United yet unique, diverse yet connected.

Dana, San Antonio, TX. Around the world, my white skin and my blonde hair make me easily identifiable as an American. This superficial categorization has lead me to wish that people took the chance to get to now me for who I am, rather than making assumptions about my character. In return, I challenge myself […]

Justice for all requires White awakening.

Albert Marten, San Antonio, TX. Trinity University I’m ashamed and embarrassed to admit how unaware I was as a white person about the hate, the daily indignities, and in many cases, the physical terror suffered by my fellow citizens because of the color of their skin. The failure of my country to live up to […]

What You See Is Not Complete

Erica Flores, Dallas, TX. I am often mistaken for something I am not. Most times I am unable to offer clarity on my behalf and am left with the, often wrong, label I was given. My ethnicity, race, education and social status are most often incorrectly judged by others; usually not in my favor.

All-American Girl: Minority at Work

Stefanie Bernosky, Houston, TX. I was raised as an All-American girl to an All-American family in an All-American town. I even looked “All-American”, proudly featuring my braces and American Flag sweater in this dated family photo (circa 1994). We can trace my family (both sides) to the United States prior to the United States Revolution. […]

Half White, Half Hispanic, Full Human

John Michael Rendon Nicholson, San Antonio, TX. Growing up around Latinos and Caucasians, I was either “too White for Latinos” or “Too Latino for Whites”. Very few people saw me as “one of them”, even to this day. Of course, this didn’t stop me from indulging in my culture. I learned Spanish; and I even […]

Together we can do it better

Ben Tallcott, Houston, TX. My life has given me the experience of many cultures and races. I have learned that our differences create a wealth of creativity and knowledge. When we combine these backgrounds together and take the time to listen and learn, we see the answers to many questions. Together we can achieve more […]

Benefit and burden with being biracial

Ryann Williams, Trinity University In a lot of ways, having two parents of different racial/ethnic backgrounds allows a unique insight into both cultures. It can be extremely enlightening to see how both sides can be so different and yet so similar at the exact same time. However, there is always this feeling as if I […]

When people ask… What are you?

Naomi, Grand Rapids, MI. I am an American, of Mexican decent… No, I don’t speak Spanish, no I don’t know where my family is from in Mexico… My Grandparents and Great-Grandparents were born in Texas… I grew up in Gary, IN around mostly Black people… people don’t know what box to put me in. How […]

I’m not allowed to be country.

Rhonda Gilbert, Crowley, TX. I’m black and grew up in the rural south. My experience was very much small town, and I interacted primarily with other blacks until college. Although a large part of my perspective is influenced by my country upbringing, I don’t feel welcome in that “country” space.

A World With Out A Mirror!

Sherry Chaudhry, San Antonio, TX. Imagine a World without a Mirror Without a reflection to see ourself. There would be no glassy reflection sitting upon the shelf. Without knowing our own image it would be difficult to judge another. For the image we have of ourselves, determines how we see our brothers by Sherry Chaudhry

Traditional environment with non-traditional views.

Amanda Cook Lubbock, TX I’m an international business student at Texas Tech University, living in the second most conservative city in the United States. My views on non traditional gender roles and preferred marital status are ridiculed daily. Clearly I don’t have “southern” values. Texas Tech Student. 2013 OTC Symposium.

My father endearingly calls us “Cottonpicker.”

Thais TX My father, age 83, born in a small town in northern Louisiana, has always called my siblings, cousins, and I “Cottonpicker.” My father is the grandson of “Old Man Bass”–as they referred to him, a slaveowner, and Grandma Meli, short of Amelia, an enslaved African-American woman who lived to see freedom. Grandma Meli […]

Biologically baseless with immesurable social impact

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in his book Between the World in Me that “racism is the father of race.” I teach that to my students every semester. Racism created race, not the other way around. The categorization of people according to a perceived racial difference was one of the worst mistake every to be called scientific, […]

Neighborhood party we were not invited

Ninfa Pena-Purcell, College Station, TX. This picture of my parents captures a young Mexican American couple with aspirations to live the American dream in the 1950s only to find out that their family of six children would never be welcomed in their neighborhood. Years later this experience has stayed with me and made me resolve […]

South Texas Born, Melting Pot Raised

Jerheme Urban, Trinity University I am very proud of the fact that I was born in south Texas, a location steeped with history and tradition. It is also an area that is a melting pot of race, culture, and economic diversity- with a heavy blue collar, agrarian influence. After traveling/working across the country, I have […]

Articulate, responsible; then color doesn’t matter

John H McKinney, TX King’s speech referred to the time when a man (actually he referred to his children) would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I think there are many, many who,lack character and use the color of their skin as an excuse. There […]

Your words do not offend me!

Anonymous, Austin, TX. With the onslaught of social media, people feel that that they can judge and pressure any and everyone into being afraid to say anything that might be considered different or something that someone may disagree with. Like the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt […]

A tale of my father

Charon Mcclain, Dallas, TX. In 2009, my father a proud military man passed. He was a great dad and loving husband. He was a proud man who had been in the Air Force and run his own business. I thought I knew all the stories that could be told. Until a pilot sent his condolences […]

You’re not like most black girls.

Felicia Oakmon, Autin, TX. This statement is a repeat offender. I am half black and half Mexican, but I wasn’t aware that ALL “black girls”,or ALL people are exactly the same. Instead of judging people by media, social networks,and what you have heard… take the time to have a conversation, take the time to listen […]

Never keep secrets from your children.

i, Lulu, San Antonio, TX. I was 52 when I confirmed what I had long dodged: I was adopted — more like appropriated — at birth. Back then and in my part of the world (Texas), those things happened. My adoptive parents are on my birth certificate as the birth parents. Whatya gonna do, right? […]

Confederate re-enactor chose intimidation as spoils

Lillian J. Hall, Dallas, TX. I was a freshman in college. I was sitting in the dining hall with a friend, near a window. It was “Texas Day”. The theme was obvious by the bails of hay, western-wear-clad employes and of course, barbecue on the menu. My friend and I were chatting, when all of […]

I’m not a person of color

Gabriella Grange, Plano, TX. Before coming to college, I always thought of myself as a black person. But when I got to college a few years ago, I heard people use the term “people of color” and it boggled me. Even though the term is used to foster solidarity, the term can be used to […]

I will make reparations to you.

Jane Cavazos, San Antonio, TX I have been reading the stories of African Americans for several years–their struggles, triumphs, setbacks and progress…I feel badly about the immense suffering they have endured over centuries of injustice. I will make reparations by volunteering my service in a public library in the African American community.

God knew what he was doing

Malley Morales, Dallas, TX. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “and then Jesus whipped his slaves, who were inadequate because of their skin color.” We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all equal.

My Industry can’t get Latino right.

Ricardo Chavira, San Antonio, TX. Actor who splits time between SA and LA. Alumnus of TV series Desperate Housewives. Id say I was shocked that industry can’t tap into Latino market, but I’m not. I also realize that we as Latinos have a tendency to get in our own way.

My Not So White Life

Joye Beard, Corpus Christi, TX. In the 23 years that my husband and I have been married I’ve noticed some disconcerting things about being in a mixed race marriage. First, I’m not comfortable around other white people at all. If they’re open minded it’s not so bad. But most are not, and once they learn […]

Bicultural and Bilingual should be enough.

Megan Medrano, Houston, TX. Growing up Latina in south Texas, I have always been surrounded with rich culture. My home was filled with both the English and Spanish language and I was encouraged to live both my Mexican and U.S. Latina identities. I did not realize how important an ethnic identity was until I came […]

No offense BUT, what are you?

Francesca Sam-Sin, Katy, TX. “No offense BUT, what are you?” That’s usually how the conversation about my race begins. When I arrived in the U.S. in the 80’s I was really surprised by the emphasis on race. The first time someone asked what “race” I was, it took me a minute to understand exactly what […]

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 […]

A “white girl” with a unique heritage

Ashlyn Rachelle Sharp, Azle, TX. I hate the term “typical white girl”. Why does a girl whose taste buds enjoy pumpkin spice lattes have to be categorized automatically in some stupid stereotype? I may be “white”, but my heritage is so much more than just a typical white girl. My veins are flowing with the […]

I’m told to get over it.

Anonymous, Houston, TX. It’s hard being a young “smart” black man, especially in the military. If to good at my job it’s because “we helped you out more because we don’t want you to think we where racists” then if I’m not good at my job its. “Well you know black people are lazy…” Plus […]

Damn, did you see that White girl?

Lisa Jasinsk, Trinity University In 2007, I spent a year working at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY. One day on my way into the office, I slipped on an icy sidewalk on 125th Street, and in a comic prat fall, landed on my bottom in a filthy puddle. A group of guys gathered outside […]

A border town taught me understanding

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.

Watch out Discrimination works both ways

Matthew Spiroff, San Antonio, TX. I moved from a predominately white town Hamburg New York to San Antonio Texas. I am white [English and Bulgarian and I cannot go to certain parts of town without being pulled over and asked what is a white boy doing here or go to certain businesses and get service […]

“So… I should just check ‘Other’?”

Hannah Killen, Lubbock, TX I’ve been called racially ambiguous more times than I can count. The thing is, just because I’m mixed doesn’t mean I don’t want a claim to my race. Just because I can pass as white doesn’t mean I want to pretend for the privileges. I love my culture and I take […]

View perceived differences as valuable opportunity.

Lauren C, TX I wish for my half white, half Mexican children to grow up knowing that perceived differences should be an opportunity to learn about another person or people, and how much they may truly have in common. An opportunity to embrace someone or their culture and traditions, and maybe learn something new about […]

Black Woman Who Loves to Swim!

Eb, Rowlett, TX. I am a black woman and I am already missing the summertime. I love to go to a local swimming pool (and yes I will get my hair wet!) in the middle of a Texas summer. I have a naturally kinky, curly and thick afro and there is nothing relaxing on a […]

I am a proud American man

Charles Tanner, Midland, TX. I am an American,there is not a pre or post to that I was not brought here I was born here. Yes my distant family came from somewhere else. But as with anyone who truly wants to be an American they assimilated. Just as if I wanted to make any other […]

Leave identity issues to other people

Phyllis W. Allen, Fort Worth, TX. I am a sixty year old woman who has lived through segregation, integration, Colored, Negro,, Black, African American, segregation, marches, integration, Pan Africanism, opulent consumption, financial catastrophe and now I’m just me.

Border life safety, mass murder, lose.

Patricia Valdez-Harrison, El Paso, TX. El Paso Texas for the fourth year in a row as been reported to be the safest city in the country even though it shares borders with one of the deadliest cities in Mexico. I chose to end my sentence with lose not only for the lose of so many […]

Interracial family: whites stare, blacks care.

Aurlyn Ellyse Wygle, Lewisville, TX. My husband and I are both caucasian. We have decided to make adoption our “plan A” and have a particular heart for children from hard places. This led us to become foster parents. As we parent these precious, beautiful brown babies we have noticed a trend. African American adults are […]

Born in America, Your’re just American

Jeff Boothe TX If you were born here you are not African-American, Mexican-American, and Chinese-American. No one says they are European-American, Scottish-American, and Spanish-American. Why do people dilute themselves to being less than American.

Brown skin isn’t a measure of my intelligence

Octavia, Dallas, TX. I have been to over forty six job interviews since I moved to Dallas. There is a look that white people give you when they realize that the person that they thought so highly of over the phone is a black woman. I have had people tell me all the reasons why […]

By protecting her, I’m oppressing her.

Adrienne Kern, Keller, TX. My daughter was two weeks from turning one on September 11, 2001. She is one of them. An Arab (pronounced with a Texas drawl: A-Rab). A camel jockey. A rag head. She is Turkish and Saudi and Egyptian. She is not white like me, her mother, who is also mixed race. […]

Genetically black and white raised hispanic

Veronica Herrera Nacogdoches, TX My daughter currently only 2 months was conceived through a donor who is African American. My wife is Caucasian and I am Mexican/Cuban American. When my wife and I spoke about having kids she wanted to carry the child first because she is older than me. We wanted our child to […]

Yo soy Tejano, not “White Washed”

Christopher A Hernández, Corpus Christi, TX. Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Texas, you can always smell the sea; after all: it’s practically in your backyard. But there’s also something else that is constantly in the air that one may not be able to smell, but it’s just as pungent: Stereotypes. I come from […]

Yes, that is his daughter, too.

Dania Abreu-Torres San Antonio, TX My husband and I are Puerto Ricans. I am more “white” than he is -He usually was mistaken as a muslim-. We have a blonde, blue eyed girl. In Florida, he use to take her to the supermarket. He was followed by a lady and asked if the baby was […]

We’re Here Walking Each Other Home

R. Flowers Rivera, McKinney, TX. The most aware I’ve ever been of race was when my family moved from Gulfport, Mississippi, to New Fairfield, Connecticut, during the 1980s. At that time, New Fairfield was a town with a population of about 10,000 in which there were three Black children, all of whom were in my […]

Poor white trash, not welcome here.

Tracie Combs-Cantu Austin, TX I was born and raised in Kentucky from an Appalachian family. The stereotypes and the realities of being poor and from Appalachian decent always make you self-conscious of your speech, look and skills. Even when you don’t need to worry about any of it.

I’m a girl not a fantasy.

Ngoc Ma Sugar Land, TX I hear it more often than I should – ‘I love Asian women.’ That’s great, I love southern cooking. Or ‘I’ve never been with an Asian woman before.’ And you’re streak will continue. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with information like that. I have found that men […]

Human nature doesn’t change; people do!

Rolando R. Gutierrez, Allen, TX. I am not a racist. I am a humanist. We all have the same faults including the minority defense of the racist card. The majority does not call it racist. It is called law and order. We all exercise it when in the majority. Here is another six words: Reason, […]

Every Hispanic Isn’t Always Hispanic Okay?

Mathew Rayne, Houston, TX. Once in awhile you go for a drive and see the people around you enjoying what there doing. Everyone is their own person! Sometimes your expected to do something that… you just rather not do? It’s my family line? In my blood? Just because I’m Hispanic doesn’t mean i wanted to […]

I will not yield to you.

James Michael Rogers Houston, TX I was at my neighborhood park one morning jogging, and I saw three white women walking abreast in one direction, and a black woman coming towards them in the opposite direction. The white women ignored the black woman and no one stepped back to let the black lady pass, and […]

Divisiveness planted to keep us distracted

Kelly O’Brien Pruitt, Houston, TX. I love living in a multicultural City. I love seeing different sizes and shapes and colors, different combinations of ethnic groups. To me this is what America looks like. I want to tell every white person who thinks that America belongs to them is that we came from Europe and […]

Being white is more than privilege.

Adela Ludeke, Austin, TX. I know that whites are traditionally “privileged”, but I find it so cringeworthy when I hear other whites checking their privilege. It’s as if they have so much guilt because of what their ancestors did. And it’s more embarrassing when your parents check their privileges. Sure, racism is shameful, but too […]

Teaching History to White Graduate Students

Collette M. Bloom, Houston, TX. It is a wondrous and wonderful experience to see the “AHA” moment appear on White students faces when they finally understand about tragedy and waste of chattel slavery. Many were quite distressed about the willingness of so many to collude in developing the Black Codes of the South. Statutory inhumanity […]

Who invented the “race card” anyway?

Kathryn Terry, Katy, TX. I hate the term “race card” because when I hear it, it tells me that the person using it doesn’t have any desire to listen to or understand anything about the experiences of racism that people of color face. If you think there’s a “race card”, who do you think put […]

Honey, you must come from money.

Christine Faris Lufkin, TX Actually, no. Yes, I was blessed to come from a middle class family. And yes, I’ve been blessed to travel the world. Wanna know how? I worked my ass off. Blew out a knee, graduated high school early, started college at 16, took summer school, worked multiple jobs, all so I could […]

I’m genuinely sorry about my family.

Katy Wilkerson, Houston, TX. In the deep South, in my experience, racism is pervasive, especially when you talk about poorer and poorer white people (not just men). There truly does still exist a level of social acceptability that is just not OK. I’ve always been extremely disgusted by it, despite being white and having these […]

There are good ones out there

Jeremy J., Denton, TX. I hate when people are talking crap about a race or group of people and they feel like they have to mention “there are good ones out there.” Who do you think you are.

The Human Race; The Forgotten Race.

Elyzabeth Inez Smith, Granbury, TX. No matter what history has come to discover. No matter what the future has to uncover. No matter what excuses people can come up with in order to justify the racial lines man has created. In the end we ALL are the same race. The only race. The ever colorful […]

Wow, you are the melting pot.

Natalie Mariam Pattillo Alpine, TX It always seems that my ethnic background becomes a guessing game at dinner parties. Even strangers will come up to me and ask me “what are you..wait, let me guess…egyptian, hispanic, black.,? Usually, I want to say “I’m a human” but I allow the guessing game to continue until they’ve […]

How soft black hair is. . . surpise

Charlotte, Houston, TX. I grew up close to African Americans. They were guests in our home and people on the bus with us. I never noticed how taboo touching was between us until I was 30 and a neighbor girl came over to play with my kids. She skinned her knee and as I hugged […]

I’m more than what you see.

Christina Cobos, Amarillo, TX. It is your soul, your heart, your empathy, and the way you choose to handle every moment of life that makes you who you are. You choose your impact. The odds were against me from the start. I had every excuse to surrender to failure. I broke the cycle, I rose […]