Though race is one of those seismic issues—the stuff of movements and monuments and multiday conferences at top universities—the moments revealed in the six-word submissions are smaller in nature and much more intimate:
Brown-skinned mothers who are mistaken as the nannies of their lighter skinned children.
Blue-eyed teenagers who grow outsize afros to win easy (or at least easier) acceptance on the basketball court.
Asians with Irish last names who delight at seeing the faces of potential employers when they show up for job interviews.
And blonde women who understand why their children choose to identify as “Black-tino” out of cultural convenience but quietly die inside because they feel rejected or left out. This is all part of the crazy quilt of America. Our diversity is the marvel of the world and represents one of our greatest strengths as a nation. It heralds progress but not without pain for those who live on the knife-edge of multiple cultures.