You’re lucky you look ambiguously minority.

Cristina Gonzales, Denver, CO. All throughout my life I’ve worked hard to succeed only to wonder if any success, any award, any accomplishment was truly earned, or if I am just helping someone make a quota, create a statistic, or justify an extra dollar or two. The worst is having a seed of doubt planted […]

Noir, Schwartze, Negredo – I Am Black

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

Did you grow up wearing shoes?

Jessica Anderson, Denver, CO. I grew up in the Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee, but I now live in Colorado. People always ask ridiculous questions when they find out where I’m from, including, “Did you wear shoes?” and “Where are your overalls?” Being a white, M.A. holding, middle-class woman doesn’t shield me from these stereotypes. […]

Before me, six Native nations here.

Minal Parekh, Erie, CO. I recently participated in a “cultural competency” exercise as part of a volunteer training. I could not answer the question about which Native American tribes/nations inhabited my (now) home state. Arapaho, Ute, Pueblo, Apache, Shosone, Cheyenne. Now I know.

You can sit in the bar

Diane Graves, San Antonio, TX. My husband and I (both Anglo) were driving our adopted daughter (born in El Salvador, adopted as an infant, a U.S. citizen since she was 11 months old) to a guest ranch in Colorado. It was 2004; our daughter was 11 years old. Late on Sunday morning, we stopped to […]

MY VOICE DOESN’T MATCH MY APPEARANCE

Ciandra, Denver, CO . Black people are not monolithic. We are a diverse group of individuals with different experiences. I grew up in Colorado and I have my own experience of what it’s like to be Black in America. My experience with racism was subtle but still painful…it hurts when it’s implied that “you’re not […]

I pass. What is my place?

Jennifer Ward, Denver, CO. As discussions have proliferated in Denver and online about race, the Black Lives Matter movement, and how change should be implemented, one idea that has been reiterated is that white people’s place is to support, while black people’s place is to lead and direct. I understand that, but where does that […]

Privileged quadroon not passing for white.

Kailey Irene Kaes, Englewood, CO My mixed family of color and the white folk who married into it gave me the only culture I know. I wish I was dark enough to “count.” I try to use my fair skin as a megaphone for my darker family’s voice. I try so hard.

No moccasins. You’ll wear real shoes.

Elizabeth, Denver, CO. My mother is mixed race, Indian and white. She grew up pretty poor, but she told me once that she always had two pairs of shoes: one pair of moccasins and one pair of boots. Depending on who her father was trading with she would either have to pull on her boots, […]

Raised in segregated north, I’m racist.

Rev. Kathy Bird DeYoung, Aurora, CO. I was raised in metro Detroit in one of the white northern suburbs. Now I live in the most integrated city in the nation, Aurora, Colorado. My city of origin is more integrated now, thankfully. But, I still wouldn’t want to return. I’m frustrated by this new ethic where […]

I’m not prettier because I’m white.

Rhiannon Watkins, Centennial, CO. Why are magazines always filled with white and light-skinned women? I have never in my life had a shortage of skinny, white girls to look up to in the media, but where are all the black and brown models? Why am I automatically considered prettier than any other girl because I […]

Look like them, Sing like us

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 […]

Don’t ask if I eat bacon

Jessica Grauer, Denver, CO This question has bothered me for a long time, and I’ve only recently been able to pinpoint why. The assumptions other people make about me based on my religion, though seemingly benign, suggest a lack of cultural awareness, and who knows how far that bias stretches?

Adopted from India lived in NH

Kayla Eckhoff, Denver, CO. I was just a year old when I was adopted, I was born in India and grew up in a small town in New Hampshire. For the most part I had a normal childhood, especially growing up in an all white community. Went to school, made friends, played school sports. Though […]

One Mirror With Many Different Reflections.

Keith R. Barnes, Colorado Springs, CO. I hear people talking about being a part of a pure race. Race is a distinction placed upon one’s physical and genetic traits most notably skin color. Race is a social construct created to make one category seemingly superior over another. Biologists and anthropologists have discovered race mixing throughout […]

Don’t teach kids labels too early.

Cammi C., CO Don’t teach kids labels too early. The time will come because they will inevitably hear labels at school, but while they are under four, don’t do it unless they bring it up. Only give brief explanations. Kids do not categorize based on race unless we teach them to. I almost started teaching […]

Papers? Does your dad do construction?

Josue Roberto Rodriguez, Denver, CO. A question that most of the Hispanic youth gets. They are many stereotypical questions and jokes for Hispanics. These are just some of the more common ones I receive. It is a stereotype for Hispanics to not have their green card. Also for Hispanics to be construction workers.

Tiger Moms eat their children alive

Ethan Tsai Boulder, CO Growing up with the stereotypical Tiger Mom supposedly fosters the growth of amazing children, but I have only seen the heartbreak and misery it usually brings. The incredible pressures brought on by parents that want to live vicariously through their children – raising them to only accept being number one (and […]

Grandma’s racial rejection disappeared with Olivia

Elizabeth Clair Winslow, Denver, CO. No one from my immediate family showed up when George and I were married. But when Olivia was born, all that changed. George was from Jamaica… a brown man. I was from Maryland; Mom said black Irish. Olivia teaches us about Intersectionality and Bias, twenty years later.

Χιος to Hughes…we’re all immigrants

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 […]

Is your uncle Osama bin Laden?

Tiffany Compton, Colorado Springs, CO. I always thought I was like everyone else until a kid in my 6th grade class asked me this question. After 9/11 my Middle Eastern background has been stereotyped and my life hasn’t been the same.

Before 9/11….Unique, After 9/11….ARAB!

Miriam Piper Colorado Springs, CO Before 9/11 I was just this unique mix of who knows what. I am really Palestinian and White, but no one ever knew what I was (Indian, Puerto Rican, Greek). But as soon as 9/11 happened, and living in a large military community who were then trained on facial features, […]

Being Hispanic is a good experience

Joshua Ruiz, DENVER, CO. No, I am not a gangster or some stereotypical Chicano, Mexican, or any Hispanic. I was born in New York City in a Jewish hospital to Nicaraguan parents who lived on 120th and Lexington in some studio room or something like that. Until 2 months later we moved to an open […]

Free speaking teens, changing relational space?

Tara Saltzman, Evergreen, CO. My teens arguing in favor of de-degrading(?) the word n*****, inspired by conviction that changing the influence of words (no longer receiving the word “n*****” as having negative intent or implication), changes relationships. wondering if they are empowered by the innocence of youth and lack of historic understanding AND regardless able […]

White guilt defines my life relentlessly.

Virginia Berthy I come from the combination of an old Alabama-Mississippi family and an old Virginia Family. I do not to my knowledge have an ancestor that did not own slaves before it was outlawed. I am told in back rooms of random family discussion that my great-great-great grandfather was the first white sheriff of […]

Tail the black guy buying moscato.

Erik Aurora, CO I was in a mixed-race neighborhood, in line at a convenience store behind a black man checking out with a white clerk. He asked if there were any larger sizes of the wine he was buying. After the clerk said he wasn’t sure, he went back into the store to look himself. […]

I want to be like Mom

Susan, Boulder, CO. I’ve been going through something of an identity crisis recently. I’m 31, of mixed race (1/2 Mexican and 1/2 a mix of European). Although my mom was born in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish, I wasn’t raised much in the culture because I grew up on an Air Force Base in […]

My world told me I’m Black.

Robert Franklin, Denver, CO. Race is a construct we all have a part in teaching to our youth. Yes, we are a part of a system, yes we are just individuals working to make the best as good as it can be, yes the oppressive ideas and incentives that keep race and other factors of […]

What am I supposed to say?

Zack Ritchie, Boulder, CO. I am a white male. Race doesn’t play a very important role in my life. I go through my daily activities without having to think about how people view the color of my skin. My uncle, however, is African American. His children, my cousins, have dark skin. Because of that, race […]

The Real Tragedy of 9-11

Chloe, Denver, CO. Sure. 9-11 was an incredible tragedy against the American nation. What was more tragic is the way many white Americans reacted, and the sudden rash of violence against Muslims and Sikhs within our nation. Xenophobia has never worked for us. It’s time to get over 9-11 and acknowledge the hurt we have […]

Dad was racist. I fought him.

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 […]

Happy Birthday, you missed teen pregnancy.

Riley Witting, Denver, CO. More often than not, whenever a friend turns twenty, most of my friends congratulates her by saying “Way to go! You missed teen pregnancy”. Although I know this is a harmless comment, and is meant to be funny, I think it is really sad how in todays world we have brought […]

You’re wearing a hijab? I’m nervous.

Camille, Castle Rock, CO. I grew up in an area where there were no Muslims. I moved to Colorado and that’s when I was first exposed to the religion. My mom gets very nervous when she sees a woman wearing a hijab. She almost leaves the store we are in every time. It’s just something […]

Where did you meet your wife?

Brian Comerford Aurora, CO I notice when many husbands are asked a similar question, the word “where” is substituted with “how”; my impression is that because I am a white Anglo male married to a Southeast Asian woman with a foreign accent, the question is actually front-loaded with curiosity about whether or not we were […]

My skin is not my culture.

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

Who are you? Papers? Go home!

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

Brown eggs. White eggs. Same omlet.

Peter Denzin, Greeley, CO. Since retirement, I’ve taught English as a Second Language classes for 11 years. My classes are made up of immigrants and refugees of all colors and faiths from all parts of the globe speaking a variety of native languages. In my classroom, we are a learning community of love and mutual […]

I’m racist but fight the tendency.

Mark Donaldson, Edgewater, CO. I’m white, grew up in rural PA in a mostly white school. I live in CO now and work in tech industry where you’re probably either white or Indian. I know I’m racist but try hard to fight against that tendency. I want to be better than I know I am.

Racism: prejudging ANYONE based on race.

Jeff, Arvada, CO. I was raised in a military town with such overwhelming diversity that I didn’t realize race was an issue until I was 12 and went into foster care. Suddenly I was surrounded by a predominantly African-American group that hated me because I was white. Now let me be clear I didn’t assume […]

My wife, not white, changed me.

Frank Siringo, Denver, CO. Marrying someone from a different race has allowed me to see the world through a different lens. It is an enlightening and challenging part of our relationship that continues to provide growth opportunities almost 20 years on.

My white guilt is all gone.

Caryn Boddie, Littleton, CO. I’m a goodhearted person who has always been extremely sensitive about people being treated unfairly. I’ve always stood up for people to be valued and respected individual to individual. The renewed focus on race is very sad and I’m done with caring. By the way: I wrote this, “Racism is garbage. […]

We’re a diverse version of oneself

Lucero Castro, Loveland, CO. We all share the same world today. I felt hurt when a Dad asked his son to be transfer to work with another person instead of me because of my accent. I was looking for information about how people feel when similar things happen to them, then I found the site.

A foreigner in my childhood home

Daryn Crowell Denver, CO I am a US citizen but my family moved to Peru when I was two years old. Basically my whole childhood was in Peru. I grew up with much of society telling me I could not consider myself in any degree Peruvian and that I was from the U.S. However, in […]

Well How Black Am I Really?

Carnesia, Aurora, CO. As far back as I can remember I’ve always been told by past educators that I am very “well mannered” unlike the other students in my classroom who were all Black. At the time, I saw this as a wonderful compliment. I wasn’t loud or disruptive like the others. I didn’t play […]

I am Mexican American and proud.

Amber Martinez, Denver, CO. I have been emotionally abused just because my family comes from a certain background. I didn’t get to choose where I came from, but it also doesn’t matter. I’m a person and so is everyone else.

Differences never change but opinions do

Molly W., Denver, CO. I am a 6th grade teacher and my class has been reading Fire From the Rock about the integration of Central High School in Little Rock in 1957. This six-word story was written by one of my students in response to our reading. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/fire-rock

My Chinese daughter, whiter than white.

Rachel Drummond Highlands Ranch, CO Jasmine stands apart. She doesn’t want to. Like may people of color who also have albinism, she is often not accepted or believed to be Chinese. Very few people who meet her haven’t had some strong reaction — new age folks have told me she’s New Age magical, children tell […]

If we ignore it, it’ll leave.

Nick Lakewood, CO Personally, my experience with racism hasn’t been very bad, Growing up in this time period, my generation has come to accept the idea seeing someone for their character, instead of their appearance. In middle school, was called a couple names, but they weren’t necessarily directed towards my ethnicity, but towards my physical […]

I am more than my culture

Eric Arellano Denver, CO Being Mexican has always been tough love for me, I have been bullied and given a stereotype that labels me as a gardner, a trumpeteer with a Mariachi Band, or a Peleta Man who sells Ice Cream out of carts. I am none of these, I am a dancer with a […]

A white body, a black soul

Lauren Johnston Denver, CO I may fit under the common-white-girl stereotype but I love black history and music. A lot of my friends are black and I find inspiration in Hip-Hop culture, and music. Whenever I’m singing Jazz and R&B, I feel it in my soul. No other genre of music does that to me….

Natives can only be poor or past.

Maranda Compton Denver, CO For most of society, the American Indian is conceived of as strictly an historical figure. People maintain images of Tonto or the Crying Indian walking alongside the highway in buckskin and feathers. And if they do allow the Indian to exist in modernity, he or she is relegated to an impoverished, […]

“Everyone can go through, except you.”

Ashlyn Herd Denver, CO In 2012, the top choirs at Denver School of the Arts took a trip to Boston, because we had been accepted to perform in prestigious settings such as Berkley College of Music, Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory, and Harvard. In Bellissima (our 33 member, 9th and 10th grade all women’s choir), […]

Every Race Has Been A Slave

Jimmy Naughton Colorado Springs, CO Why does any race deserve restitution for their hardships? Every race has been enslaved, yet today’s discussions only ever focus on the Atlantic Slave Trade, i.e., the black slave. Hell, the Irish slaves were more plentiful in the English Empire, they were cheaper and treated far worse since they were […]

Dear White People, See systematic racism.

Joscelyn Gay, Denver, CO. As a white woman, I’m frustrated with white society saying they are ‘color blind’ and their reponsibility is voer. I would like white people to understand the profound impact that decades of disparity in education, incarceration, and employment have had on Black society.

Great-Grandmother’s name sparked interest in heritage

Maggie Trela, Denver, CO. I was visiting California for Christmas when I was about 5 or 6, when I asked my grandma why we called my great-grandmother “LoLa”. She then explained to me that my LoLa was what they called great-grandma’s in the Philippines. I knew what the country was but I didn’t know what […]

I’m black, but not “African American”

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 […]

Free Black since at least 1820

Sherryl N Weston, Denver, CO. I was an adult before we learned the full scope of my mother’s complete ancestry story. Timbuctoo, NJ was co-founded by my 5-generations ago grandfather. Looks like he was a part of the 1860 Battle of Pine Swamp, where the residents beat the tar out of slave catchers who had […]

I speak better English than you.

Nicole Huber, Colorado Springs, CO. I am Asian American. Being an Asian American, no one clutches their purse tighter when I walk by, and no one finds it surprising that I teach at a university. But despite Asian Americans being perceived as the “model minority,” we are not seen as “real” Americans. I was adopted […]

We are all spirits of human race.

Katarzyna Smirnov, Longmont, CO. Yes, to expound I am tired of people misusing race or interchanging it with ethnicity. There is not one single genetic marker that distinguishes one ethnicity from another. The only time the color of ones skin should matter if they go missing or you are painting them in which case you’ll […]

I just want to remain anonymous.

Hades, Colorado Springs, CO. I came up with this instantly without even thinking. I think it fits the Race Card project because I believe some people truly don’t want to be known by their race or gender. Some just want to be who they really are without labels.

You’re named Carlos, but you’re blond?

Leah Gillett Boulder, CO My mother is Mexican-American, my father is Irish-American. My brother and I are blond haired and blue eyed. People frequently react to his name, Carlos. They are surprised that suburban kids from Michigan have Mexican heritage… It doesn’t bother me, but it can be tiring to cover our ethnic background immediately […]

Being singled out is painful

Lina, Denver, CO. Being here makes me aware of how different I am, that I am female, I am Asian. People would never consider me to partake in their social life. The only people who talk to me are men who want to get in my pants. I hope this is not applicable to most […]

You look Scandinavian but wrong color

Stacy Reuille-Dupont, Durango, CO. This was a statement made to me by a woman at work. She was a client, me an employee. She had been curiously watching me. She was Finnish and had previously remarked that she struggled to capture English spoken around her. I assumed her glances were about language until one day […]

Don’t know if I’m a bad person

Judea, Estes Park, CO. I have heard it said that being White automatically makes me racist. Although I grew up in a mainly White town, I’ve always been kind and respectful to everyone regardless of their skin color. When I heard that many people believe that all whites harbor racist thoughts, I read more into […]

I have never enslaved anyone’s ancestors

Paul, Colorado Springs, CO. I am not the enemy. I am a 40-year old white, middle-class male- the prime demographic; according to some. It hurts me when people assume that I’m bigoted, racist, sexist or homophobic. To many racial and gender-based groups; I am looked at as the enemy. Neither I, nor my family has […]

He’s my cousin. You can tell.

Emily Bryant, Denver, CO. My last name is Bryant. Like Kobe Bryant. Whenever people ask my to spell out my last name, I usually just tell them that. Sometimes I tell them that he’s my cousin and it always gets a good laugh from people, no matter what their race is. You see, not only […]

We are all from planet Earth.

Maggie Trias, Boulder, CO. I am half Puerto Rican, but I look white, and lost contact with my Puerto Rican family a long time ago. Instead of feeling empty like I’m missing half of myself, I have learned to cherish my connections with people from all over the globe, and have let go of my […]

You have the right skin color

Erin Fischer, Boulder, CO. This is actually the end of a quote from Abraham Verghese’s novel, Cutting for Stone. The whole quote says “Accent be damned in Africa, as long as it’s foreign and you have the right skin color.” It is referencing how a person who was low class and not well educated in […]

My friends and then your friends.

Kyle Cruz, Colorado Springs, CO. When freshman enter my high school, we instantly separate to our “designated friends”. We are sectioned off into racial biased groups (all decisions are by students) and we stay with our “true” colors. But not my friend pact, if you look into our cafeteria you’d see a sea of different […]

I wish I had darker skin

Melanie Douglas, Peyton, CO. I have transracial adopted kids. They have better hair than I do, they have better skin than I do, it is really something that they got everything I could ever want for them outside of my gene pool, and all I ever want is to be in their gene pool. I […]

Simple Shorthand for Dismissing an “Other”

Vince Darcangelo, Flort Collins, CO. “Sadly, I believe that underlying the race issue is a deeper human need (perhaps fear- or anxiety-driven) to label and discount those different from us. I don’t believe it’s as simple as skin color. Skin color is simply the signifier that facilitates easy division or grouping. If we were all […]

REMEMBER–For WHITE patrons only

Mary Smith, Fort Collins, CO. “Growing up in southeast Texas, I went to segregated schools until high school – Junior year. Laundromats and water fountains bore these signs. I asked my parents why we lived in a place with such hateful attitudes, and they said, “”If people with better values didn’t live here, things would […]

Is It Racist to Ask People Where They’re From?

URI FRIEDMAN, The Atlantic  JUL 2 2014, 9:05 AM ET ASPEN, Colo.—”The moment was fine for me…. But I don’t know, how was it for you?” That’s New York Times columnist Mark Oppenheimer asking Tessie Guillermo, president and CEO of the consultancy ZeroDivide, how she felt when he inquired about her ethnicity. “Context is really […]

This project gives racism more power

Brandon Aspen, CO The purpose of saying something racist is to invoke. By allowing people to express that they were hurt by these words gives them (words) more power. The more we try to educate to not say these things because they hurt the more we lose traction in this battle. We need to teach […]

One person is all it takes

Hannah Lindberg Denver, CO One person is all it takes. To start a rumor, it only takes person. It is said that racism is taught, and it only takes one person to teach another, and that person to teach another. On and on, through generations, the seed grows until it becomes a beast, an inhumane […]

I hate these walls between us.

Joel Bass Englewood, CO The idea of race was created to keeps us apart, to make it easier for us to harm each other, to make powerful people even more powerful. It’s arbitrary, it’s hateful, and in my heart I can see a world without it. I ache for that world.

Cops can’t see us with you

Alexander Hileman Commerce City, CO People are afraid in parts of the USA to be seen with white people. I was down in Texas, and a couple of black kids asked us if we wanted to play some basketball. We said yes and we played for about an hour and a half until they said […]

Economic segregation will add to problem

KL Anderson Colorado Springs, CO Educational disparity has long been a racial card, but it’s one the sinking middle class is now being dealt, too. This might actually play out as a great eye opener to the blue collar job holder who has been traditionally manipulated into bigotry.

Only one race: hue-man!

Michael Thau Centennial, CO I noticed that people of different races are no different in their core. Some are smart and others less so – just like every group! Once you get past the social construct of race, you can truly know people better.

Anger sadness hope live inside me

Susan Riederer Boulder, CO I was a teenager during the 60’s and feel such sadness at remembering what occurred in my youth as a white midwestern girl. I remember the race riots in Kansas City where I lived and my parents picking me up in downtown as opposed to taking the city bus home because […]

Aren’t you supposed to be blonde?

Mikayla of Westminster Westminster, CO People tend to assume that all Germans are the Nazi’s idea of perfect: blonde with blue eyes. They also immediately assume that we’re pure-bred Nazis, or racist against Jews. Most of them can’t grasp the fact that my dad is as American as it gets, and are shocked to see […]

Minorities must be “stomped” out, removed.

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 […]

“At least my mother is real.”

Shoshi Shaw Denver, CO In middle school I saw nothing wrong with being honest about my past so anyone who asked I would tell, I’m adopted. One day in math, I was correcting a classmates work on the whiteboard and on my way back to my seat, I heard the boy say under his breath […]

“Aren’t you supposed to be smart?”

Coco Centennial, CO Stereotyping; the act of judging one based on society’s perception on a group of people, is a form of racism that has effected me personally. “Aren’t you supposed to be smart?” is a phrase that I have heard directed towards me many times due to the stereotype that all people of Asian […]

Controlled by the chains of society.

Lila Jordan Denver, CO There are many demeaning stereotypes that our nation has adapted throughout history. For example, women are typically judged as weak, which is why the phrase “you can’t loose to a girl” is so prevalent among children. These stereotypes are often applied to people of a different race, color, or religion, and […]

We assume you don’t speak English

Sabrina Leira Denver, CO Sometimes when people are trying to do the right thing, they end up being wrong. For instance, every year at school, we have to check a box that says what our ethnicity/race is. I, being half Hispanic, sometimes check the Hispanic box. A few weeks later, I get called into the […]

Judge people based on their character.

Pamela Priest Denver, CO I’m white, grew up in Michigan. Had black kids tease me in 7th grade because I was poor and couldn’t afford the extra penny for chocolate milk. they said, “Are you afraid you’ll become black like me?” Was chased home from the bus stop in 6th grade by them. Yet none […]

Ancestor shame – free, slave, Black, White

Lisa Roy Denver, CO I have done lots of genealogy research and DNA tests on my family. Most African Americans are mixed race. My great great great great great grandfather Thomas’s Buckingham was white and married a Black woman in the late 1700s. I am their descendant. Yet my family has a hard time accepting […]

Black ? No. White? No. Human? Yes!

Douglas Rice Fruita, CO I struggled for four decades to find some sort of racial identity…I’m bi-racial by my DNA, but having been raised in white culture where white people called me black I’ve never identified as white, and having been raised in white culture I didn’t “experience” black culture so I don’t Identify as […]

Black in this world is a death sentence

Sylvia D. Stevenson Thornton, CO Will all black-African Americans ever be given any breaks? Foreigners get better treatment in America than Blacks. Jews are looked at because of the holocaust. Blacks were kidnaped and brought here, but we get no retribution for being treated as animals. Even today, I tried to purchase a condo on […]

Hardship. Coffin-ships. Caucasian?! Don’t whitewash me.

Olivia Myers Denver, CO I get rather irritated by the way, whenever race is discussed, it’s assumed that I’m part of a classification because of the color of my skin:because I’m milk white, I must be affluent, privileged, part of WASP culture. It’s assumed by many, implicitly or explicitly, that I will have trouble understanding […]

Race matters because we make it.

Jacob Addington Fort Collins, CO The race issue is kept alive by statistics and surveys which constantly tell us that we humans fall into different groups, and by our own willingness to accept race as part of our identity. Is having pride in one’s own race any better than hatred for someone else’s, or is […]

Mothers carry small boxes to bury.

Lisa Forster Englewood, CO It doesn’t take much wood to build a child’s coffin, but it takes a lot of wood to build all the coffins of the children and teens who die every year from gun violence – nearly 3,000. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, black children and teens accounted for 45 percent […]

Blacks shot brother; Mexican driver, sister.

Curt Lyons Fort Collins, CO My father lost two children to violent deaths, when I was young, and it wasn’t until I was older that I appreciated that he didn’t seem to hold any racial grudges. His racism was the relatively benign type of his generation, which assumptions that all black people liked watermelon and […]

I believed Nadia Comaneci represented Brotherhood.

Rachel Bruce Denver, CO In the ’70s in Denver, Colorado I was bussed across town as part of court-ordered school integration. There wasn’t a lot of integrating going on. The school counselors tried to push a Brotherhood Week and asked the student council members to create posters. In my own little world all I cared […]

“Mom, am I black?”

David Denver, CO Four words that chill my heart. We had adopted our biracial son when he was 15 months. Now, at four years old, he had come in from playing with his friends and asked Mom, “am I black”? Am I black?, as if there was something wrong with black. As if white was […]

If race isn’t specified, assume white?

Terri Colorado Springs, CO I find it annoying that in news stories (suspect is an Hispanic man, 6 feet tall), or even generally speaking (I met the sweetest black woman today), people only mention the race or ethnicity of the person they are talking about if said person isn’t white. Is that only true if […]

Check one please… Doesn’t fit me!?

JayJay Porcadilla Colorado Springs, CO I am Filipino and Portuguese and much more! I was always afraid of the song “Play that funky music WHITE boy” I don’t know why, but it had so I would check white so I would feel like I was part of everyone around me! To this day I am […]

Mexican? Ha, I don’t think so!

Valentina Colorado Springs, CO When people first see me they immediately associate me with being Mexican. I am Latina, but I am from Colombia. Everyone seems to instantly categorize me with the stereotypes created for Mexicans. To me it is an insult because people are judging me by the way I look, instead of asking […]

Only one too look like Dad.

Felina M. Gentile Colorado Springs, CO Both my sisters look Hispanic, like our mom. But I’m the only one to look my dad, who’s German. Some people wouldn’t believe me that I was Hispanic till they saw the rest of my family. So yes, sometimes I get mad/upset when people say I’m just some white […]

Dominican; not Mexican, Asian, or White

Steven Moya Colorado Springs, CO My race is very unique. People always ask if I’m Mexican, Asian, or white and I always tell them no I’m Dominican. They assume this because of the color of my skin. Most people don’t even know what Dominican is but they know what Cuban is and what Jamaican is […]

No, I’m not made of porcelain

Angelica Ortiz Colorado Springs, CO I am a child of a full Hispanic father and half white and Japanese mother. My skin is quite fair, my checks are naturally a shade of pink and I do have slanted eyes. As a child I grew up around my Hispanic family, where everyone around me was darker […]

Attitude defines me, not a language.

Yamel T. Colorado Springs, CO I was always pushed away because I could not speak English when I was little. As a result people never really got to know who I really am. I feel like people should never assume or outcast a person because they speak only a certain language, because they never get […]

Why are you sitting with us?

McKenna Jaymes Northglenn, CO I am white and was sitting with a few black friends, other black girls came and sat with us. Finally, someone I didn’t know looked at me from the other end of the table and asked why I was sitting with them. I was dumb-founded. I sat there everyday with my […]

White AND Jewish is challenging too.

Katherine Kraff Denver, CO I tend not to take negative comments about (race), religion or ethnicity personally (esp from children), but when I was teaching High School and didn’t take the day off on a Jewish Holiday (most of the other Jewish teachers and children did), my colleagues and students alike assumed that I was […]

A peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness

Carolyn Ash Denver, CO In the opening chapter of his book The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. Du Bois describes double consciousness as follows: “One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from […]