You’re cute for a black girl

Leah Thomas Florissant, MO I grew up in Saint Louis, MO and I moved to a mainly white private school in the 5th grade. I was a “gifted student” according to my public school district and my parents struggled to give me a better education. As I got older, of dating age, I started to […]

Passing under streetlights… shouldn’t we nod?

Tom Capuano Kirksville, MO In the Midwest, in small and mid-sized towns at least, people who are strangers to each other sometimes acknowledge each other with a nod, at the very least, when passing by each other, at least during the day. Sometimes even a hello. Maybe not all the time, maybe not even most […]

Just because my husband is white.

Ferguson Police Officer Wife, O’Fallon, MO. Just because he is a white police officer, doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. He grew up in this community and has just as much of a right to work here as anyone else. I should not have to worry myself sick if he will come home every night. […]

Not as white as I appear.

Susi Matthews, Kansas City, MO. I am 1/4 Navajo plus Cherokee and Mohawk. I am also English, Irish, Scots and German. I LOOK white; my full sister looks Native. I experienced the reactions she got when we were kids on vacation. A small restaurant in Colorado thought she was Native America and refused to serve […]

I am more than my skin

Nikia Montgomery, St. Louis, MO The first time I was called the N-word I was 5. Waiting in line with my class to use the restroom a white girl in my class walked right up to me and called me that. All she knew about me at this point was sex and my race. I […]

I Am Shattered Pieces Scattered Black

Lauren Anderson Kansas City, MO I’m not sure what I would consider myself. The only thing that I know is that I am brown-skinned, but light-skinned. Many believe I am mixed with another race or other race(s), but my parents are both Black. I’m not really sure what it means to be Black or where […]

Men I love aren’t safe here

Arlinda Vaughn, Dayton, OH. My partner is a tall, dark muscular black man (with a PHD). When he lived in Texas, the police arrived at a gas station that he was in and tased him 8 times without warning or discussion. My brother (with a degree) has been regularly pulled over. Once, a police officer […]

We Have More Work To Do

Ana Grace Schactman, Webster University, St. Louis, MO In the late 1990’s, Webster University held a Diversity and Inclusion Conference in St. Louis. One hundred people attended, divided into 5 groups of 20. In the safety of separate rooms, each group introduced themselves to each other, and talked about where our people were from. Most […]

Pointless meeting …

Chelsea Sia, Saint Louis, MO Okay – here goes. I do realize that being Caucasian does predispose me to privileges. I can own that. My daughter is Hispanic and my husband is Chinese and Philippine. My daughter has been playing softball since she was five, she is now 12. We are from a town where […]

You love my hair, not blackness

Keiana King, Kansas City, MO I want people to understand, all races have something to offer and sure. The only thing people should judge someone for is the content of their character like Dr. Martin Luther King said. Don’t say you don’t see color because that only makes it worse.

Do you dance around a fire?

Catherine Tiger, Kansas City, MO. I’ve been to many pow wows and I love to explain to my friends what it is that we do their. It was one day when a man over heard my friend and I talking and he asked if Native America’s dance around a fire and really think they can […]

Ashamed of being mostly white. Sadly.

De, Everytown, MO. I chose a picture of a rainbow because I think it fits the subject of my card. I am mostly of Caucasisan (Irish) descent. I am also of Jew, African, and Native American descent. I look white. Recently I have been made to feel ashamed of my white heritage, and even been […]

Black clients funded our white flight.

Jane Meacham, Washington, DC. My dad is a lawyer in Kansas City, MO, who always had mostly black, working-class clients. When the city school district started to decline in quality in the early 1970s, we moved away to a nearly all-white suburban school district nearby. So I realize now, all these years later, that his […]

Imagine not meeting strangers with guns.

Daniel Knoll, Saint Louis, MO. These may or may not represent how I feel about race,,,I am in Missouri, and grew up in the town right next to Ferguson..i am a white guy, but the adopted son of a Native American (full Cherokee) mother, and German -American father…not to minimize the legitimacy of the real […]

Can Anyone Believe I Love Everyone?

Lisa Johnson, Holden, MO. I am, unfortunately, from very rural America. There was a short period in my life (approximately 1/4 of it) that was lived in larger areas where I got to know various people. My most favorite experiences were the multicultural atmosphere of the Modern Languages and Literatures Department of a college I […]

The nun made me mark “white.”

Jackie Loya-Torres Kansas City, MO As a small child in the 1970s, I remember having to take some sort of standardized test in school. You know…the ones where you need a #2 pencil to fill in the ovals? On the cover page, in addition to listing my name, gender and age, I was asked to […]

Will they ask me or assume?

Hillary Buren, Kansas City, MO. As a biracial women growing up in am almost entirely white community I have adapted to addressing my racial ambiguity (I am most commonly mistaken as Hispanic but even have been confused for as Indian) and usually I resort to humor when it comes to this topic. However it never […]

You are holding the binoculars backwards.

Andrew Schlager, Kansas City, MO. “You are holding the binoculars backwards.” We are so consumed by generalized assumptions about race that we fail to see that every individual is different. We see people from afar, just as a person would see looking through binoculars backwards, and make judgments without really looking closely, like a person […]

Eeny. Meeny. Miney. Moe. Catch a…

Auguste Budhram, USA. Anyone who has ever been in the minority remembers the first time a word knocked the wind out of them. As a child, my first time came packaged in a rhyme known by everyone– making the blow feel conspiratorial and that much worse. The rhyme is part of every 10 year- old’s […]

Loving another human without judgement.

Philip Harding, Chesterfield, MO. Let’s build communities that are strong. Let’s have dialogues. Let’s become each other, let there be empathy, learning and understanding. Break down walls, build up culture. Create. Communities where we educate our children, eat well, and build lasting bonds. Let’s make our communities racially diverse. As long as we segregate ourselves, […]

I never met a Jew before

Bob Rosenfield, St. Louis, MO. I work in a rural area of Missouri where there is no diversity. Most everyone are white and Christian. It is a good experience for all of us. They are curious and repsonsive and they ask many questions about being Jewish and the religion.

white white white white white white

Anonymous, St. Louis, MO. I truly believe that for me, the down sides of being black would be worth a full sense of acceptance into the beautiful culture of hip-hop and rap that I identify with at the soul level. I’m hated for that and I understand why.

I am colorblind but ignorance isn’t.

Natalie, Kansas City, MO. I believe ignorance is a key that goes hand-in-hand with fear. We are afraid of what we do not know or what we cannot understand. If we simply educated ourselves on certain topics,we may be less likely to jump to conclusions, opinions and prejudice’s. Ignorance is blind to those who we […]

Blacks Must Show ID To Exist

Patti Downing, Kansas City, MO Attended the Race Place & Diversity Symposium and luncheon yesterday. It was a fun and wonderful experience. If all of us REAL HUMANS black, brown, yellow, white (all) could unite into the Purple People Eaters the hate groups would disappear or have to move off “OUR PLANET”. WE ALL BETTER […]

Deep-seated racism persists in divided city.

Jack Kiehl, St. Louis, MO. I live in a city that is significantly divided between blacks and whites. The division and living in such homogenous communities is one of the strongest reasons why racism, both subtle and overt, continue today. This project inspired a deep look into this issue and was the inspiration for an […]

“So, what are you?” “An American.”

Kristin Maerke, Springfield, MO. When I was younger I was very annoyed by the question, “What are you?” Which were usually the first three words spoken to me. I have since learned to embrace my cultural diversity, and sometimes even enjoy making people guess (it tends to make them quite uncomfortable).

If Obama’s only Black, everyone loses.

Lorna Dianne Stookey Fredericktown, MO It cut deep, the aftermath of the 2008 election. I woke up to find racism splashed across the front page: “We finally got one of OURS in the White House.” Whose “ours” was he? He’s multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multiracial! He’s European American and African American. He’s “Everyman.” Could have been […]

Is Jew a religion or race?

Hannah Herzog St. Louis, MO Guess what? It’s both (sort of). You may be of “Jewish” ethnicity without being of Jewish faith (non practicing), or you may be of Jewish faith, but may be from someplace other than Europe or Israel. Please remember that Jews come in all colors, and of all nationalities. Those descendants […]

All races in family equals love

Val Andrew, Overland, MO. My parents taught us early on to accept all people and invited international college students of different races, religions, and nationalities to stay with us during holidays. During the Vietnam War we hosted an AFS student from Vietnam for a year. I grew up a few miles from Ferguson and taught […]

Raised rich in love, not money.

Lana Moore, Sarcoxie, MO. I am the youngest of eight children, who were all encouraged to further our education. All eight of us went to college. Our mother taught in a one room school house until she was expecting her fourth child, and our father was a mechanic.Our parents raised us to view all people […]

People ask B, “What are you?”

Basmin, St. Louis, MO. This question has been asked since I began my earthwalk as though I am something other than human, that I don’t fit recognizable category. As a woman of color in seeking healing for my racial wounds I embraced my spiritual nature, cultivated peace within and embraced each who breathes as a […]

I saw them in the back

Dennis Jack Higgs Saint Peters, MO I was raised in West Texas in the 50’s and 60’s. Although racism was rampant around us, we were not raised to be racist. I am now in my mid sixties and still to this day, one incident, when I was about six or seven years old, that lasted […]

What color will your kid’s be?

J. Torres Kansas City, MO My father is from Puerto Rico, born and raised. My mother is Colombian. However, raised in Panama. They met in the 1950’s while my dad was in the U.S. Army. Us kids always called ourselves PanaRicans. Until my mother gave us her true background. I attended college in Michigan in […]

Saline Davidson: “You have released her.”

Tracey Hughes Kansas City, MO Saline Davidson is my 6th great-grandmother, who made herself known to me in November 2013 as part of my family history research. The journey to discover her since November has been amazing and intense, as evidenced by this recap of my latest discovery. More info: http://traceystree.blogspot.com/2014/01/saline-davidson-you-have-released-her.html

Today I applied for a passport

Larry Smith (Vietnam Veteran), Saint Louis, MO. I look around and see white fear of black people (especially black men) on the rise as reflected in the rise of white gun possession. I also see things staying the same or getting worse for black people in terms of economics, education and housing. I would just […]

You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself

Lauren Russell, Springfield, MO. Words my babysitter told me when I was 7 years old. I remember–she sat me down one day, studied me for a moment and then spoke cold and low, “I found out about your real father and I know he isn’t white. You should be ashamed of yourself and ashamed of […]

We’re all human. Act like it.

Blake Frisch, Blue Springs, MO. We’re all humans just trying to get through life the best we can. Your brothers and sisters need you in this time of chaos. Life was and always will be difficult. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be.

“You’re white, so you don’t understand.”

Carrie Piper, St Peters, MO. I grew up in the part of the suburbs that’s sort of a demographic limbo. You’d know what I meant if you saw it: no longer new enough to be “really nice” as the older home builders die off, slowly moving through the “hoosier” phase on its way to “ghetto” […]

“Hush, Child, they’ll take Grandma away!”

Robin Greeley St. Louis, MO This is what my relatives said to me at a family reunion in the 1950s.They were afraid that if it was known that Grandma was Choctaw, she could be sent to a reservation – something that was done in those days. In Pueblo, Colorado, the hatred and direct discrimination of […]

White denial of privilege hurts all

Karen Randolph Rogers, Kansas City, MO. I’m a civil rights attorney who grew up in a predominantly white rural area and left for the city. I see the pain that racism causes in my work and my personal life and try to convey that to white friends and family who deny their privilege. #SafetyPin

My infant doesn’t need to tan

Tanisha Rueter, Gladstone, MO. It makes me sad when people tell me my son is “too white”. No, he is perfect, just like everyone else it. The world would be a boring place without the many different colors.

Yes, I really am North African.

Hannah, St. Louis, MO. My mother is from Africa. She has dark skin. My father is Swedish. My mother used to get asked if she was my Mexican nanny. I was bullied as a kid because I look like no one in my family. No one understands I identify more as a minority but I […]

Oh you’re white that explains it

Spencer S., O’Fallon, MO. My entire life growing up people have blamed almost every bad thing or complaint I’ve said on my race. This has made me upset my whole life because just because I’m white is shouldn’t explain anything about me even when I came out as transgender a friend of mine who actually […]

Not hispanic enough, not white enough

Alfida Cruse, St. Louis, MO. Growing up half Dominican and half Missouri German (white) constantly left me feeling not white enough for the white kids and not Dominican enough for the Hispanic kids. I have been called out and subsequently shunned when my mother picked me up from school in Arlington, VA (“you’re WHITE?!”) and […]

Son, indignant: I have the right to be!

Joann MO Submitted via NPR’s Talk of the Nation My six words are actually two, six word conversations between a black father and son about avoiding certain areas of town: Son, indignant: I have the right to be! Father: Yes, just not “be” over there. Naively thought we had settled this.

I’m afraid for my Black son.

Jamita Hood, Kansas City, MO. I feel these type of forums and programs are excellent don’t get me wrong. I will say that first! It just seems like something really terrible has to HAPPEN for things to HAPPEN! Let’s concentrate on keeping these types of formats going and growing!

My Grandma called me “Black Beauty”.

Donna Wolfe Kansas City, MO She bolstered my self-love, self-esteem and confidence. I am eternally grateful. My self-image was that of beauty, grace and intelligence. My elders lived that way, daily. They made us feel loved and entitled to the best the world has to offer.

Lost culture, lost opportunities, lost hope.

Marvin Hardy, Ferguson, MO. Born in and raised in Saint Louis, it’s amazing how much an African-American male has to give to make a success of himself. From a early age in the 80’s, I was told never to travel alone south of Interstate 64. This was the barrier that separated predominantly poor AA’s from […]

Racism against whites is real

Glenn Allen Campbell, St. Louis, MO. I always make a point to treat everybody with kindness and courtesy but it is rarely reciprocated by blacks. Yet the mainstream media tells me l am a racist. This is real I am not imagining this.

Being Black In America is Hard

Shay Smith, Kansas City, MO. So the other day, a friend of mine, myself, and other friends, got into a very heated discussion about the plight of blackness in America. Essentially, one friend made the point that black men have a greater struggle than black women. I immediately became defensive. As I spoke with vehemence […]

I’m just American, not African American.

Lottie MSF, St. Louis, MO. Born in LA, raised in Compton, became an adult in Bay Area, relocated to MO. Loved by entrepreneur/homemaker grandparents. Raised by entrepreneur, GED, get the job done, courageous, make it happen parents with 50+ years of marriage. I’m a well balanced contributing, career woman, parent, wife, aunt & daughter. My […]

Will My Children Know White Privilege?

Ellie Myers, Saint Louis, MO. I was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri where the tension around race politics is palpable. Race never played a big role in my life, because it never had to. That is, until I started dating black men. I remember friends in high school joking about me going to, […]

Jewish. I think I can relate.

Rabbi Justin Kerber, Saint Louis, MO. I may be “white.” But my grandparents and great-grandparents weren’t “white,” they were Jews! The distinction had implications and consequences — lethal for some of them. In my work as a rabbi and hospital chaplain I must see all people as created in G1d’s image and likeness, yet must […]

I don’t want to be racist.

Johnny Boyd Blue Springs, MO. Sometimes I catch myself thinking things about people, or making judgements, based on their race or appearance. I know it’s wrong, but I learned to see differences at an early age.

White: How do I help? No Answers.

Amanda Honigfort, St. Louis, MO. I am white. I am told again, and again, especially as a St. Louisan in light of Ferguson, that it takes all of us to fix our race problems, and that white people need to get involved too, but every time they stop there. I rarely get answers, but I’m […]

No hope or faith left now.

Tracey Hughes, Kansas City, MO. The unofficial trial of Michael Brown (also known as the statement from Prosecutor McCullough) makes it official in my mind. America is nowhere near ready to make significant, lasting change when it comes to confronting racism, privilege, and the lack of equality in justice for ALL if its citizens. I […]

I will not steal your purse

Henderson Smith III, St Louis, MO. I told this lady in Cinn, Ohio after she grab her purse when she looked and saw me walking down the supermarket aisle. I explain to her that I was an Logistics Engineer at GE Aircraft Engines and a Captain in the Air National Guard.

The Race Card Project Partners with PBS for “America After Ferguson”

We are excited to share our partnership with PBS to capture the reactions from “AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON” — a PBS television special moderated by Gwen Ifill. This PBS town hall meeting, moderated by PBS NEWSHOUR co-anchor and managing editor Gwen Ifill, explores the many issues brought into public discourse in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, […]

A constructed tool of the oppressors

Phillip Johnson, Saint Louis, MO. History shows the historically oppressed are not the ones who use race to their advantage. In order to galvanize support for trans atlantic slavery – one race had to be made to feel superior to another.

Our slave’s daughter sent me an email.

William Kincaid, St. Louis, MO. I use some literary license in choosing the word “daughter”. She is actually the great-great-granddaughter of one of my family’s former slaves, if you want to get technical about it. But a six word statement is no place to get technical. Regardless there are not enough words to express how […]

All power I see is white

Erin, St. Louis, MO. In my world today I associate power with people who are white. All my teachers and school leaders, white. My parents, white. The police in my area, white. All forms of power and authority in my life are white and this is how its been since I was little. Fear those […]

Yes, she IS my real daughter.

Suzanne Strathman Alma, MO How many times have I been asked if Marquita is my “real daughter”. My thought is “She looks pretty real to me.”. Marquita is African American and we are white. We adopted her when she was 4 years old.

Mexican men tend to frighten me.

J St. Louis, MO I work at a country club’s kitchen, there we have a great many Mexican men. They always seem far too friendly. They are more touchy-feely than I am used to. Since then, I have been uncomfortable in the presence of any mexican males.

I’m white, not allowed to complain.

Emily Zyk St. Louis, MO Believe it or not, I’ve seen many kinds of racial bias, including that directed towards white people. I’ve heard people tell me that I wouldn’t know of their struggles, so I wouldn’t be allowed to be any kind of a supporter. I’ve heard these same people tell me that there […]

Evident when driving on the highway

Casey St. Peters, MO Driving brings out the worst in all of us, no? I think I have done a good job in life of respecting people for who they are in spite of having been exposed to many stereotypes and prejudices, some involving race, in my short 30 years…but then I catch myself being […]

See me, not just my skin

Jeffery J Jaekley Bolivar, MO Race matters. It shapes our identity, yet it is not the whole of our identity. There are elements that are common to the experience of any racial group, yet these are not universal to all members of that group. I’m bi-racial–white and Native American. Among whites, I’m often the darkest […]

I am blamed for being white.

Alex Folk St. Louis, MO I am tired of being persecuted for being white. If I disagree with any ethnicity, I am accused of being racist and it disgusts me. It drives me insane and it makes them no better than a racist themselves.

Too old to play w/colored girlfriend.

Jewel Nies St. Charles, MO I grew up in SE MO, the Bootheel. 20 miles from Arkansas border. Very southern town. My neighborhood bordered a black neighborhood. I had a black friend that I had played with for years. When I was around 9 or 10 my Mother came to me and said the neighborhoods […]

Black friends’s father forbid our friendship.

Patricia Armstrong St. Louis, MO I was no more than 7 years old and made friends with a black girl in the neighborhood. We really had a lot of fun together and my family did not object. After a few weeks, I was invited to her house. After her father saw my white skin, he […]

Crossed the street to avoid them.

Chris Sherman St. Louis, MO I’m a Caucasian male, who was brought up in a fairly tolerant household, and learned to be accepting of diversity & difference, yet still have subtle race prejudices that are hard to shed. I know in my heart, it’s more a matter of pigment and culture, than anything, but still, […]

Am I racist? I hope not.

James T. Barker Kansas City, MO I occasionally have racist thoughts (I would prefer to say prejudicial thoughts), especially when I get angry. Although I do not act on them, it bothers me greatly that I have these thoughts.

Cracker don’t belong in dis hood

Eric Chaney Fort Leonardwood, MO Serving in the Army I was stationed in Washington DC. When I arrived I worked in an office of 7 African Americans one Hispanic and me the only white guy. The guys in the office where great we were like family but they briefed me that there are parts of […]

Not Racist, just like the jokes.

Jesse Duncan MO My name is Jesse; I am (mostly) caucasian, and I like jokes. Even racial ones. Let me start by saying that I have always thought that treating someone differently because of the color of their skin, or their accent, is stupid. Not ignorant, which can be fixed through education – stupid. I […]

Race, I don’t like to run

Becky Fulton Joplin, MO I’m was born in 1968 shortly after the death of MLK Jr. of mixed race and grew up raised by grandparents that were white. It was difficult during that time. I am glad that my closest of friends do not see the color of my skin that they can not answer […]

“You’re well spoken,” isn’t a compliment!

KiKi Riddle Lee’s Summit, MO I’m black and have lived in the mid-west all of my life. My parents were college educated with my father having earned his degree with a 4.0 in math and science. That same passion for education, as well as the importance of proper enunciation of the English language, was instilled […]

Only bigots believe prejudice is universal

J Wildman Saint Louis, MO I grew up in a household where we were basically allowed to develop our own opinions about prejudice. I’ve never been a racist. My prejudice of choice was against gay men. Something that I’m still ashamed of having felt, even though I’ve since let that go. When I became an […]

Is it getting better or worse?

Brad Aden St Louis, MO Those are my six words. I was in such hopes after the Presidential election that we were starting to run the corner and that we’d see some positive discussions surrounding race. During the campaign it was amazing to see such a diverse group of people all coming together in a […]