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What is your first memory about race?

Amelia

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My first memory about race is a semantic one.

I was in 2nd grade, sitting on my neighbor's stoop across the street. She was in first grade.

No idea how the conversation started but I told her, "Everybody is prejudiced." Because everyone IS prejudiced about something. I knew that because my mother taught me that prejudice means to prejudge, and we all make judgments about one thing or another without knowing all the facts.

And then the first grader said, "Nuh uh, I LIKE Sarah." . . Sarah was a girl who lived down the street from us. She was black. My first grade friend and I were white.

I had to do some damage control and say that's not what I meant, I like Sarah too.

And that's about all I remember.




Apparently the first grader's mother wasn't as much into vocabulary and nuance as my mother was.
 
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Sherry

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My mom worked for IBM and we had to make a temporary move for the company, from the Chicago burbs to Tampa, when I was in the third grade. A black neighbor girl down the street, who was a couple years older, told me that all the black and Mexican girls were gonna pick on a pretty little white girl like me, so she said she'd teach me how to fight. Her advice was to not start fights, but don't back down from one, and tough talk could save my ass. I was like WTF?? She was right though...I never got in a fight, but just had confidence and stood up for myself.
 

Flopper

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I lived in the old south as a young child, before integration. I remember my grandmother saying she never went shopping on Main street on Saturday because all those uppity blacks walked down the sidewalk acting like they had a right to be there. When people say not much progress has been made in race relations, that's a load crap.
 

yidnar

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I was at the zoo and asked my parents why they put some monkeys in cages and let others walk around ??I was told that the monkeys I was referring to were inmates on work release cleaning up the trash .
 

Sky Dancer

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Getting in trouble because a black boy gave me a necklace. I was eight years old.
 
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Amelia

Amelia

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I was at the zoo and asked my parents why they put some monkeys in cages and let others walk around ??I was told that the monkeys I was referring to were inmates on work release cleaning up the trash .



I understand your rep symbols now.
 

syrenn

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I was in 3 grade when forced integration started. I was bussed to one of the worst (IMO) areas of the city...the Haight Ashburry. My friend and i were purposefully seated in the back of the class by the teacher "so we would know what it felt like"
 

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When I was young, a teacher threw a hissy fit because I referred to a black girl as a black girl. My response was something to the effect of 'She's black and a girl- she's a black girl. *points* He's a white boy, *points* she's a white woman...'

I learned early on about race baiters and have loathed them ever since.
 

Sky Dancer

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I was called a "****** lover" for holding hands with a black boy in high school. My father wouldn't let my Native American friend come home with me because" she is too dark, and the neighbors will complain."
 

Sky Dancer

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We had race riots in my high school freshman year. I remember how scary it was being locked in our class rooms and we could hear screams and chains. Our parent's had to come and pick us up and we were escorted by police officers out of the school.

There were riot police outside the high school all four years I attended.
We were not allowed to have bathroom doors on the toliets, because kids would get jumped.

Very tough time.
 

Salt Jones

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My mom is half white, she looks like a lighter Vanessa Williams; my dad is dark skin. My great grandmother worked at Woolworth's. I was about seven, with my mom, brother and sister. We were going into the Woolworth's to see my great-grandmother(father's side), this old white lady came up and asked my mom: "What's a nice white girl like you doing watching these little ****** kids"? My mom leaned in close and said something to the lady, all I know is the old lady turned red and stormed off.
 

syrenn

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My mom is half white, she looks like a lighter Vanessa Williams; my dad is dark skin. My great grandmother worked at Woolworth's. I was about seven, with my mom, brother and sister. We were going into the Woolworth's to see my great-grandmother(father's side), this old white lady came up and asked my mom: "What's a nice white girl like you doing watching these little ****** kids"? My mom leaned in close and said something to the lady, all I know is the old lady turned red and stormed off.


Good for your mother!
 

Tank

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I was about 4 or 5 driving with my dad to his work in East L.A and I asked him what is that writing on the wall, he said it was the way Hispanics mark there areas.
 

Sky Dancer

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Riding in the car on a hot Sunday out in the country. Seeing a tiny shack that I was told a family of 12 lived in. There was a black caddilac out front.
 

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I was about 4 or 5 driving with my dad to his work in East L.A and I asked him what is that writing on the wall, he said it was the way Hispanics mark there areas.

So you're second-generation illiterate?
 

Mr. H.

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I was probably 4, but remember the old man giving me a very calm and rational lecture about accepting people for who they are and not what they look like. Evidently I got caught talking trash to one of the very few black kids that lived in our small town.
 

NGSamson

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My first memory about race is a semantic one.

I was in 2nd grade, sitting on my neighbor's stoop across the street. She was in first grade.

No idea how the conversation started but I told her, "Everybody is prejudiced." Because everyone IS prejudiced about something. I knew that because my mother taught me that prejudice means to prejudge, and we all make judgments about one thing or another without knowing all the facts.

And then the first grader said, "Nuh uh, I LIKE Sarah." . . Sarah was a girl who lived down the street from us. She was black. My first grade friend and I were white.

I had to do some damage control and say that's not what I meant, I like Sarah too.

And that's about all I remember.




Apparently the first grader's mother wasn't as much into vocabulary and nuance as my mother was.

Going to kindergarten in Long Beach California, and being scared that a black person was going to kill me. My Grandma would tell us that all blacks wanted to kill all the white boys, and rape all the white girls.
 

RetiredGySgt

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Before I was in school our Town had one black family. I was amazed when they moved in having never seen anyone that was black before.
 

Wicked Jester

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When I was about 4, our dog bit the shit out o' some black dude who came to the door selling Fuller Brushes.......He had never done anything like that before. Man he saw that black dude and it freaked him out.
 

editec

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Fighting with primary schoolmates who mocked my surname.

Ethnic, not race, was the issue at hand.
 

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