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 […]
Alexis Berry, Wayne State, Detroit, MI Being Biracial is really a challenge. Being half black and half Arabic makes me feel like I belong to neither race. Many people look to their own race as somewhere they belong, but it’s the opposite for me. Since I’ve been young each race makes me feel like I’m […]
Daniel A. Rodriguez, Philadelphia, PA. Hello, my name is Daniel A. Rodriguez and I am 15 years old. I am of Mexican and White descent. My parents came from Mexico shortly before I was born here, in the United States. My father is a construction worker and my mother is a house cleaner, which many […]
Naette Lee, Philadelphia, PA. The nature of humans is that what we see is what matters. What we see has little to do with what is, or what is important. Maybe one day that will change.
Jules M. Marquart, Louisville, KY. In Louisville during the pre-busing 1960s, this “screening” question was based on assumptions and generalizations about race and class. A high school in the West End of the city–African-American (Negro or Black back then) and poor; in the South End–white and red neck; and in the East End–white and privileged.
Brian Steffen, Ankeny, IA
When I entered high school, I quickly learned terms like white privilege, white fragility, and microaggressions, which challenged my identity. While I understood I benefited from white privilege, I did not like the label. Still, the racism embedded in our institutions and the frustrated feelings of my friends motivates me to want to be part […]
Ted Willis, Jr. Cary, NC As a teacher, I have seen how, with each passing generation, race is becoming less of an issue with my students. Most of the racial tension is bred from their parents and the time frame most of then grew up in (however, the parents are become the generation in which […]
Elizabeth Lenz, Rochester, NY. Knowing where I am from, gives me a sense of home even when I am 4000 miles.
Kellianne Murtha, Chesapeake, VA. Times have changed, people have changed so why is “race” still thought to be an ongoing problem? We are no longer who our ancestors were and we no longer believe all of which they did. Race should not be a problem and should not be a deciding factor for things, such […]
Donna Scott, Seattle, WA. I’m passionate about social justice, but I sense the amount of space that I take up, as a white person. I noticed race early on (I’m thinking I noticed it in Kindergarten, I was one of two white kids at my school of ~300) and I’ve been trying my best to […]
Mandy P, Sacramento, CA. When I was 7 years old we moved to Sacramento from Oregon. The culture and diversity is very in California than in Oregon. Moving to California exposed me to many other races and cultures. I saw many other races in my environment. Although in my neighborhood, where I lived and attended […]
Sheila Islam, Oakland, CA. You do not win a prize if you get it right. People hardly ever guess it right and thats not exactly the problem. The problem is, that when people do this, I feel objectified. I feel like my physical appearance is being ripped from me and being judged. I am so […]
Jennifer Ghymn, Wyomissing, PA. The individual filters of race, ethnicity, society and family impact the way we interact and engage with the world to shape a personal cultural identity. I believe people should follow their curiosity, be open to new concepts and challenge themselves by looking at things from a different perspective. Race is a […]
Mark A Tyler, Perris, CA. As an astronomer I see the Earth as a speck of life in a sea of emptiness. If we never learn to work to better all of us we will never survive the trials ahead.
John Ise, Miami, FL Something that I wrote for the Biscayne Times newspaper. It’s worth considering that perhaps the best antidote to racism to acknowledge that “race”, at its core, isn’t real. Racism indeed is real, but race is a man-made fiction. It’s further worth considering if we can transcend race while being hyper-conscious about […]
Eric Evans, Tarboro, NC. Our God-given differences are meant to be appreciated not to keep us separated. As a Native American man I live in a world that doesn’t know what to think of me outside of a reservation or the pages of a history book.
Derrick Carter, Charlottesville, VA. Trying to understand and teach my biracial children and how they can make the future better for every race.
Diana Gonzalez, Franklin Square, NY. I am an adopted person. I’ve been searching for my past all my life. I’m 60 now. One of my adopted parents was Austrian and one was Italian. I was raised to think of myself as Italian. In the early 1970’s I searched and found out I was born in […]
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 […]
Carniesha Kwashie, Philadelphia, PA. This is in response to my white staffer and the racism she sees I endure as we work on an project that states Racial Equity is a priority.
Andi Ray Bartnek, Canada. I grew up in a household with 4 generations of females and have spent my whole life having to justify my name and my sex. Part of me liked being different, the rest of me hated having to argue over who and what I was. That hasn’t changed after 67 years.
Jennessa Cairo, Los Angeles, CA. I believe it’s important to know who we are, and to learn and respect our cultures all over the globe. But growing up I never saw race, I just saw people as equals. Sometimes I just don’t understand why is matters to people.
Hao Nguyen, Durham, NC. I wanted to say… Black Vietnamese. Speak english, spanish, vietnamese. Eat suong kho, pho, and corn dogs. Words that describe my mixed race/heritage children. Having to choose only 6 words, I had to put them in order of words that most describe them. Having to choose what comes first — black […]
Kayle Dallas, TX Our breakup happened for many reason, but the main one is because his parents would never feel 100% comfortable with their son for being with me. I’m black and he’s white. Such simple labels that belie a myriad of different experiences. I would think that any parent would be thrilled their son […]
Brian Federico, Nogales, AZ.
Jessica, CA. I am a white female living in California with my white family. I grew up in an area where I was one of a few white girls in my school. I made friends of all different races and came to understand the benefits of diversity, however, it wasn’t always a pleasant experience. I […]
Daisy Reyes, Rialto, CA. Even as a little girl in Mexico I was the “Chinita” (little Chinese). When I came to the U.S., I was either confused with Filipino or just Asian when people couldn’t figure out which race. My now husband, has been confused with a Hindu. We are both Mexican-born. But the thing […]
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 […]
Sabrina F. San Jose, CA Growing up I racially Identified myself as Latine, but then I learned that it isn’t a race. This made me confused as to what I should identify as since I never considered myself white and neither did others. That is what lead me to learn that race is a social […]
Vidhya Mallikarjunan, Blacksburg, VA. I was born and have lived in the US for my whole life. And I’ve been blessed to live in a town where my race doesn’t come up too often especially in negative ways. But still so innocently people will constantly ask “where I’m from” but I’m from Blacksburg. It’s so […]
Sam P.K. Collins, Washington, DC Black people need a race consciousness, global Outlook and identification with Africa that will help them look beyond the American system that continues to shortchange us as a collective.
Stephen M. King, Parkville, MD Race baiters know there is a LOT of money to be made by keeping people at each other’s throats. The military-industrial complex has been doing the same thing for 150 years. I don’t care what color you identify with. If you aren’t a good, kind, and decent person, I have […]
Eirann Betka, Grand Rapids, MI. I wish white wasn’t a race. Because where does that mean I come from? I am given five options of classifications to choose from. Five checkboxes. None of which correctly identify my origin, and of all of them, white seems vague and without a home. Where is white? How can […]
Anna Fraley, Jena, LA. Do people realize that Native Americans still exist? WHY are our struggles for equality not brought to thr forefront like those of the African Americans, Muslim Americans, and Latinos? We are the forgotten.
Patricia Duhalde, Aurora, CO This man is my soulmate. Didn’t know much about his experience on this planet until I fell in love with him. He said that we are two humans who found love with each other. The rest is a learning process for us both.
Jay D, USA Race, amongst other “identity” labels, is a tool used to separate human beings, by pseudo-scientists, politicians, pundits, & marketers. The only way to disrupt the concept, and to emphasize unity through a shared identity, either American or human being. Those who cling to it, will forever be doomed to its tempting embrace. […]
Nicole, Irvine, CA Who can give a clear definition of race? Does that definition “A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct within a given society” sound familiar?-most of us don’t even know our ancestry until we take DNA tests so can we […]
Phyll, Fort Worth, TX. At 62 years old, I am a child of thw Civil Rights struggles. When my son was born in 1971, I was committed to raising him without the excess baggage of race. It didn’t take but one sleepover for his Pee Wee Football team that the White boys weren’t allow to […]
Delaina Peek, Sarasota, FL. One’s culture and Race is important and defining, but Love overcomes all and we all are the voices of Love
Marie Abaya, Seattle, WA. No choice.
Irlena A. Rodriguez, Tucson, AZ. Mexican is not a race, and not all Latinos are Mexicans. We have different cultures and ethnicity across Latin America. I am Latina and I am Colombian, Not Mexican. there’s a big difference.
Ellise, Riverside, CA. My race is not what you see, It is what I feel. Do not let your stereotypes fool you, I am happy, beautiful, and peaceful about who I am. I use to be angry with who I was. I have been told “I was pretty for a black girl” all my life. […]
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.
Keenan Chandler, Atlanta, GA. There are all sorts of birds in the world: big birds, small birds, flightless birds, aquatic birds, birds with wondrously colorful plumage and those with subtle, dull feathers. If we want to appreciate them equally, do we pretend not to see their differences? Do we say the pigeon is the same […]
Michele Boivin, Buckeye, AZ. Education is power.
Maurice Kemp, San Antonio, TX. I did not choose my race. No one did. I was born into a world with preconceived notions about my race and others. We all were. I entered a world with plenty of recorded and unrecorded history. We all did. I cannot account for any of the history that predates […]
Estefany Anaya, Redwood City, CA.
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 […]
Yzolde Chepokas, Eden Prairie, MN. Going through this process of learning about race, racism, culture, multiculturalism, diversity, and so on, I have come to the conclusion that being aware of the world outside of my own world is only the beginning of this journey of supporting social justice. As this change occurs within myself it […]
Fay Gilder, United Kingdom We never had conversations about race in my family. I grew up in a multiracial environment but each other’s experiences were not questioned or asked for. Then I met an activist, a race champion, who showed me my blindness. I read as much as I can. I use curiosity to ask […]
Richard Byrnes, Sellersville, PA Forget this race baiting. It is divisive. Live by MLK’s philosophy of judging people by their character, and not by the color of their skin. I am white, male, privileged, and absolutely not apologetic for any of it.
Aminah Columbia, SC Being a light-skinned African-American has afforded me the ability to kind of live on multiple sides of the race coin in terms of my superficial assets. Many people assume that I’m mixed; I’m not. Many people assume that I lucky because, since I’m fully black, I have good hair. Man, if one […]
Molly Dodson, Stillwater, OK.
Eileen Ho Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan Do we look at race or see with race, or both?
Christina Sinclair, Warren, RI I try my best to stay out of the line of fire when it comes to race. As far as I’m concerned as long as my own thoughts and opinions are private and locked away if they aren’t socially acceptable and I’m not hurting anyone then why can’t I think the […]
Jade D. Lee, Syracuse, NY. I HATE feeling like I SHOULD feel less than because I am a black woman. I believe that I can do anything, and I CAN surpass any social construct that challenges this belief. EVERY black woman has the capacity to exhibit an abundance of adequacy and value.
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 […]
Elias Jones, Charlottesville, VA. It is tribalism that leads to assumptions both affirming (they are like me, they accept me, I am safe with them) and disruptive (they don’t like us, we don’t trust them, they are different). Tribalism perpetuates white privilege, empowers classism – which is informed and compounded by racism and sexism – […]
Christopher Lee-Rodriguez, Boston, MA. We don’t live in a post-racial society. We live in a post-race society. We live in a country where in a short amount of time, there will no longer be a majority race. And race is continuing to be reshaped and redefined. I am half Chinese and half Puerto Rican. I […]
Marni Berendsen, Walnut Creek, CA I grew up in a town (and neighborhood) in CA that had a mixture of ethnicities. I didn’t know “color” was supposed to make a difference until I was about 12. I’m white. I’m 70. Over the years, it seemed that race become the most important trait that one was […]
Briah Stokes, Baltimore, MD. My race nor sexuality should be an excuse to judge me. At the end of the day, our souls are our substance, our physical beings are just vessels that give our souls a home.
Jessica Flake, Amelia, OH I work as a demo’s assistant at an international grocery store which will not be named for advertising purposes. Being in Demo’s means I make samples for people to try of various products that we want to sell. I have been called various ‘slurs’ by some people of color in the […]
Thien Kim Ho, Somerville, MA. I grew up in what seemed like a movie representation of my own race. My mother was a nail technician. I don’t know if she still is. My father probably still is an engineer. I don’t know whether I had “tiger parents” or if they were just plain mean. I […]
Anonymous, Orlando, FL p>Disclaimer the person in the photo is not I but someone who looks like me. My ancestry is Berber Kabyle (North African), Turk (Eurasian aka European and west Asian) and French( Western European). I look mediterranean light olive skin, brown wavy hair, big brown almond eyes, thick eyebrows, long lashes, long head, […]
Bruno, San Diego, CA. Senior Drill Instructor on race relations in the United States Marine Corps.
John Stephens, New Market, VA. Many years ago, when I was a young man, I went to see the movie The Defiant Ones with Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. The film was about two convicts who were both strident racists. They escaped from prison but they could not escape each other because they were shackled […]
Lee, Saipan, MP. Oceania is the proper geographical name of a defined region, as are North America, Europe, Asia, etc. People are Native American, European, Asian… I am, among other things, Oceanic or Oceanian; a person descended from ancestors from Oceania. Specifically, Micronesia. The term “pacific islander” as a racial category is an oddity that […]
Erin Yarbrough, Norman, OK. My husband is half black and half Korean. I’m white. Our son is three races, but I hear and fear that others don’t see him as any race. Multi-racial is sometimes a hard way to identify.
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 […]
Riley Redman, Pittsburgh, PA.
John Smith, Las Vegas, TX. Races are diffrent, not only by color of skin, but by brain and how our body is built, its sad but true some races are capable to do better things then others, when the white man whas building rome the Africans where still living in mud houses, and most of […]
Jenelle Alvarez, MD I am Hispanic, and Hispanics don’t necessarily fit into one race, or even any.
Ben Guyton, Eugene, OR This is mostly a dig at me– for the impulse to submit a phrase as if it meant I was helping to reduce/fight/calm/change racism. It was much more meaningful, for me, to read through what others said. I had more than one “I never considered that” moment going through them. Thank […]
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 […]
Richard Holmes, Durham, NC As racism and hate-crimes have proliferated and reversed so much progress in the last few years, I despise that the haters are overwhelmingly the same race and gender as me — white males. This is especially pronounced here in the south. Those who are harmed are rightfully fighting their treatment and […]
Leah Hidenfelter, Durham, NH Race is a category made up to discriminate and distinguish against others. This is a false term to describe those from different backgrounds and communities. Society used this false term to create racism is our world today. Racism is real. However, so is love. Love is used around the world to […]
Kristina, Zion, IL. I’m multiracial, which caused an identity crisis in my teens. I was never enough of one race or the other to really fit in with anyone. So, I decided to just be myself. I can love all my ethnicities, and the people who were meant to love me understand that.
Courtney Pearce Bowling Green, OH
Tom Jackson’s Gums, Submitted via Twitter: @Deacon_TKD @michele_norris
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 […]
Mark Ritchie, Salisbury, NC
Linnette Derry, New York City, NY. I often think about the inevitable discussion about race that I will have to have with my son one day. That day when he will begin to ask me why people think I’m his nanny/housekeeper instead of his mother; the day when he will ask me why people keep […]
Ann Evans Larimore, Ann Arbor, MI.
Jennifer Berkemeier, Farmington Hills, MI. I’m a single mom. I adopted my daughter from Haiti in 2012 when she was 4 years old. I’m white, and 15 years older than most of her friends’ moms. We get a lot of stares and unwelcome comments from little kids (“Is she your grandma?” “How come you’re different […]
Josephine Kim, Cambridge, MA. When it comes to race, we need our eyes to hear and our ears to see.
Adrian Headley, Roslindale, MA. Thanks for the wall!
Torleif Soderstrom, Palo Alto, CA
Michael Goldberg, Dallas, TX. Race conversations should always be happening no matter your background or skin color. Stop the finger pointing on both sides and start talking to solve the problems.
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 […]
London R Holcomb, Bonner Springs, KS Fear does not define who you are. Neither does race. Your personality defines who you are and anyone who doesn’t take you for who you are, are irrelevant.
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 […]
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 […]
Anonymous, Philadelphia, PA . For a long time, I have known that the concept of “race” is a false way to identify or classify human beings. Race is not a biological reality. In the 19th century, in Europe, the concept of ranking people by color was used to justify conquest and slavery. The attachment of […]
Christian Diego Cintron, El Paso, TX. Culture and race should be celebrated. Growing up in a border town taught me people are different and we should all be understanding. I am Hispanic and I love my culture and the way it blends with all the other cultures.
Sarah Carneal, Centreville, VA. We cannot have an honest conversation about race in this country. It is a fact that white people who bring it up will be called racist before the conversation even becomes honest. Benign things such as, “Where are you from?” are now seen as pejorative questions. It seems apparent to so […]
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 […]
Lesley Thomas George Frisco, TX My perfect little world was broken up into different races post 9/11. As an Indian-American, I escaped much of the profiling that many African Americans face. After 9/11 much of that changed.
Renee, Indianapolis, IN Blaming our race only causes more tension with other races and ultimately more racism. Let’s stop blaming everything on our race and make progress towards fixing the root of our problems. Let’s take positive action in our communities and teach the world there is good in all races and cultures and to […]
Adrea Benedetti, College Park, MD. I will not let race define who I am nor will I judge another based on the color of their skin.
Lauren Machado, Lakewood, CA
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 […]
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 […]
Josie, Houston, TX Most of my life, I had not given much thought to my racial identity. I never really thought about myself as a “white person” or what it meant to be white, unless I had to fill out a form for school, a job, or standardized tests. It was just a label with […]
Sarah Naomi Burnett, Norristown, PA. Being a ‘white’ girl raised on the border of Mexico the ‘race-card’ issue was raised daily. I always felt that if I was a color, and they were a nationality, those two identifiers didn’t quantify either of us equally. I had a culture at home that was Irish/Italian but where […]
Tori Collins, Washington, DC. Depression is real and doesn’t care about your race. If you’re African-American and female not only are you expected to be resilient enough to just take the hits and keep going, if you can’t due to emotional or mental illness, you’re considered to have an attitude, you’re a mean or a […]
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 […]
Omar, USA Race has two meanings, and both can haunt us. The color of our skin, hair, eyes, etc.. or the delirious desire to be the fastest, the strongest, to win the race. They’ve always been intertwined. Well, as we know now, those division lines of color, or those finish lines of race-tracks are very […]
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 […]
Linda Bronstein, West Hartford, CT The Jewish people have been the target of hate for thousands of years, in just about every country in the world. My parents’ generation in America faced restrictive quotas when applying for colleges and jobs, and “restricted areas” when looking for homes to rent or buy. But in post-World War […]
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 […]
The Invisible, USA While the media strive to be politically correct about every other race and ethnic group in America, somehow Asians, esp. Chinese Americans, seem to be the forgotten (and often bullied and ridiculed) race. In a country where people are “outraged” just about everything, nobody (outside of the Asian community) says anything about […]
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.
Phyllis Kedl, Little Canada, MN. Ours is a multi-ethnic family. We have fourteen grandkids, only five of whom are ethnically related to us. The rest? Two African American, three Hispanic and four Chinese. We are anything but vanilla, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your project, Michele, may offer our country’s first — […]
Lily Campbell, San Francisco, CA. I am a Freshman in Highschool, and for the past month, my religious studies teacher has been teaching us what the meaning of race is. Race is a category that humans have created to tell each other apart from one another, but we are all apart of one race, the […]
Tom Gilles, Los Angeles, CA.
Anonymous Brooklyn, NY I’m not taking on the burden of race anymore. I am who I am, I love myself and that’s it.
David Brady, Portland, OR. Travel to see new cultures and experiences? I do. But, we can experience the richness of culture here if we look past appearance. Listen, let others’ stories speak.
Davy Jones, Martinsburg, WV. We are all just 1: HUMAN!
Tony Harris, San Diego, CA.
Mohammad Salem Shirzad, Sacramento, CA. As an afghan immigrant, I have witnessed the roots of race in different geographical and social contexts, from Afghanistan to the United States. It is sad to say that race do matter in today’s societies all over the world. But this is the truth in today’s world. Cosumnes River College
Nayeli G. Velez Los Angeles, CA I didn’t understand how to take this comment growing up. Now, I cringe when people say it. I see now it’s a comment on my race and culture. A racist comment disguised as a complement.
David B. Berenson, Cleveland, OH. All but one person with whom I shared the story of getting “mugged” asked of their race, and it began to pi** me off. I had to find a way to put the whole experience into perspective.
Phil Audibert, Gordonsville, VA.
Lars Engström, Sverige. In the US people share the same language, religion, and culture. So why this race-awareness, to use a less incendiary label? In Sweden the issue is hardly about racism. Those “others” are mostly fresh to this country. I’m just shy of 50. As young, there were no immigrants in my class, none […]
Madison Martin, Ewing, NJ. Growing up in a predominantly white town, race was not a topic of much discussion in the classroom. My parents were good role models to me and my brother and did not hide us from the world outside the “bubble” of our town, but the rest of my town seemed to […]
Jay Bailinson Napa, CA In lived in Oakland CA. during preteen and early teen years. I belonged to a Boys Club sponsored by the Chinese Presbyterian Church in Oakland’s China town area. I played on sports teams in a church league sponsored by this church. I was one of two white boys on the team […]
Jeff Keever Seattle, WA I just wish people would get out of their minds that the focus on “race” only includes some sort of ethnic identification. When people speak of diversity they should be speaking of all kinds of differences–differences in abilities, sexual preference or identity, religion, or any other sort of differences that may […]
Ryan Mearig, Fountain Valley, CA. School does a great job of giving you the surface level depiction of slavery. It took 22 years to learn that every foreign race was oppressed, and that we thought it was ok.
Henry Lonnemann, San Mateo, CA. The census called in 2010 and asked: “What race is your son?” I said he is not, but if you are curious about his ancestors he is a mix of Korean, Irish, German, Japanese, and probably some french. They then said they would have to mark him as “other”. My […]
Graham Davis, Malvern, PA. I am a white Anglo-Saxon protestant male. I am 5’4 with dirty-blond hair. I am a heterosexual. I am no better than anyone. I was created an equal to you. I will die an equal to you. I am proud of my heritage, but it does not define me. I should […]
Tessa Foegelle, College Park, MD. I shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable about talking about race issues just because I am white.
Robert Segalman, Sacramento, CA. People of race have been especially supportive of my efforts to establish a FCC mandated accessible telephone service for people with speech disabilities (see www.speechtospeech.org) . I have significant cerebral palsy (see www.drbobsautobiography.org) and have worked to establish this service. People of color, like Dr. Joel Tolbert at California Public Utilities […]
Toya James, Albuquerque, NM. I am biracial (Black/White) and born in Cleveland in 1959. By “it” I mean race. I thought more people knew race is simply a social construct and that racism was something education erased. I have only recently realized how widespread the buy-in is in American society and that race was invented […]
Tommy Edward Sarmiento, Columbus, OH. Don’t wash anything, with color, with darkness nor with white light. All human beings have a right to express and interpret and grow within themselves ideas; ideas of love, of what we fear, what makes us think “isn’t that strange?” Freedom and equity should belong to each human. We should […]
Ernie Hills, Sacramento, CA. “As a young musician growing up in a white bread and mayonnaise world, I revered the recordings of black jazz musicians. This, more than anything else, is responsible for erasing the lingering racial animosity that was part of my family’s unspoken legacy. Thanks for being with us today!”
Lucy Pipkin, Minneapolis, MN. My own white discomfort is much less painful than continuous microaggressions and real racism faced by my fellow undergrad students who are POC. Let’s talk, and not stop until they feel safe again. We’re all different but need to come together in our communities, as shown by my photo of this […]
Katherine Finn, Virginia Beach, VA. I do not look good for a white girl, or look good because I am white… I am me, and my race does not change or affect that.
Brent Vuglar, Houghton, MI. Just like any controversial subject where people do not see eye to eye, people tend to be close-minded to others opinions. This development of tension plants a seed of anger to one another. I myself grew up in a not so very diverse suburb, and when I was younger I believed […]
Brian Taylor Carlson, Johnston, IA. Drake University
Cole, St Paul, MN. My people have believed they are superior for as long as I’ve known. Not only is it frustrating that my race fails to see others as equal but the fact that even after all my people have done they still can’t see how they’ve impacted the lives of other races. Seeing […]
Isabella Thomas, Philadelphia, PA. My name is Isabella Thomas, and I’m a student currently attending Central High School in Philadelphia. The concept of ‘race’, to me has always correlated with ‘color’. Or perhaps an erasure of identity. I am not simply white, just as my peers- my friends- are not simply black, or Asian. I […]
Mahlon Gumbs, Atlanta, GA. What is uhmm… Race is uhmm… The thin line that Blinds us, Confines us, Keeps us at home base. If we cross that line It’s a crime, No matter the time; Society will put us back in our place. But what is uhmm… Race is uhmm… The thing about which we […]
Julia Rivers, Milwaukie, OR. As a high school student dependent on scholarships in order to attend college and reach my goals of a much higher level of education, every day I am consumed by the thought of how I can make myself stand out. What will make the people in charge want to give me […]
Harry Ford, Minneapolis, MN. Race is a difficult subject given the large amount of pain many people of color have experienced related to race within this American landscape. We are people in pain hoping that our contributions will be seen by the others.
Mary, Oakland, CA. Wherever I am living in this country also affects my racial/cultural identity.
Richard R Clarke West New York, NJ This is what I see happening to people over and over again, no matter what their race, color or cultural identity.
Patrilie Hernandez, Washington, DC. When you look at me, what race do you see? Do you see my dark skinned grandparents, whose African relatives escaped from the Dutch slave trade? Do you see my last name, which reflects my “Latina” heritage, or do you see a brunette “white” girl, after hearing the way I speak […]
Danielle Watson, Las Vegas, NV How awesome. I happened to stumble upon this website today! I place my card and artwork here happily.
Jon Stuckey, Mechanicsburg, PA. I learned my 6 words based on your lovely presentation this evening at Messiah College. Thank you for coming. And thank you for your important work.
Abbey Gammill, Lawton, Ok. Im am from the south, and I have grown up listening to elders make racist comments. My mom and dad raised my brother and I to believe that everyone is equal. I never really had a personal encounter with a race issue until I moved into college. My roommates name is […]
Jedd Birkner, Torrance, CA. Race is a social construct. Prejudice is a way of expressing ignorance and fear. Senseless hatred is passed from generation to generation. I pray that the people in my country with hatred in their hearts for those they perceive as “the other” become a smaller and smaller minority with each generation. […]
All my life, people have mistaken me for “races” that I am not: Mexican, Hawaiian, Filipino, Indian, Brazilian. I was always flattered because I thought this meant I looked exotic and “different,” I wanted to look different. I didn’t want to look “haole,” our stolen Hawaiian word for “white.” That’s when I uncovered the implicit […]
Mattie O’Brien Ann Arbor, MI
Patricia Osborn Grand Rapids, MI People are always surprised when they see me. My last name doesn’t. “match” how I look. Although my parents are awesome and didn’t think twice about any of their children’s spouses race , my aunts and uncles made so many comments ranging from me not wanting to be a true […]
Zizi Greenberg, Los Angeles, CA. Your race is your race, yes. But you are your own person independent of your race -unless you choose to let your path be made for you.
Arely Herrera, Memphis, TN One of my professors of the “(De)constructing Race in America” course I am currently taken has embedded the importance of having your own “narrative” in my mind. Now, for me, it is always important to look at the history and re-write what my race means to me. “Mexican” doesn’t completely describe […]
Ninasophia Stowe, Riverside, CA I am mixed with Black, German and Mexican. Growing up I was very confused about what it meant to be mixed. I didn’t feel fully accepted by the Black community because I didn’t have enough black features, was called the “black friend” around white people and didn’t speak Spanish so felt […]
Yvette Davis, Wayne State, Detroit, MI I believe race is not the issue. I believe the issue is the person true feelings inside. People are taught to be intolerant. Race is just the mask people wear.
Olga Johnson, Wayne State, Detroit, MI Race is becoming more difficult to distinguish according to google, due to intermarriages, travel and better communications between humans on earth.
Steven Jones, Wayne State, Detroit, MI Race is a word. Since its a word, it can be used in different ways. Currently, race is widely (not only) used to express differences resulting in the lack of continuity among people.
Aida Verri, New Orleans, LA. You are not ugly, pretty, stupid, smart, strong, weak, violent or calm because of your “race”. Your skin color isn’t your race, isn’t your culture, isn’t your identity.
Sylvia Stancil, Wayne State, MI While I will concede that these mere six words may represent an oversimplification to addressing extremely complex issues, recognizing the humanity first in anyone is a good foundation upon which to build open and honest dialogue. There is a thread of commonality that should serve to bind us provided one […]
Dr. Eric Montgomery, Wayne State, Detroit, MI Until the philosophy which holds one race superior, and another inferior, is finally, and totally, and permanently, abandoned– Everywhere is War (Haile Selaisse and Bob Marley) “War”
Matthew Wisotsky, Wayne State, Detroit, MI It’s 2018. LEADERSHIP is failing us. WE are failing us. We’re still going to war oversees and in our own streets over things that we’ve already gone to war for oversees and in our own streets. The nightly news highlights our setbacks. Leaving the last 30 seconds of the […]
David Chase, New York, NY. Apparently some people feel that “all oppression is not equal”. My experience as a gay white man unfortunately has not always been one of solidarity with non-gay non-white people. Growing up as a child in Woodstock, NY in the 60’s and 70’s I was brought up to be supportive of […]
Tony, Chicago, IL. I chose these six words because when it comes to race, it is like we are looking at each other through a semi-opaque window that shows an image without great detail. We use our own experiences and bias to fill out the missing detail.
Grsteena Khoshaba, Warren, MI. I am a Middle Eastern girl and I just have one question. Where am I? Why is it whenever I have to fill out an official document that asks for my race, Middle Eastern is not an option? We are forced to bubble “White” when we’re not really white.
Anna Bell, Newport, KY I encounter so many people who think that because I date outside my race (I am African American and my boyfriend is Caucasian), that I no longer identify with my race.
Ethan Flechner, Milwaukee, WI I’m a white man and I act very differently then most white people I see in stories and on the news. I act differently then most people I see. My race doesn’t automatically mean that I’m going to be formal or what white people are generically showed as. Throughout your life […]
Will Mortenson, Minneapolis, MN. I am proud of my roots and my family, but I often feel shame when I think about the wrongs that so many white men have committed. There are too many white men who have thought and still think in such derogatory and discriminatory ways that I simply don’t agree with. […]
Sandra Miller, USA There is only one race – human. I am proud of my Semitic heritage, and I check other.
Jaime Misky, Milwaukee, WI I chose these six words because they have been a harsh reality I have learned as I grew up. From K4-5th grade, I went to a school in which I was very much a minority. Though many teachers were white and there were classmates who shared the same skin color, most […]
Karina Raymond, Northfield, VT Because race is just a pigment of your skin adapted from evolution it does not and will not ever define who you are as a person so long as you don’t let it.
Susana Gluck, Minneapolis, MN. There has to be open and sincere talk about race, our perceptions and preconceptions. Each group has to be able to hear the goods and bads we perceive about each other to find common and higher ground and an acceptance of our shared humanity. We can be critical but also loving.
Paige Nicole Malcuit, Wadsworth, OH.
Marilyn Toby Drucker, Washington Crossing, PA. We are all part of the family on Earth. I do not want race and culture to separate us, but to instead enhance our well being.
Charuta Apte, Sammamish, WA. I am an Indian, and teach in a under-served community in a school which is equally white, black and hispanic. In the beginning, it was a recipe for disaster. Now, it feels empowering. Just last week, I had a few student accuse me of going easy on a girl who they […]
Jackson R Barnes, Ferrum, VA. My race/ ethnicity hasn’t effected me in the slightest. I have not been discriminated against or any other of these ill circumstances that I hear others go through. Perhaps I am sheltered or maybe I am blind, but in a case such as this maybe it is better to be […]
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 […]
AnnAdèle Lloyd, Asheville, NC. Appearance is always how we make our initial judgement of someone on first meeting.
Scotty, Detroit, MI. Race is real. Sometimes, it is also necessary to play the role we are born into. Most of the time, however, we don’t need to look at the world through a racial lens. This causes judgement and suffering because of who we take ourselves to be. What you see, you cannot be. […]
Donna Southwood-Smith, USA. Yes, yes, I understand that what people see, affects what they think. I get historical baggage … I am from Jamaica, travel much, and have been mistaken for a ‘local’ in about ten other countries. Why? I am certainly part of the African diaspora, but like many Jamaicans, have mixed ancestry. My […]
Patrick, Philadelphia, PA. This was thought provoking.
Saygo Nino, Sunnyvale, CA. Don’t be proud of something you didn’t achieve. It is just whom your ancestors spread their legs for.
Laura Flores, Hayward, CA.
Roy Turrentine, Normandy, TN. Race is actually just a part of our natural xenophobia. Over the course of being a southerner rooted in agrarian dialects and educated among those from all across the country, I have experienced genuine surprise on the part of some when they realize I can speak with a drawl and still […]
Brittni Staufer, Lafayette, CO. I hate having to check a box for my race.