Don’t say “that is so black”

Ayla A. Wilk, Blacksburg, VA. I grew up in a small town in the south side of Virginia. Our town was built on a foundation of tobacco plantations and textile factories. We had only one high school. The population breakdown was nearly 50/50 African American to White – other ethnic groups were negligible. The blessing […]

Smart black kid plays tennis alone.

Raheem Cash, Alexandria, VA. As a kid I spent a lot of time being one of two or three black kids in honors classes. Spent a lot of time being only black kid that played tennis. Spent a lot of time not being considered “black enough”. Well I’m not a kid anymore and fortunately I […]

I’m Hispanic, stop thinking I’m White

Leslya Chavez, Houston, TX Born and raised on the East coast of Virginia, though was raised in a Hispanic household. Grew up only Spanish till I was placed in Kindergarten and had to teach myself English. Coming from a Hispanic background where Spanish is your main language at home and then your second language is […]

Things aren’t always as they seem

Richard, Richmond, VA This applies not only to racism and prejudice, but EVERYTHING!! That homeless person on the corner? They might have a Ph.D but struggles with addiction and mental illness. That person waiting tables and serving your food might be in grad school and working their ass off to not go into debt. We […]

Yes, I married a Vietnamese man.

Kaylin Nguyen, Williamsburg, VA My husband and I have been together for four years now. I am white, he is Vietnamese. I am originally from a small town in Virginia where there is not much diversity and let me tell you, people notice. In other areas as well we feel like there is still a […]

Divide in America demands one listen

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 […]

I’m not black, I’m actually brown.

Bionca Bryant, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, Black defined is the very darkest color owing to the absence of or complete absorption of light; the opposite of white. Melanated people are no such thing. We are all light and my skin is brown, not black.

Did I come from another planet?

Selamawit Hurisa, Richmond, VA In my child’s school, the majority of parents are white. I am a black immigrant and I am confronted with many difficulties while navigating the humanscape of a majority white school. I find it difficult to fit, be accepted and just participate in the perfunctory day to day parent interaction at […]

The differences make us more authentics

Nordelys, Chester, VA I came from Venezuela, where people are common mixed because 50 to 100 years ago my country received people from Europe, Asia,v America and others caused by wars. Today, it is normal to see ladies with very different features, mixtures of surnames between Italian and Spanish… Now, I can appreciate how unique […]

Being biracial and adopted is complicated

Lauren Juanita Hines, Alexandria, VA. I am the American melting pot personified: born to a Mexican father and Caucasian (white, mostly Irish) mother, raised by a Lebanese mother and a German-Irish father. I remember weddings as a child where we all danced the Middle Easter dabke. Cousins on the other side of the family won […]

Just another do-good white woman.

Margaret Davenport, Vienna, VA. This was said to me by a black male student in a high school program for disadvantaged but very bright, high potential students where I was academic adviser and counselor. It was said with a combination of dismay that there were few men or blacks working in this kind of program, […]

“How does one become a Patel?”

Allison Patel, North Chesterfield, VA My boss’s boss’s boss asked me this question at a big event where I was introduced in a place of honor. He thought it strange that a white woman would have an Indian last name.

We plan life so we’re safe.

Jamie Haines, Franklin, VA. As an inter-racial lesbian couple in Virginia, we have to plan carefully. Will that small diner be safe? Can we vacation safely in that city, country? Can we hold hands? Will we have to take Mr. Confederate Flag stalker back to court? Every single time one of us walks out the […]

We are not what we were

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 […]

I’m unsure of my own identity

Rosalina Holloway-Vicente, Edinburg, VA I am someone who has always dealt with questions of if I speak Spanish or if I’m Latina & I honestly never looked into it. While my complexion is not completely white and I have a white parent and a Guatemalan parent, I have never looked into who I am. I […]

I don’t owe you my body.

Emily ” Em ” Arrington, Lord Fairfax Community College, VA I chose these 6 words because as someone who was born a ginger female, I get cat-called every time I go out. Always by older men and never by anyone my age. I am 19 years old and I have experienced this for YEARS. The […]

Why is the pool filled up?

Alonzo Peeke, Morris, MN When I was in 4th grade we moved from Overland Park, KS to Lynchburg, VA. My dad and I would shoot hoops and talk walks at Riverside Park, a beautiful forested park right off the James river. We were walking home and we came across a strange structure like ruined monument, […]

I (Filipino) get mistaken as an employee often.

Toni, Winchester, VA There is nothing wrong with it, but it makes you think about how people see you. It happened many times at the grocery, restaurant, cruise, and mall. Sometimes I will feel insulted, but now I feel proud that they know that my race is known to be workers, and they are happy […]

You’re Too Pretty To Be Black

Akira Lee, Virginia Beach, VA I once had a woman approach me in a restaurant and tell me that I was really pretty. It was my 13th or 14th birthday, and I had dressed really nicely and was proud that someone noticed how beautiful I looked that day. I responded politely to her, and thanked […]

Not white enough, not black enough

Cassie C., VA As the child of an interracial couple (which are not just black & white but also Native American) that ended in divorce – and my parents remarried people of similar races – it has been a struggle to truly fit in anywhere. A Sociologist would say I’ve been “socialized” as a southern, […]

Family love comes from open hearts.

June Wells, Harrisonburg, VA My new family saved my life. I was finally safe and just one of “the kids” with my foster parents, Sam and Lucille Ewell. This was in Virginia when integration was still a fairly new thing. My dad, a teacher, lost his job because of Prince Edward County, VA. Still, he […]

Exotic name! where are you from

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 […]

I carry hope through young musicians

Virginia Jones, Danville, VA. I’m a 54 year old white lady living back in the south after 15 years away from home. Its not the same everywhere. I’ve been an RN in central Phoenix, a wife of a Vietnam Veteran who was terribly discriminated by his own country and I’m a mother of a blonde […]

Sometimes we should just listen quietly.

Lucas Sullivan, Christiansburg, VA Michele’s presentation on the Race Card Project had me in a tizzy for days thinking of what I could say. What could my impact be? As a white cishet male in America I have loads of built in privileges. If the only voice that gets heard is mine I will be […]

It is pronounced marinara, not “merinera”

Frank Landrio, Winchester, VA Being an Italian-American in Virginia, I’m no stranger to Americanized Italian food accompanied by cringy pronunciations. Growing up in an Italian-American household, there are a few things you pick up on. The first is that no one makes marinara as good as your family, and the second is that a lot […]

I’m too light, yet too dark!

Lucia Osei Anim, Manassas, VA I am Lucia, I live at Manassas Virginia. I chose those six words because I come from Ghana, West Africa, and I am considered too dark in America but too light in Ghana. The main idea of choosing these six words is that in United States when white people see […]

Yes, I’m Hispanic no hablo espanol.

Joshua, Warrenton, VA My mom lived in Columbian until she was adopted at 9 y/o by a white midwestern family who doesn’t speak Spanish. My dad is an average white male from the midwest who also doesn’t speak Spanish. Because of the way I look and y skin color people assume I speak Spanish all […]

Because I’m balck I’m a threat

Zuanisha Jones, Winchester, VA I’m Zuanisha. I am from NJ currently in Winchester VA and attending Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown VA. I am a black woman and when I go onto a retail store or any store I feel like I am watched and followed. I am there to shop I am not […]

Just another small-town white girl

Addie, Warrenton, VA I mean, those six words sum me up in a very basic way, but they are true. Growing up majority-white smallish town in Virginia didn’t give me much of an outlook on other people, how they lived, and how their experiences differed from mine. I just lived in my middle-class bubble, full […]

I am not who you think

Stella, Fredericksburg, VA White woman here. I grew up in a town that was mostly white with a small percent of Latin Americans. Black people were a rare site—I would see one maybe once a year. We had TV, but I didn’t watch much. I had no experience with black people. I didn’t, and still […]

Am I black, white? Can’t decide.

Jessica Christian, Winchester, VA I am a human who comes from a mixed family. I have always felt stuck in between to choose what ethnicity I want to be. When school or any form I fill out would ask what my race was I couldn’t decide. My skin is fair but I was raised with […]

I’m too light, yet too dark

Jessica Tolentino, Winchester, VA I chose those six words because I am considered too dark in America but too white in Mexico. In the United States, when white people see me, the first question they ask is, “Where are you from?” I respond, “I was born in Winchester, Virginia,” and the next thing that comes out […]

White people don’t season their chicken

Carter Stoecker, Warrenton, VA It may horrify some, but sometimes I eat unseasoned chicken. I wear khaki shorts often, as well as hawaian shirts. I wear big white Reebok shoes. I do all these “white people” things, and I know people make fun of it. I don’t care if I fit the stereotype of a […]

Marching while white doesn’t declare solidarity.

Katie Moss, Winchester, VA I own a t-shirt that lists famous African American leaders on it in bold white lettering from Harriet Tubman to Ibram X. Kendi. I recently wore it while marching at a Black Lives Matter event in my local town in response to the horrific killings of unarmed black people at the […]

Intelligent despite assumptions, Yes I can!

Brianna Jenkins, Fauquier LFCC, VA People were often confused by my large vocabulary especially when I was younger. It was almost like a brown skin black girl was not capable of greatness! I’m proven those who doubted my intelligence and my excellence wrong! They ask can you really do that I reply, Yes, yes I […]

You’re too white to be black

Alyssa Swearingen, Norfolk, VA. I come from parents who are different races. I have a mother who is white, and a father who is black. All my life, I get told “You don’t look black,” or I get asked if “I’m sure I am HALF black.” I’ve been told numerous times that I look like […]

Little White Girl from the ‘Hood’

Caitlin Zembruski, Manassas, VA The town I grew up in is a very diverse community. There are specific areas that vary racially and ethnically, as well as class. My family lives in the lower-working class, living paycheck to paycheck. I lived in a neighborhood where there was not many other white kids and many of […]

Where are you from? You’re exotic!

Abbie Elliott Leesburg, VA For my entire adult life, dating has been a challenge. As an Asian-American, I vehemently resisted falling into stereotypes. But, as an Asian-American on the dating scene, my looks delivered my first impression for me. Men developed ideas about me even before I spoke. Where they expected to find a quiet, […]

White girls rescued by black boys

Mary Barnett, NEWBURY PARK, CA I was about 11 02 12. Mary Penn Carter and I were playing in a section of woods in Danville, Virgina that we called Tarzan’s Chamber beause we would swing on vines fro, tree to tree. This days from boys who were friends from school tied Mary Penn so her […]

Busing: white girl, black schools, lonely

Clara Silverstein, Boston, MA. As one of the white children in Richmond, Virginia in the 1970s whose family willingly participated in busing, I had few friends of any race. What we could have used at the time was leadership instead of racist rhetoric, white flight, and school administrators who cancelled all after-school activities. The possibility […]

I’m not woke, but I’m learning.

Joe Boehman, Midlothian, VA University of Richmond I grew up not having to think about my privileges. I believed that I was a product of the American Dream. My dad worked hard, earned his college degree in night school after coming home from WWII, and my mom and dad put my four siblings and I […]

It’s time to expect the unexpected.

Desiree, Chesapeake, VA. When I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I use to hear about black people are the most uneducated race, and have the highest drop outs rates. In my family neither mother or father side have education. If anyone is educated there are distant family members. Therefore growing up the […]

Sheltered friends. Life is not effortless.

Mary Beth Bergeron Rapid River, MI I am white. I have lived in Tidewater, VA and a highly diverse college town in southwest Ohio. My husband and I have just moved home to the UP of Michigan after 32 years away, homogenous and familiar. I am reminded of how effortless it is–regardless of your race […]

Was your dad in the war?

Petra Snowden, Virginia Beach, VA As a German-born immigrant I always felt this to be a sensitive question, especially when asked by my Jewish friends. I usually responded with a long story of his life , pre and post WWII , explaining that he was not a Nazi! The collective guilt of the German people […]

There should be more black physicists.

David Boehnlein, Hampton, VA p>I am a retired White physicist and worked with hundreds of colleagues over the course of my career. I could count the Black ones on one hand. Go to any major scientific conference and look for the black faces – they are few and far between. We’ve had diversity programs for […]

I’m black. so I am dangerous?

Brianna Branch Norfolk, VA I’m black and therefore I am seen as a threat to others because of my skin color. I have never tried to or had the desire to harm someone else. Sometimes people lock their doors when they see my friends and I walk past and yell racists comments out of the […]

I won’t forget them–six million

Cheryl Zapien, Dumfries, VA I’m so happy to be a part of the discussion. I am Jewish married to a Mexican American man–so we are a mixed family–and a close one. I am about as white as a person can get–yet in spite of that nearly 50-75 percent of my family was murdered in the […]

Tribalism is more divisive than race.

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 – […]

We’ll stand up for each other

Susan H Berger, Portsmouth, VA. I am a proud Unitarian Universalist of Jewish decent. If we don’t stand up for each other who will stand up for us in this world. UU’s and others hid Jews in WWII. I am a member of our Racial Justice Task Force. “Black Lives Matter.”

I’m not White, I’m Ashkenazi Jewish

Edna Jan Jacobs, Alexandria, VA There are only 14 million Jewish people in the whole world. Is it a religion? Is it ethnicity? I am ethnically 91% Ashkenazi Jewish but because my skin lacks the pigmentation of my ancestors, I am categorized as white and I dislike it.

Mother gave me a different world.

Mary Horton Richmond, VA I didn’t realize until shortly before her death how different the world my mother gave me was from the one she was raised in. My mother had Alzheimer’s, and in the last few years of her life, she reverted to some of the attitudes and behaviors she had learned while growing […]

Being Black and southern, educated engineer

Kristen Ellerbe, Richmond, VA. Calling me an Oreo or not really black, or basically a white girl means that you define some part of my personality, attitude, preferences, or demeanor as being owned and attributed solely to white people. Is it my intelligence, my sense of style, or how I speak? Is it because I’m […]

I am Hispanic enough for you!

Ian Diaz, Norfolk, VA Intersectionality exists. Too long have I been told that I’m not Hispanic enough, not white enough, and not black enough to exist in certain spaces. But I am enough. Others cannot dictate my existence. I am who I am and I am a proud, mixed gay man.

Whites are not a monolith either.

Elias Miller, Richmond, VA This is a variation of the famous Shirley Chisholm quote. I feel like so much of the corporate training in diversity, equity, and inclusion has the wrong focus: it teaches us to make generalizations about racial or ethnic groups and to remember those generalizations when we interact with others. The intention […]

Utopia is a nonexistent colorblind world

V. Anne Spence, Powhatan, VA. Would I have been called a “N****” if my skin were white”? Growing up in El Barrio and the Bronx in New York City was I called the “N” word by a redheaded transit cop at 12. The last incident occurred in a store in here Virginia. I was in […]

Race is a Matter of Mind

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 […]

I am not defined by society

Justina Adarkwah Christchurch, VA I’ve always had a problem with identity, but ironically I realized it was me that thought I had a problem, it was society, my community, everyone else who had an opinion about ‘what’ I was and who I should be. I’m not sorry to let everyone one know that its not […]

Andes shadows follow me, no Quechua.

Carmen Mendoza Tintaya, Arlington, VA. My parents are from a remote village in Arequipa Peru, where only until 2006 accessible roads were built. Now with both my parents gone, I find myself looking for my identity and looking towards that little village. I haven’t made the trip yet. I moved to the US when I […]

I’m More than, Less than Accepted

Nicole Reynolds, Virginia Beach, VA. Race often goes hand and hand with self worth. Who am I in the world? What does that answer mean? How does it affect my life? Is there anything I can do to change that? I have Ugandan Blood, Taino Blood, Spanish Blood, Past African American Slave blood. What race […]

I don’t fit in your boxes.

Dave Lawrence, Mechanicsville, VA For most of my life, when I was asked my race, I was forced to choose just one — and I chose the race I mostly closely resembled: white. Back then, I had to choose carefully. My mom and I had been threatened with death in the early 1960’s for not […]


Janice Davidsson, Norfolk, VA. You can’t help who you fall in love with and this American girl fell in love with an African boy. So that makes our son African American. Here’s the catch that a lot of people have an issue with… He’s white. He has blonde hair and blue green eyes and is […]

I don’t know where to begin.

Elizabeth Johnson, Arlington, VA. There are so many things I wish I could say but am worried they will come out the wrong way. I want to say I see you’re struggling. I want to say I see racism among my friends and within my own family. I want to say it’s wrong. I want […]

No, but where are FROM from?

Tina, Birmingham. AL. Nevermind the fact that I speak with a southern accent, that my attire is noticeably of American influence, or that my last name is German. When someone asks where I’m from and I give them the name of my hometown, this answer is somehow unacceptable, so I give them the name of […]

You Don’t Want An Honest Conversation

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 […]

Colorblindness means you can’t see me.

Ashley Diaz Mejias, Richmond, VA. I write this as 34 year seminarian and old mom of two girls; my husband is haitian and puerto rican, and I am cuban and white. I am part of a church that, over the past year, has walked through race dialogues in an effort to begin bearing witness to […]

Dys and Dis will not mean unlikely.

Hadasah A, Toano, VA Dyslexia and Disability has no color. I’m entitled to the same services as the green and purple students, which comes to school every day! I am likely to be successful, to dream, to choose a career, because I think I will be good at it! I can be a social worker, […]

My Skin is a Deadly Weapon

Monica Mosley, Richmond, VA My skin is a deadly weapon No matter the shade shape or form A constant reminder To stay still in the storm Generations of ancestors Fighting for a fair chance Given a seat at the table If they promise not to take a stance Inside voice speak quietly Smile when you […]

Oh, where’s your accent from?

Martyna, Manassas, VA When I started working in the local pizza place one of the Hispanic girls said to me: “First time I met you I thought you’re only a basic white girl but then I heard you talking and I realized you’re European so that’s kinda interesting.” Every day someone asks me where I’m […]

If I’m privileged, I didn’t know

Stephanie D Schrodetzki, Old Dominion University, Chesapeake, VA I didn’t know that the color of my skin afforded me privileges until I watched a video about students moving forward on a line or staying still based on sentences that applied to them. Even though I didn’t have an advantaged youth, I was able to achieve […]

Dude, could you please calm down?

Payton Collier, Woodbridge, VA “Can you please calm down” is an unwanted sentiment that has been offered to me many times. The most hurtful of these was probably when a friend of mine asked me if I could just “calm down”; I’d gotten “worked up” about a racist comment a classmate had made. As an […]

Tiring of race issues shows privilege.

Queenie, Virginia Beach, VA. I am an African American mother of a 23 year old son. We have seen lots of race issues on the news, on television shows, and on social media in the last year. The response that I see many white people say is that they are tired of hearing about these […]

Don’t straighten your hair, baby girl.

McKinley Dixon, Richmond, VA. In the dominantly caucasian school that my sister used to attend, she would get picked on for her hair being curlier and fuller than the other girls in her school. It got to the point where she would straighten it every morning before we go to school. Damaging her hair, for […]

My daughter isn’t a “China Doll.”

Debra Cope, Alexandria, VA. Adoption is beautiful, and I really don’t mind helping others navigate the awkward preconceptions that accompany it. But this phrase just burns me because it equates my spunky, lively child with an object . She’s not my toy — she’s my daughter!

Wishing, hoping, fighting for better

Melissa Teates, Falls Church, VA For a long time I have wanted to help but wasn’t sure how a white person helps. I marched when asked and wrote letters when needed. Now I am taking action. I have joined the NAACP and I am working to get slaveholder names (Mason and Jefferson) off my local […]

Solidarity means losing (some) family ties

Jen Owen, Glen Allen, VA “I can hardly talk to you anymore.” My father said this after he’d used a racial epithet and I told him never to say that. I don’t want that hate put in my children’s’ heads and hearts. NO, you never COULD talk to me like that. We left that family […]

Your fear is not my fault.

Lawrence Dortch, Vienna, VA. I’m tired of smiling all the time to alleviate other people’s fears of me. I am not a monster and I shouldn’t have to dress a certain way or smile when I don’t feel like it to make white people feel comfortable.

My skin is darker than yours.

Kristin Cooke, Richmond, VA I often was told my white friends were more black than me because of their tan. Outside of being asked “Do you and your siblings have the same parents?” or comments in regards to me sounding white or “educated”, Black people too would often not drive towards friendship with me because […]

He can’t swim, Dad saves him.

Jim Michonski, Virginia Beach, VA. I grew up in a military family. The March on Washington happened when I was two years old. We mostly lived outside of the US until I was nine. I don’t have memories of and was not exposed to the racial turmoil of the 1960’s. One of the strongest experiences […]

White but never owned a slave

Crystal, Fredericksburg, VA Honestly I am getting sick and tired of being told I need to apologize for slavery. I have NEVER owned a slave and refuse to apologize for something I had no part in. I do not feel privileged in fact if a white man and a black man with the same credentials […]

My Mother Hated My Dark Skin

Mike Elliott Alexandria, VA My mother was brown. Her skin a shade so perfect until the day she died she was “Puddin” to her family and friends. My father a lighter shade of brown was “high yellow” and proud to be colored. He had a fraternal twin who was dark like an egg plant, blue-black. […]

I promise to stand against injustices

Kaylena Crowell, Norfolk, VA Growing up, my mom taught me to stand up for what I believe in, no matter the consequences. My family, originating from California, had open views, and I was taught to see no color. Despite this, I grew up in a rural, backward town in Southwestern Virginia, wherein my graduating class […]

I wish my nana was proud

Maura Grieco, Norfolk, VA My nana is Japanese American, she moved to the states at age 20 after having my mother and marrying my grandfather, a white man in the navy. She is proud of being Japanese and embraces her culture outwardly now, But did not when my mother was younger. She never taught my […]

Pro peace, not anti war.

Mallorie Morris, Springfield, VA we can not fight this ongoing war of racism with more racism and hate. we must learn to accept our differences and understand that people have different ways of living. We are all human, why does it not feel that way though?

Lincoln Memorial with Ace. I understand.

Jonny Cecka, Richmond, VA. I have always had progressive attitudes about equality and so-called “race,” but visiting the Lincoln Memorial with my adopted 13-year-old son, Ace, was profoundly moving and made me understand the sacrifices of Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and countless others in a deep, personal way.

The “quiet girl” in the back

Alyssa Banas, VA. Before I attended college, I was known as the “quiet girl” that sat in the back of the class. I loved meeting new people, but I just had a hard time communicating with people without being shy. My teachers always told me to participate in class because the ideas I wrote down […]

Who Is That Mean Black Man?

Kevin Creamer, Richmond, VA #URTRCP #TheRaceCardProject These words were said to me by my then three-year old daughter, who was reflecting in her mind about Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies. But my wife and I were struck by the inappropriateness of the comment on its face value, and it was then that I […]

We must learn to live together

Mark M. Person, Richmond, VA My family donated Nat Turner’s Bible to the AAMHC of The Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Mr. Turner was baptized on Persons Millpond in Southampton County in 1828 and had the Bible with him traveling through the area preaching the gospel. The Bible is in the right place and is an […]

I did not know I’m biased

Tom, Richmond, VA, I always prided myself in not being racist or biased. After well over 40 years of life I finally realized I have automatic biases that I did not realize were there that impacts my decision making #URTRCP #TheRaceCardProject

Everyone must learn from our past.

Mark Person, Richmond, VA My family has recently donated Nat Turner’s Bible to the New African American Museum of History and Culture and I have served as a spokesperson for the family. Rev Turner was baptized on our family property Persons Millpond in Southampton County, Virginia back in 1828. Persons United Methodist Church, est 1838, […]

Don’t Care What Color You Are!!!

Anonymous, Richmond, VA I clutch my purse because I was raised in New York where the police actually come to school assemblies teaching us how to clutch our purses in a way where we won’t get pickpocketed or mugged. I’ve been doing it since grade school and it has nothing to do with who is […]

I am no longer taking disrespect.

Dashe Jones, Richmond, VA The most disrespected person is the black woman. I am not going to sit by and be used as a walking matt no more. I am not a trend and I am not a toy you throw away when you feel like it. Black women are magical and are worthy

If I could have another chance

Jean LB Creamer, Richmond, VA If I could have another chance If I could say I’m sorry I would scream it till I cried I would plead until you knew I would post it on the Bricks of the Food Lion on Forest Hill Avenue Where I unleashed a torrent of anger Borne not of […]

Why don’t we all love diversity?

Hilary Appleton, Richmond, VA I am fascinated by people–who they are, where they came from, and the story of how they got to where they are today. I’m interested in people who share my story, but I’m even more interested in those who have a completely different story. To me, commonalities are nice and even […]

The white community must do more.

Clare Pugsley, Charlottesville, VA I chose these six words because America in 2019 is a place filled with more open (and hidden) racism and bigotry than I ever could have imagined. I feel a responsibility as someone who has benefited from white privilege throughout my life to speak out against prejudice when I witness it. […]

White Stepson, Black Son, Multiracial Daughter

Keith W. McIntosh, Richmond, VA I am blessed to be married to my lovely and talented partner, Penny. We were in prior relationships which gave us sons. Our boys were 4 years old when we met and our first date was taking them to Sesame Street Live on Ice. I would often joke that our […]

I have a dream…

Scott Tilghman, Richmond, VA I met Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles at the Loraine Motel National Civil Rights Museum in August 2009. My daughter and I were traveling across the country and visited the Museum. Rev. Kyles gave us a 20 mins civics lesson and first-hand account of “I have a dream”. I keep the autographed […]

Surprise surprise I was born here

Victoria, Fairfax, VA. I was born in Conway, SC. I’ve lived in the States for nearly two decades now (all of my life so far). It wasn’t till I was in elementary, and I had to ask my mom why boys would say “ching chong” to me that I realized that I was somehow different. […]

Well educated Asian-Americans asked, speak English?

Christine Thai-Pappa Fairfax, VA I was at a National Convention for my sorority, which is an Asian- American Interest sorority. A number of us had gotten onto the elevator at our hotel. There were girls from the University of Virginia, Berkeley, Standford, Cornell, and Carnegie Melon. At the next floor a group of older Caucasian […]

Scared that we are not enough

Tanya, Manakin Sabot, VA. My (adopted) son is biracial, his bio-father is unknown. I will never be able to connect him with his biological African American family. There is a void that I will never be able to fill for him . This breaks my heart as his mama.

Feeling Conflicted about my family history

Romaine Martin II, Richmond, VA. I Think is very therapeutic. You can spend hours researching your family’s cold cases. One bit of information I found out left me feeling unsure of how to feel at all. “Green Gore was born, in 1816, the son of Robert Gore (1783 – 1870/1880) and Tomsey Jarrel,(1778 – […]

They are Canadian and won’t tip.

Robyn, Norfolk, VA. Real Canadians do not tip in Canada because their wait staff is paid an adequate salary. However, black people, in the restaurant world, have been given the nickname Canadians because they normally do not tip. I feel like this is so wrong to stereotype people and give them unacceptable service just because […]

With burnt flesh, we’re the same.

Brian Makris Blacksburg, VA I’m from a small town in upstate NY, and we had two African American families in our town. We just viewed them like everyone else, and I didn’t experience any racism growing up. When I went into the Army in 1991, I experienced my first bit of racism from Southern white […]

When did “enunciating” mean “sounding white?”

Skye Carr, Virginia Beach, VA. Throughout middle school and high school, people used to always call me an “Oreo” because I was one of the few black students in my class that spoke properly and enunciated my words. I’m curious when enunciating became something that only white people did.

All are precious in His sight.

Mary Haak, Orlean, VA I think we (white folks) must be afraid we’re going to be treated as poorly as we’ve treated everyone else once we’re no longer the majority. What I’ve seen from folks, regardless of color, religious affiliation, ethnicity or any other category, is that everyone just want to be treated with dignity […]

But Black Mental Health Matters Too. . .

Drew Ferebee, Norfolk, VA What are some character traits you think of when someone ask you to describe a black man? Whats the first thoughts that pops into your head when you think of a black woman? Strong. “He was a strong, easy going black man.” “Behind every man is a strong black woman.” For […]

My race isn’t who I am

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 […]

Out of Appalachia, into the world

Katie Pickard Fawcett, McLean, VA. Grew up in Eastern Kentucky in a county that is in the bottom 5% economically in the country. I have done social work in Appalachia, tutored students for SAT prep in VA, worked at the World Bank for 10 years, and am the author of To Come and Go Like […]

White, Black, Brown should not matter.

Jonathan Bennett, Forest, VA. The only problem is it does and to too many. America, the America I grew up in, was described as a melting pot where diversity was supposedly celebrated. Now I see that there was always a thin veneer of racism strewn throughout my childhood that still persists today, especially with this […]

Black culture is alien to whites

Jane Levin, Charlottesville, VA. There’s a fantastic scene in the film, An American Werewolf in London, where the American backpackers go into a pub called the Slaughtered Lamb. They are so uncomfortable because they are so out of place and completely clueless about the local culture. To say they feel conspicuous and uncomfortable is an […]