I never knew my grandfather; he died when I was just three. My memories of him are hazy, some constructed by flipping through old photo albums and watching grainy home videos, some peered at through the haze of seventeen years and the eyes of my toddler self.
I’ve always known that Papa was a member of the Bowling Green State University faculty. I…
I live in a country where ‘race’ is not an issue
I’m happy to say that I live in a country where “race” is not an issue… Not a big one at least. A great majority of the population descends from immigrants from all over the world, even if mostly of European origines. Traditionally schools where rigorously equalitarian in terms of race and culture. (Recently, though, a growing social discrimination prevails). Different origins were…
Gary W. Daily
TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA
I attended Harper High School on Chicago’s southwest side. Gun deaths in the Harper neighborhood have kept headline writers, sociologists, and, so I hear, Spike Lee busy exploiting, studying, and trying to understand the tragic deaths of young people living close to my old school. Here’s a story from the old days of Harper High–1954-55 when I was a senior at…
Racism is something that should not be brushed off.
DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS
Racism is something that should not be brushed off, instead it should be heard. People around the world do not like mentioning the topic of racism due to the bad mention of it. Each and everyday people face racism, some more than others. There are certain degrees to racism and at times some people do not realize that the words that come out…
She moved into an Assisted Living Facility and her first friend was Evelyn, and she was black.
My mom, 2nd generation German/Hungarian grew up in northside Chicago. She never went to school, church or had any black friends. When she was almost 90, I moved to South Carolina and took her with us. She moved into an Assisted Living Facility and her first friend was Evelyn, and she was black. They were better than sisters. Evelyn…
I’m a white female, 63 years old. When I was 11 years old, I was pinned down and raped by a young black man…
MINNEAPOLIS , MINNESOTA
I’m a white female, 63 years old. When I was 11 years old, I was pinned down and raped by a young black man, a stranger, while I was playing in a public park in suburban Pittsburgh. I didn’t tell anyone until I was in treatment for alcoholism at age 36.
When I was 23, I was robbed on the street in Princeton…
On feeling discriminated against for being African American at work.
In 1973, I went to work for the first black school superintendent in Ohio as his supervisor of school/community relations. He was inundated with challenges: local politicians tried to bribe him for control of the $49K annual budget; an elected Board of Education member (controlled by local and state politicians) slandered him on a local call-in radio program; a white group, Citizens for…
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
A writer discusses what it means to look like a Black Latino.
The conductor wanted us to move to the car ahead because we were in the colored car.
Ellen Davis Sullivan
In the winter of 1963 my parents and I took a train home to St. Louis from visiting my grandparents in Miami. We’d flown down, but a plane crashed while were in Florida and my mother was too petrified to fly home. We stopped in New Orleans overnight to visit other relatives. The next day after we boarded a nearly…
SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA
When I was in the 7th grade, our home room teacher was Black. She also taught us social studies. We are focusing on continents. So one day, in response to a question from a student, I blurted, “Well, Ms. McCall, you’d understand all about Africa.”
Later in the day, a classmate, who is white, approached me and said, “I can’t believe you said…
I was a white squad leader from Minnesota and a squad member was a black kid from Philadelphia.
It was 1955 and Army advanced basic training at Ft Jackson SC. I was a white squad leader from Minnesota and a squad member was a black kid from Philadelphia. We had bonded naturally do when we finally got that one and only 3 day pass during basic and white and black soldiers were segregating for transportation Into nearby Columbia, I urged…
That is not to say most officers are racist, they are not.
I am a retired officer from a large department in the northeast. Following over 20 years of service my experiences revealed a dominant and persuasive police culture that condones and rewards racist and gender violations on a significant scale. That is not to say most officers are racist, they are not. The systems and agency protocols from which they provide police service however,…
A principle ranted in front of the class that he would leave before he would tolerate a black student in his class.
My anti-racial feeling started in the 3rd grade in 1950. A principle ranted in front of the class that he would leave before he would tolerate a black student in his class.
Today, 65 years later, I do not accept any racial comments or slurs without a comment that their attitude is wrong and harmful. I live in a rural, white…
At six I ran with a crowd of my brothers down a walk between backyard garages.
At six I ran with a crowd
of my brothers down a walk
between backyard garages.
From the stair top looking down
on an alley, we shouted,
Graham crackers, graham crackers,
at colored kids playing ball.
White crackers, white crackers,
they screamed back. Then we bellowed
the sweet smear again. They edged
toward us. We ran in terror,
our hearts, feet—tripping,…
I’ve been told I am a good leader and many people are friendly but there’s always this feeling I get of being different from ‘everybody else.’
PRINCETON JUNCTION, NEW JERSEY
I am used to being one of few African Americans at the organization I volunteer with called NAMI. I have experienced good and bad experiences with my fellow volunteers and consumers. I am always aware that I chose to be a part of this organization but as I said I am one of few African Americans who are members of NAMI. I also…
The driver, seeing Negros in the car, said he couldn’t take them.
SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA
I was a nine-year-old boy in Illinois in 1939 when I was attracted to a gathering across the road where an accident involving an automobile had occurred. It had run into a ditch and the passengers were still inside. It took a moment to realize I was seeing Negros (blacks today), a rare event in my then neighborhood. Someone said an ambulance had…
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
On not feeling like you fit in with “white society.”
‘Don’t you get it? You’re Jewish and I’m black,’ said my assistant head nurse…
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
In the mid 1970’s I was the head nurse on a surgical floor in a large university hospital in Manhattan. Our patients and families paid us many compliments, physicians did everything but bribe us to find a bed for their serious patients, but our lily white nursing supervisor could find nothing right in the care we gave.
“Don’t you get it? You’re Jewish…
Growing up in Scranton was like living in the United Nations.
Growing up in Scranton was like living in the United Nations. There was just about every nationality in the world. My grandparents spoke the language of their homeland, modern day Slovakia. There were babuskas all over the city as well. I attended a Catholic school in the same building for 12 years from First Grade through Senior year. There was a ritual of…
I’m pregnant and my first worry is what box will our child check for the ultimate ‘race’ question?
L. G. Quinonez
WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
I’m pregnant and my first worry is what box will our child check for the ultimate “race” question? It stresses me to know that they will have to choose at all. But even so, he or she will have a 3rd generation Mexican with original Spanish heritage father, and a mother with German and English bloodlines back to Miles Standish, Daniel…
In the African American community in my city, I’ve found many families headed by unmarried, unemployed females with no positive role model or support.
Since 1969, I’ve worked in the schools of a large city, mostly with minority students. Being Caucasian, I have made friends with people of many backgrounds during that time. In the African American community in my city, I’ve found many families headed by unmarried, unemployed females with no positive role model or support. The stresses they experience are severe, including…
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
A Puerto Rican in New York discusses being mistaken for having Middle Eastern heritage.
There was a black student girl who sat next to me in my French II class.
CENTERPORT, NEW YORK
In 1953 when I was in 11th grade at Robert L Simpson High School in Huntington, New York, there were few black students and most of them were not in the college preparatory classes. There was a black student girl who sat next to me in my French II class. We became school friends and often lunched together. Her father…
My life was and is not an integrated one.
PSL WEST, FLORIDA
Grew-up in Connecticut suberb, worked in Private Banking, retired to gated Fla. community. My life was and is not an integrated one. I vote Democratic and love supporting programs that give opportunities to those who may not them; but, my life on a daily basis monochrmatic.
The only black officer was a good looking, good humored bombardier with an unbelievable capacity to imbibe Johnny Walker.
Many years ago, during the Korean War, the Officer’s Club on Kadena AFB, Okinawa, was the hangout for officers of the flight crews of the 370th Bomb Squadron. The bar was seldom empty when they were between missions. The only black officer was a good looking, good humored bombardier with an unbelievable capacity to imbibe Johnny Walker. His drinking…
When I was 8, a black woman employed by my family sexually assaulted me and my sister.
PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY
When I was 8, a black woman employed by my family sexually assaulted me and my sister.
My very upset mother still never spoke ill of black people, but like all white people, she benefited from blacks suffering. That is terribly wrong.
Today I am working for all women’s safety—all colors.
In the 68 years since those childhood sexual assaults, black women have…
‘You know, my Mom doesn’t like white people’
I never felt so white as the day a child, who had just gotten in a fight, said to me (as I was getting the phone to call her Mom): “You know, my Mom doesn’t like white people” .
It’s heartbreaking, but, I understand why.
How can you trust my kind? When your child’s school building is run down and the scarce books…
He received 2 Life Sentences plus 100 years for 6 of those robberies.
I am not black but I am speaking for my husband, Lenny Singleton, who is black. I met Lenny in high school. We both attended a magnet school, created to help in the desegregation of America after the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921. I searched for Lenny for 28 years before finally finding him incarcerated in Nottoway Correctional Center in Burkeville, Virginia in…
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
After losing a lover to AIDS in 1992, I looked at my life and asked what was missing. I was HIV-positive and felt that I had accomplished many of life’s goals but the one thing missing was being a parent. I adopted a black baby when she was five months old and have raised her as a single white man; our family is…
I visited a private resort with a group of African-American families in Kentucky.
Victor Ivy Brown
I am compelled to convey to you something of which I was informed about fifty years ago when I visited a private resort with a group of African-American families in Kentucky. We were visiting from Missouri. One family conveyed to the rest of us an experience which they had the previous year, 1963, when taking a motor excursion through South Dakota from St.
When I think of race I think of privilege.
When I think of race I think of privilege, and when I think of privilege I think of my cousin M and of that night in the Ford Taurus, when I learned that privilege is not just a lucky set of circumstances but also a film in someone else’s head, and a part we choose to play, if we’re lucky enough to get…
‘Jewish’ isn’t a race,” she said, “it’s a religion.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
In graduate school, I had a class titled “Issues in Ethnic and Cultural Competency.” For one of our first assignments, we were told to write about our ethnic or racial identity. After I turned in a paper about being Jewish, the lecturer seemed taken aback, and scolded me: “’Jewish’ isn’t a race,” she said, “it’s a religion.”
I had never really thought of…