched on Washington and pleaded our case, we were shot in the back of the head. When […]
Karen Campbell, Los Angeles, CA
Jennifer Allen, Oceanside, CA Chains of habit, societal expectations, historical wrongs, unfair advantages, inaccurate history. Even when you have the tools, it takes time and effort to chip away at the customs enough to take them off. For everyone
Oliver Parr, Tuscaloosa, AL. Being white in the state of Alabama automatically means that most people assume the worst. I was raised in the State of California where race truly is not even a topic of discussion. I grew up not looking at the color of a persons skin but how tough it is. I […]
Kirsten Liske, Santa Cruz, CA
Anonymous, Sacramento, CA. I remember the time when we just moved here in the United States, we were called “beggars” by an old lady because of the way we dress. Coming from a country where lifestyle was just simple and plain affected our adjustment, and made it hard for us to adopt, especially the place […]
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”.
Jennifer Blankenship, Grand Terrace, CA.
Theresa Nakata, San Diego,CA Growing up a “haole” girl in rural Kona, Hawaii, every school year I was bullied for the color of my white skin and the shape of my nose. As I got older and experienced other cultures, the personal shame and pain I felt about being white in Hawaii was replaced with […]
Poonam Sherpa, Mountain View, CA
Cheryl Devall, El Cerrito, CA Unlike most of my extended family, I live alone by choice, childfree. Love my people AND need my space. After the ‘Rona hit, I figured I’d be safely sheltered, working from home in Northern California. Until my older sister, who lives with our recently widowed Daddy in San Diego, texted […]
Paul, Hayward, CA So My Mom is creole and her parents(my grandparents) passed for white and I didn’t know I had black ancestry until I was 28yo my dad is Irish/English… people tend to tell me what race I am. I identify mostly as white but look Latino but depends on who you ask… apparently […]
Alan S. Doctor, Cambria, CA. I was born in San Francisco on 15 Sep 1930. Dad was Scotch/English and Mom was Polish with a dash of German. Both 1st generation born in USA. My neighborhood friends were Hispanic, Oriental, white and refugee Jews from Germany. In high school I liked to walk home through the […]
John David Rodriguez, Sacramento, CA. Being an Asian-American today is not even a far cry to what it was 20-75 years ago, especially if you were a Japanese American who had to endure living in the American Japanese Camps. Not even many Americans remember those days. I am a Californian that is Japanese, Mexican, Irish, […]
Sal Guardado, Riverside, CA It has taken over 30 years to gain a sense of personal belonging to a country in which I was born and raised. Could this be because I was born to immigrant parents and always felt the need to compensate for somehow not being “American” enough? As I age, reach new […]
Christina B. Henderson, Riverside, CA. Why is a Black person speaking up for themselves in a situation when customer service has been less than satisfactory stereotyped as being an angry Black woman/man? Shout out to CBU HIS311.
Susan F. Bohrer Merced, CA I started a tutorial program and later worked as a social work intern in a middle school where 70% of the students lived in poverty; 80% belonged to minority populations. From the teachers I learned that college was for other kids, and from the students I learned that it didn’t […]
Patricia Williams, Encinitas, CA. Thank you for creating this project!
Mark Stuart, San Diego, CA While I hid my homosexuality for 1/2 my life, I was regularly bullied through high school for being different. But no one ever called 911 on me for bird watching or leveled a shotgun at me for jogging through a neighborhood.
Melanie Vanderlipe Ramil, Sacramento, CA. Growing up, I wanted to be as “non-Filipino” as possible and felt great achievement whenever a friend said to me, “You seem so white!” During my middle school years, I claimed to not like rice (the staple for every night’s family dinner). My mom, after rushing home from work to […]
Dan Kelly San Francisco, CA I was in a Brooklyn HS in the early 60s and the images coming from the south inspired me to question the social conventions that supported segregation, From that, it was a short jump to questioning foreign policies that justified invading 3rd world countries. College seemed irrelevant and I left […]
Leonard Fribourg Mission Viejo, CA I worked swap meets for many years and was always astounded when folks would ask if they could “Jew me down” and think nothing of it.
Laura Pierson, Los Angeles, CA. I am Native American, Mexican, Spanish, English, Germany, and Irish. I was raised by a single mom that is Native American, English, German, and Irish. I didn’t know what being a Mexican meant or was like and I’m still trying to figure it out. As a child, I told people […]
Natalie Skelton, Mountain View, CA Close your eyes and hear someone’s words, unfiltered by race, sex, orientation, religion, whatever. If you read what someone thinks before you know what they look like, do you have a different viewpoint? Try to remember that.
Timothy Leong, Orinda, CA. I want to change that. Representation in American media spaces need to change in order to combat the stigma that comes with the model minority myth. Also to show the world that we are all different and vary from stereotypes.
Aaron Diaz, Santa Clara, CA.
Natalie, Upland, CA CBU HIS311
Taliyah E Davis, Los Altos Hills, CA
Anonymous Berkeley, CA This is the struggle I have inside ever time I am walking alone at night and come across a man or group of men, often men of color. Should I cross the street to be safe and be “that girl” that crosses the street in fear of the black man? Or should […]
Stephen Grove Malloy, San Francisco, CA. Would love to contribute my experience here in the Nation’s Wealthiest and Progressive City…one would think it were Shangrila when in fact it has been the most negative “race” based experience I’ve encountered in my 55 years of African-American Life in these United States.
Maureen Krueger, Santa Ana, CA I choose my friends not on the basis of skin color no more than I base my choice of friends based on height, weight, the color of their eyes, or the color of their hair. Friendship is based on character and similar interests. Those who use physical characteristics to determine […]
Robbie Engel, La Habra, CA I’m German, their mom’s Mexican. Stop acting like I kidnapped them.