Patricia L. Gadsden, Central, PA. As an African American female in the 1960’s, I was discouraged from attending college. It was explained to me that I wasn’t college material. I’m not sure what they really meant since I graduated with straight A’s from high school.
William Halley St. Jo, TX
Kelly Mulvany, Chandler, AZ This country is beautiful BECAUSE we are not all white. The variety of cultures and beautiful people ARE what makes America great and I would not like to see that whitewashed. If that means giving up privileges than so be it- after all, have so many people already proved it’s doable?
Corazon Johnston New Orleans, LA Aspen X Beyond the fact that ink is pigment we use to write on paper, skin color creates circumstances of people’s lives. Some try to use other’s pigment count, like body count, the darker, the more criminal. Others who are the victims of such persecution make the best story or […]
Hanna Birkhead,Syracuse, NY
Lesley Pena,Syracuse, NY
Sylvia Langford, Syracuse, NY Trying to capture the spectrum of my people in six words was daunting; such variety of perspectives, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, ambitions, opportunities, disappointments, challenges, joys, looks and shades, but most of us have been impacted by negative judgments.
Greg Munno,Syracuse, NY
Connie, Syracuse, NY Social and economic class speaks for itself. In my observation most people from abroad and/or here in the US act like they are imperial to other ethnicity. So they come to America with that attitude. For the most part this is a learned perception and is the real truth it our world […]
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, […]
L. A. Elliott, Rockwall, TX. Submission collected from Pro Publica: Segregation Now Series Every person has a story, a culture, a past and especially a future. If you ignore person’s race in an attempt to be colorblind and inclusive, you’re actually taking away their story, their culture, their past and especially their future. Instead, build […]
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 […]
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 […]
NIK BANNISTER Houston, TX Louisiana epitomizes how race and education interfere with opportunity, cultural identity and upward mobility.
Emmy Corey, Harrisburg, PA. I’m a white Alabama native from an all-white town with a black sister who is 17 years younger than I. I love passing down the things that I enjoyed at her age- dolls, movies, books. For the most part, she likes receiving them too. The problem is that before she came […]
Jen, Beverly, MA.
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 […]
Anonymous, USA. Ever since a young age, I have been super passionate about hip-hop and rap music, but have received constant criticism, weird looks and other disapproving messages from some people who claim “there is no way you can like rap”. Although it’s a minute issue compared to other stories, it still makes me feel […]
Zoë McLaughlin, USA. Waiting in line for the Chinatown bus in New York City, a man approached me and began speaking Spanish. I squinted at him and briefly pondered my response. This was not the first time someone has expected me to speak Spanish. As soon as I began making forays out of my predominantly […]
As a young African American male, I have learned, through very personal experiences, that many do not expect me to be as wise or as knowledgeable as I am. My knowledge and opinions on complex issues as well as my level of articulation often catch people off guard. I am often expected to act and […]
Angie Ward, USA.
Linda M Larsen, Hudson, WI. Hungarian+British +Canadian = American. I’m an immigrant, a ‘legal alien’ from Canada, with Hungarian and British parents, living in the USA. I’m supremely aware of the fact that no one sees me as ‘immigrant’ because I’m white. I moved from a very visibly multi-racial large Canadian city to small-town, lily-white […]
Joyce Goodluck, East Lansing, MI. On Location, MSU. Before coming to MSU I knew one side of racism from media. Whites discriminating Blacks. I even once experienced that when I passed by Akers Hall and some one shouted at me from his window black and African. I was like he is a racist.But whom am […]
Karen Gold, Atlanta, GA. Collected during: Six Word Stories on Education Last fall, ProPublica and The Race Card Project teamed up with two Tuscaloosa, Ala., high schools — one integrated, one almost entirely black — to tell the story of resegregation in the South. I am a 25 year veteran teacher in metro Atlanta GA […]
Abhijeet Ghadvaje, Detroit, MI, Wayne State Rather than saying we are all the same, accept that we are different. Rather than discriminating, embrace the existence of the beautiful diversity.
Rhonda McGinnis, Wayne State “We come from every corner. We speak in every tongue. Brought here by a vision of what is soon to come. No longer will we stand for bigotry and fear. The call of peace and justice is what has brought us here. The world that we’ve been given is not so […]
Elizabeth S, USA. Is he on the basketball team? Does he play football? I’m white and in an interracial relationship. Whenever someone new sees a picture of us together that’s usually the first thing they ask. No, I’m sorry just because he is tall and black doesn’t mean he can dunk or played sports in […]
Johnny B., USA. Growing up in thee northeast US, in a multi-racial mixed racial attitude combined with military and college education has afforded me a peaceful coexistence.
Kianna Mist, NH.
Joan E. Beaudoin, Wayne State, Oakland MI One of my favorite public art murals is located in the Grays Ferry are of Philadelphia. Called the “Peace Wall” and created by Jane Golden and Peter Pagast it reflects my vision of the world.
Sharaya S., Wayne State, Detroit, MI Growing up in foster care and different states, people treat you different in the South vs. the North. It’s never fully accepting but feels like home, even when the hatred can be felt from complete strangers.
Sidni Sera Goodman, Wayne State, Eastpointe, MI Being black in America is more than just challenging. There are so many highs and so many lows. I dealt with one day feeling black and proud, seeing how other cultures love my culture, style, flair, music, etc., then other days, I see how my black brothers and […]
Chell Robinson, Wayne State, Ypsilanti, MI I wish it could be as simple as that. But until we’re at a point where one’s ancestral origin no longer provides disadvantages or advantages to their life, I acknowledge that it’s just not that easy. I hope we get there, and soon.
Saif Ashfak, Wayne State, Warren, MI Are you an arabic or Mexican ? Lot of people can easily confuse me because of my lighter skin and fairer complex, but what I truly am is a Bengali.
Nicole D. Riggs, Inkster, MI I believe racism is rooted in fear. In the case of Whites versus Blacks there is fear of our ability to thrive, survive and excel despite all that is done to keep us from doing so. Even with their feet on our backs we manage to rise.
EduTechDiva, Wayne State, Detroit, MI Equality is not good enough. Equity is what most are striving for now, but justice is what’s necessary and way too many folks are afraid of what this actually means. It might mean that those who’ve had the institutionally established ‘upper hand’ for a while now, experience the injustices that […]
Elizabeth, USA. In the novel Invisible Man, a black man in 1930s America struggles to find his identity. He starts out as hopeful and naive, believing that his hard work, determination, and intelligence will lead to eventual success and happiness. He does not realize, until the end of the novel, that the white characters and […]
Nayana Davis, Wayne State, Detroit, MI Black people should not have to keep repeating that we matter because just like white people we matter too. White people do not have to keep saying it to get their point across because they already have privilege that is given to them without them even asking for it.
Dan Ouellette, Wayne State The term “racist” is too often used to express disagreement with someone else. Rather than consider the benign logic behind someone’s viewpoint, it’s just easier to label them a “racist”. It’s the lazy-Susan tool intended to end a discussion, not foster it. There’s a mixed message out there if we’re willing […]
Christine Cook, Wayne State, Ann Arbour, MI When I was in the Army, diversity was important. So was looking past color differences. At the beginning of basic training, the drill sergeant insisted we were all “green”–meaning the color of our uniform was more important than the color of our skin.
Dave Micheals, Wayne State, Detroit, MI
Mike, USA When I was a young child I lived in an area where there were no people of color. My family went to visit my grandparents and while I was playing I saw a kid who was black. I had never seen anyone that had skin color other than my own, at least not […]
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.
Austin Crutchfield, Wayne State, Detroit, MI We may differ in skin color, but we are all low-key one and the same. Genetically we may be very different or very similar or somewhere in between. Everyone has a different fingerprint even twins though. I think once we strive to find the many ways we relate to […]
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.
Carolyn A. Johnson, Wayne State, Detroit, MI
Sandy Yarrington, Wayne State, St. Clair Shores, MI I am always amazed at how far we have come, but I am frustrated at how far we have to go. It disturbs me that in many of the classes I have taken, the black people all sit together. The white people sit together. The foreign students […]
Isaac Weiss, Wayne State Yes, we’re a Middle Eastern tribe. Yes, white people can usually tell we’re not the same as them by looking. Yes, Europeans never accepted us in their countries, even when the homeland we were expelled from was still under foreign rule. And yes, a few decades ago they tried to murder […]
Kenyel Clark, Wayne State, Detroit, MI If you are privileged, you do not feel the effects of what socially going on.So, if you want to understand racism talk people of color, listen to them and STOP talking over them.
Mignon Lott, Wayne State, Detroit, MI. My boyfriend and I were out on M59 heading to an event that he was catering when I was flicked. I pulled over. The officer walked up to the car and asked did I know why he pulled me over. I said no. He said because I didn’t have […]
KKC, Wayne State, Detroit, MI The problem is not color, it is the way we treat people of other colors. When your white, you are seen as the “norm” so when you say you don’t see color you are taking away what makes them different and special to make them more “acceptable” white
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 […]
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 […]
Caleb Boc Steele, Wayne State, Trenton, MI I’ve seen a lot of things recently that allude to white guilt or white privilege or other things like so I’d just like to remind people to have pride in where they come from, no matter where. I think all people should have pride in their heritage and […]
Kareen, Vershire, VT. Friends: Who think they are not racist by saying that.
Rachel, USA. We must not be complicit in oppression. Come let us follow the Lamb who has conquered sin and death to bring justice and peace.
Jim Sechelski, Wayne State, Detroit, MI.
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 […]
Brian Isaac Rizowy, Israel. Born and raised in the USA to Jewish parents, one from Sarandi Grande, Uruguay, the other from Chicago, I am nearly 100% Polish, with a dash of Russian and Mongolian thrown in. My great grandmother hid her Asian features with swanky glasses from the 1940s and 50s, lest anyone suspect her […]
John Christopher, West Long Branch, NJ. Monmouth University
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 […]
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 […]
Mimi USA I used to want to be white or Caucasian because I thought it would be easier but I finally accepted who I was and now I embrace my heritage,I am not a dark skinned person but my last name says it all.my friend used to say I could pass as a Caucasian but I […]
Sandra Miller, USA There is only one race – human. I am proud of my Semitic heritage, and I check other.
Jeysi Guillen, New Orleans, LA Aspen X The stereotypes that a lot of people have about Latinx in America.
Tiffany Wysocki, Middletown, NJ. Monmouth University As I travel the world, I have found one truth: we are all innately equal in our drives and desires. We are driven by love and survival. We want the best for our families. We want to feel loved and have the opportunity to love. That’s it. That is […]
Jillian Kurekova, USA. I am a 21 year old white female living in the ghetto. I have always been the outcast. I grew up in foster homes with black foster mothers and siblings, I have lived in all-black neighborhoods and went to all-black schools. I have never felt out of place surrounded by black people […]
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 […]
Stetson King, USA. The British should reunite all of Ireland and apologize for their willful neglect.
Miranda Nogaki, Burien, WA. I’m sad and shamed it took me so long to see the racism in myself and my country. It’s so much a part of my thought processes, my brain now feels wrong. I’m eager to do the hard work of learning to listen, how to drop my agenda and expectations of […]
Brianne Hittenberger, USA. It is the end of me, and I of it. My German last name belongs to me, my disabled brother, and my female second-cousin. My brother and I do not necessarily expect that we will marry, or that our cousin will keep our name if she does. When my brother and I […]
Katherine Suszczewicz USA When you don’t know, your imagination will choose to make something up. Over and over again.
Eoin Gallagher, Syracue, NY. Student ’16
Anthony Chicaiza, Belleville, NJ. Collection: The Race Card Project, On Location, Hood Museum of Art, Witness I’m a first-generation Latino-American stuck between cultures and expectations of masculinity and gender on both sides. Which do I present today?
Chelsea Paige. USA.
Drew Baker, East Lansing, MI.
Kaitlyn Gravatt, West Long Branch, NJ. Monmouth University Whenever I click on Twitter I see #whitegirlproblems. How is Starbucks running out of my favorite drink a white girl problem? How is my eyeliner on one eye not matching my other eye a white girl problem? It is hurtful to be put into this stereotype that […]
Jamaal Allan, USA. Listen to Jamaal’s story on NPR’s Morning Edition What’s in a Name? The Poetry Question-Discovering the Relevance of Words As a white male, a majority of majorities, I can’t talk about race. I’m not qualified to. Race isn’t an issue for me, right? Life is easy; things are handed to me. […]
McKenna Martin, USA.
Shania, USA. She is tired of all the cooking and cleaning. She just wants to be a normal girl and be free.
Jasmine Baker East Lansing, MI Growing up I was placed in the gifted and talented program in my elementary school. I learned to speak what this society refers to as “proper English.” Because of that, many Black students would tease me and tell me that I’m black, stop talking like a white girl. What does […]
Louis E. Perego Moreno, New York, NY. All my life, I have been out of more than one box. However, after wrestling with the subject for over 20 years, I have arrived at a point in my journey where my identity is defined by belonging to three worlds: Latino, Gay and USA. Many Hispanics in […]
Anonymous, USA. I speak no Hindi. Live in a big suburban house. Dress and eat like a yuppie white person. What makes me Indian?
Alan S. Doctor, Cambria, CA. I was born in San Francisco on 15 Sep 1930. Dad was Scotch/English and Mom was Polish with a dash of German. Both 1st generation born in USA. My neighborhood friends were Hispanic, Oriental, white and refugee Jews from Germany. In high school I liked to walk home through the […]
Kevin Rogers, USA.
Neela Khan, USA.
Max Davies Newport Coast, CA There’s societal wickedness, and then there’s personal stupidity. We can all do something about the former, but the latter is beyond anyone but the individual concerned. There are many understandable reasons why people do things that harm themselves and their loved ones, but understanding the reasons for stupidity doesn’t mean […]
Tiffany M. Lyons, Rockaway Beach, NY. Syracuse University ’16 I am biracial and my experiences with race are constantly informed by internal tug of war about what side I belong to. I’ve finally accepted my place in the grey and the view is sometimes trying but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Stephanie Baylor , USA. I am a twenty-something white woman who lives in a city where rape is a gang initiation. I also have a concealed carry permit to defend myself. I think about the gun in my purse when I see a “gangsta,” be he caucasian, african-american, mexican, or asian. A “gangsta”, per the […]
Kurt Andersen Brooklyn, NY
Denee, USA. #thatadoptedlife
Eesha Verma, USA. When I was in elementary school, we had a Diversity Day kind of thing where everyone was asked to bring in something that represented a holiday or a tradition they had in their family. I celebrate Diwali, so I brought in a clay lamp called a diya that we put candles in […]
Anonymous, USA. Someone, maybe many people, in my family took on the persona of mixed race Black/Native Americans so they could be, what? Less Black? I don’t know if it was my father’s generation, or his father’s, or even farther back. I grew up thinking I was Indian and consequently less connected to my Black […]
Robert Chivers, USA.