I’M African American. Am I African-American?

Dahomey Abanishe, Secrest, FL. As a child in Kansas, I always assumed I was African-American and not because of what I was culturally but because of how I looked. I am Truly a Nigerian American culturally. My father is Nigerian and I was raised eating pepper stew and listening to Fela. No one fried chicken […]

I’m seventy two, and race tired!

Celeste Havis, Jacksonville, FL. Science and religion alike informs us that the concept of race is an illusion. Why do we continue to hang on to this antiquated concept when it only serves to divide us? I have dedicated my life to building positive human relations and now it appears to me that we are […]

Look in the EYE, smile, say HI!

Deborah Williams Clearwater, FL Fear affects all of us. Bad people are out there but it’s not based on skin color. When you walk by, take a moment to look that fear in the eye. Smile and say HI! You will see that 99.9% of the time your fear was unfounded.

Trust me, I’m not a stereotype.

Jazmine McKinney, Winter Garden, FL. Yes, I am black. No I am not angry. I actually smile all the time, and I get odd looks because of it. I guess I don’t act like people think black girls should act? Yes, I love Disney. I honestly don’t like rap music all that much. I love […]

White child calls black man Dad

Morgan Fort Lauderdale, FL My now three and a half year old brother named Kendall was born to two crack addicted parents. My grandmother now has full custody of him and is his Mother figure. My grandma goes a few times a week to the Walmart across the street to do her grocery shopping. Benny […]

Things I’m sick of PoC saying

Yuki, Ft. Myers, FL. Hear me out here. I am so sick of people talking bad about me being white, like oh I’m sorry Jaiana that I was born with hardly melanin just burn me at the stake and call me a KKK member, but that’s totally fine right? Black people cant be racist! Okay […]

Stuck between two races..fitting neither.

Margaret Hayes, Bartow, FL. I am mostly White on my mother’s side. Her family is all Southern. I do not look anything like them nor was I raised in the South so I don’t always think or act like they do. I am Native American on my father’s side. I definitely look much more like […]

Cafe con leche; side of bagel

Raquel Diaz, Miami, FL. I’ve used this protocol in workshops before and it was quite reflective to see that I identify with being Cuban (cafe con leche) American (side of bagel). I am proud of my Cuban parents leaving behind everything to give us a better future in America. I love being Cuban American!!!

I like rice; one-eighth Chinese

Marlene Resnick Sarasota, FL My Uncle Eddie was my favorite uncle. He took me to every carnival, fair and circus in town. He was Irish, my only non-Jewish relative and he was my hero. Aside from the ethnic confusion he created, he was the kind of mentor, supporter and playful companion that I wish for […]

DATING AS A “BLACK” MAN…

NR Jr., Tampa, FL. So as a paid volunteer in the US Armed Forces who has traveled extensively across the world. America has a “big” color issue. I spent 6 years living abroad and coming “home” is the worst thing ever… Let me give you the reader a take into my thus short life of […]

The Truth Spoken Behind Closed Doors

Anonymous, Miami, FL. Though I was born and Raised in a suburb a few miles south of Miami, Florida. My mom and dad are from Ethiopia and Sudan respectively. As a child, I’d say about 99% of the community were “white”. During middle and high school it shifted to about 49% “white”, 49% Hispanic and […]

Mom, why do they hate us?

Theresa Salomon, Parkland, FL. A few months ago, as my 7 year old son was about to seat next to a class mate, he was told that Blacks should stay on the other side. That sentence changed our lives. My son and I had many conversations about racisms, and throughout I was able to redirect, […]

Alert! Very Dark woman travelling alone.

Tess, Melbourne, FL. Recently I have had to face the fact that my very dark skin is indeed the first thing most people notice about me. The fact that I’m short/tall, healthy/not healthy, sad/happy, age and what not seem to follow way after my dark skin has introduced me to the world. I love to […]

I was not raised with predudice

Anita Cohen, Boca Raton, FL. I did not even know about prejudice until Martin Luther King was killed and I was in my best friend apt baking cookies. Her mother wailed and when I left I was surrounded by people who wanted to hurt me. Her mom took me home. I never hated anyone for […]

Just found out I’m a Jew

Larry, Orlando, FL. In closing up my elderly parents’ home, I was given some family news I did not expect from a relative I haven’t kept up with. It seems she did genealogical research and found out my grandmother’s family was deported in 1912 because they were Jewish. They came to America again a few […]

I like a mix of people.

Maureen McConnell, Inverness, FL. Since I taught in Boston public schools 30 years ago, my view of the racial landscape has forever changed. Since then, when I see an all white event or audience my subconscious asks “Where is everybody?” I like a mix of people best. That feels most comfortable.

My ethnicity isn’t based off stereotypes

Alexia, Deltona, FL. My heritage, culture, ethnicity etc. does not pertain to the stereotypes that spill from the mouth of a privileged man. For I am man as well, I am not a “lazy immigrant, job stealer, mutant to society”. Pay your taxes then we can maturely discuss how reality works.

This guy named Ish can Fish

Noah Clayton, Lakeland, FL. In the past year I have started be become really fond with Bass fishing. I caught my first Bass towards the end of 2012 and ever since then I have become “hooked”. As I was watching videos on YouTube and doing a little research on techniques and places to fish I […]

Not you, you’re from the Caribbean

Johanne Rahaman, Miami, FL. I am half black, half Indian, from the Trinidad, with an obvious Caribbean accent, and while I enjoy adding my bit to the diversity of America, it’s also a curse, because I have often in the past heard people make derogatory comments about African-Americans in my presence. They have referred to […]

Checking OTHER is so liberating and fun

Maggie Martinez, WEST PALM BEACH, FL. When I get the chance to check “other ” on any form it makes me feel as if I am tearing down another little wall and letting the form creators know that I will not be put in a box. Race is fake and constructed to keep people of […]

Those were rules for uncivilized times

Bobby Flam, Miami, FL Owner of Jumbo’s, the first restaurant in Miami to integrate.   READ MORE on Bobby Flam and Jumbo’s: Miami Diner, Pioneer in City’s Race Relations, Serves Last Cup Jumbo’s Restaurant Closing Its Doors By FRANCES ROBLES JULY 22, 2014 MIAMI — While the line of white customers used to snake out […]

You called me “white devil slavemaster”

Joe Schechter, FL. This happened when I was in high school. It was not the only incident of its kind. It was especially galling when you consider that members of my family died in the Shoah (Holocaust). I am not white enough for some people, & far too white for others.

Smile and the world frowns back

Elizabeth Thompson, Gulf Breeze, FL. I cannot claim to know how it feels to be black. I cannot claim to know. Unless you are black, neither can you claim to know. Because we non-blacks do not know. If you can imagine though, and wonder what it would be like, to walk with the burden of […]

Parents gave me Confederate flag: protection

Steve Morris, Seattle, WA. In the mid-1950s my father made a business trip from our home in Connecticut to Florida and back. He decided to make the trip by car, and to take my mother, my brother, and me along with him for a family travel experience. In the Deep South I witnessed undisguised segregation […]

Slight hesitation, then an extended hand.

Jessica Ruth Robkin Port St. Lucie, FL I have faced discrimination my entire life, though the moment that brought about the above sentence occurred outside of my mother’s hospital room, while she lay dying from pancreatic cancer at the age of 57. My father and I happened to meet someone who had known my mother […]

“They” should all be like you.

Shelagh Mullings, Coral Springs, FL A white supervisor said this to me in 1965 when I was the lone “Negro” working in a white collar job for a large international corporation in San Francisco. I am a naturalized American with light skin (yellow) who was born in Jamaica, BWI. I was well-spoken, quiet (shy), and, […]

“But you’re not ‘really’ black, right?”

Danielle Petterson, Tampa, FL. I have light brown skin and I consider myself to be mixed. Most people have a simple-minded belief that “mixed” means that one parent is black while the other is white. To me, it runs so much deeper than that. I have 4 grandparents from 4 different countries: Puerto Rico, Curaçao, […]

A study of ethnicity in sisters

Miriam Lennmark Tampa, FL If you want to really look at how race affects us, look at sisters. Sisters with the same biological parents, same home, same everything…except the color of their skin, hair, and eyes. Our lives are so different. She looks Caucasian…I look…well, brown. Most people will tell me I look Latin, but […]

No real difference… know real difference

John Everett, Miami, FL. same difference~ it should be more about who i am than what i am, agree? see, i could survive being you but could you exist being me? i’m hated and shunned just for my skins’ hue no matter what i say it doesn’t matter what i do but you lie in […]

Can we all forgive and forget?

Brent Pappas, Cooper City, FL. Normally, I feel it is prudent to forgive others when they wrong us, and to remember their previous actions in order to predict how they will act next and best prepare for it. Increasingly however, I have begun to feel that perhaps it would be for the best if everyone […]

Race Doesn’t Exist, We Create It

Jenna DeBell, LONGWOOD, FL. Race doesn’t exist, we create it. The concept of race has always baffled me. Judging a person’s character, intelligence and abilities merely by the color of their skin does not correlate in anyway. In fact, it seems ridiculous. Race is referred to as “groups of people who have differences and similarities […]

Oh, so you speak Russian, right?

Sonja Racquel Bradley, Flagler Beach, FL. When I was a child, I confess that I hated my name. Of all the ‘s’ names my parents could have picked, why this one? Why not Sabrina, or Sasha? At the very least, they could have utilized the “normal, American” way of spelling it: Sonia or Sonya. But […]

“Puro Mestizo”: Each, either. Both. Neither.

Gil L. Pettigrew, MS Miami, FL I am a university science instructor, science educator, naturalist, scientist & author based in culturally diverse South Florida who is not only proud but smug about my my multitribal, multiethnic (Creek-CherokeeXCeltic-AfricanAmerican-Latin-French) Indigenous American heritage.

Pale skinned but black don’t fit.

Zanetea Reece, Fort Myers, FL. I am a bright skinned young woman, grew up in Southwest FL. We we’re not tought about our history in school. But racisim is and was learned at home. Because of that I grew up and still am a loner. No one wanted to be friend me because I didn’t […]

THE WALL, BLACK, AN HONORABLE COLOR.

David DeChant, Marine Vietnam Veteran Key West, FL Michele,Greetings again. I am a member of the core group of Vietnam Veterans who built The Wall ~ National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.; and was at the meeting in Senator Warner’s office when General George Price, US Army Retired, ended the color controversy about “black” granite […]

Computer Science CEO, you own this?

Desh Bagley, Tampa, FL. Yes. I am the owner of the science and technology center that offers Java, C++, Arduino, Robotics, and Engineering workshops for students. Yes. I do wish that more girls took classes here. No. The young guys who take classes aren’t surprised by me. Yes. It’s their parents who often ask to […]

Trump may be our best friend

Tom Tito, St. Petersburg, FL. Maybe. We will know how good or bad the Trump administration is in a few months. By “We” I mean low wage families trapped in crime infested inner cities with failing schools. Trump has talked about us, will he do anything? I was shocked by the racism in the Republican […]

I Shouldn’t Get Benefits For Whiteness

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

I will always just be Human!

Matthew Workman, Oviedo, FL. We are all human beings. I’m not saying to throw away what race you are but to open your mind to a greater picture. We come into this world the same way and will leave the same way.

Why we hafta be “Afro” Anything?

Walter T. Pearson, Jacksonville, FL. I’m a black man, of many various ethnicities, Fifth American generation, from a family of military veterans,including my children who are currently serving in the Afghanistan region wars. I have no relatives from Africa (that I know of),so I wonder WHY must anyone that is not white, have to be […]

Through honesty, we can all grow.

Celest, Lakeland, FL. Southeastern University, Understanding Human Diversity Class. For everyone living in today’s society; we can all grow if we are honest with our choices, words, & actions. Honesty; that time when my a group of my white friends and I changed the letters on a church sign to say, “church of the nig,” […]

Why is my life worth more?

Jasmine Balsalobre, Oviedo, FL. My appearance does not determine my morals, my passions, my hobbies, my opinions, or my relationships, so how can it determine my value as a person? Why do I get to feel safe when I see a police officer while others, similar to me in all but skin color, fear for […]

No, sorry, you ARE a racist

Nicole Valenzi, New Smyrna Beach, FL. My experience with race only started really when I entered public school. Until then, I can count on one hand the number of non-white people I interacted with. My mother told me part of the reason she took us out of our sheltered private school was because I pointed […]

Is the scrutinizing of ideas racist?

Joey Klein, Lakeland, FL. Why is it that if one disagrees with the claims of a feminist, or an SJW, that the one disagreeing is sexist, or racist? The claim that women make less money than men in the US because of systemic patriarchy can be used as an example. I’m not entirely bought into […]

Not all Asians are extremely smart.

Cora Keahl, Lakeland, FL. My mother has always held high expectations of me when it comes to grades and knowledge, I’ve always been really good when it comes to testing and keeping my grades up. And when I told people that I was Asian (Filipino), they would make remarks like, “that’s why you’re so smart” […]

She’s not my maid, I’m hers

Mara Floyd Fort Myers, FL Doris* and my mother have been best friends for over 40 years. Both teachers with their masters’ degrees, the two women from neighboring cities met at an educational conference. They were as different as could be. One was married, one was divorced. One owned a house, the other lived in […]

Drop the racism, drop the past

Donnaven Kroenert, Jacksonville, FL. The Civil War is still being fought in the South, whites are being thrown under the bus everyday, people won’t drop the past, and keep bringing up a subject that just causes more problems.

Don’t assume I’m racist like you.

Nicole Moriarty, Tallahassee, FL. I’m white and I’ve been living in the south for about 5 years and this crazy thing continually happens to me: white people see the color of my skin and assume, wrongly, that I harbor the same ignorance and racism that they do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of my […]

No white Barbies for this one.

Samantha Williams, Pensacola, FL. My father is black and my mother is Filippino. I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where the majority of my mother’s family lives, I was not as well acquainted with my father’s side of the family. My father stated that they weren’t going to make the same “mistakes” with […]

Este hombre es un negro blanco!

Isaias Ortiz Davenport, FL Este hombre es un negro blanco! This man is a white black. The first time I heard that phrase was circa 1980, a family member said while referring to one of his friends, while they were singing and playing their guitars together. I was 20 years old by then, growing up […]