"This is a pre Civil Rights memory. It was 1942.
I was seventeen, white, middle-class, and I lived in
Birmingteim, Alabama. I never guestived pre privileges
any witness brought me. One evening a young man told
me a story about a gang of white boys who beat with
baseball bats a young black boy because he had accidentally
bumped into one of them. The black boy was crippled
for liofe. This story would have horrified any half-way
decent person, and it had the person who told it to
me. What it did for me was to shock my imagination into
action. For the first time in my life, I imagined what
it was like to be a black, from the moment before bumping.
Through the knowledge of permanent injury. Once I was
inside some one else's skin, the world never looked
the same again." Warry Pader
"My knowledge of the Civil Rights
Movement comes from books, films and discussions. My
knowledge of racism comes from experience. Of all the
ugly moments I have witnessed with friends, family and
strangers, are particular incidnets still horrifies
and enrages me. While in a deli in my Carroll Gardens
neighborhood, on line at the counter, the man in frount
of me, who we had discovered was a teacher, said with
a laugh when a rap song come on the radio. "Hey
wouldn't it be great to bring back slavery." As
everybody laughed, my soul froze."
Witness Testimonies at Washington
Projects for the Arts
"I am Jewish. I have also felt the pain of hatred -
not for who I am - but for what I am believed to represent."
"I remember in 1953 when the Rosenbergs were killed.
We were living at my grand mothers. I was six years
old listening to the radio. This announcer cause on
and started giving a blow by blow description of what
would happen in the execution tomorrow. First they would
electrocute Mr. Rosenberg. Someone would check and say
"This man is dead." (I rememver those words.
Then it would be the women's turn to die. I remember
being so scared I think I felt that if peoploe could
be killed so cold - bloodedly. It could happend to me
"Let's hope that it does not take us thrity years
to talk about the events of today."
"I have reason to believe that I am a fifth generation
black/white man. I believe my great great grandfather
was black, but am unable to get any questions answered
by my mother who looks very white. It's a family secret.
It's a shame, because it's not something I need to hide.
I would be proud if this really is true. I'm sorry they
had to be ashamed."
at Arts in General
"There alot of racial tension in New York. A old
me I see it alot. I live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
I see the Jewish and the Blacks bight last summer over
a car Hitting little boy. By accident that little boy
gaving cato guesold can't rip cause people keep bitching.
"I'm Dominica, and until I came to the USA I had
never experienced discrimination. My first and worst
experienced was when I was walking in an Italian neighborhood
and as fations often do, I made a friendly comment to
a girl sitting on her front porch. She was very upset
and called me "fatious Trash" I was angry
and felt helpless about what this girl thought about
my race. There was no way I could convince that girl
that I was just a human being like any others. I wanted
very much to feel at ease about this, but I was completely
helpless in this situation. Discrimination for not have
a simple care."
"I wish I could say that I have no prejudices,
but I would be a liar if I did. There is such a thing
as "tabuca rasa", but it never lasts. We learn
from those we love, sometimes for the better and sometimes
for the worse." E
"And...So what do we do?"
"I come from a family of many backgrounds and
mixtures. I look more white then black or any other
race. I am mixed with. I am often teased because of
my skin. I am not excepted by whites by whites, nore
blacks. All I can say is Tod created one woman and on
man, and from them we all became. I don't think the
world will even except everyone for what they are vecause
of ignorance. Racism = Ignorance !!!"
"I went to Belfast, in the North of Ireland, in
1990. While walking down the Falls Road I witnessed
a British soldier target a small boy - a toddler - with
his loaded rifle. I was shocked an angered. Then I thought,
"But Why?" I've seen soldiers point guns at
children before. That's when it hit me. In my life,
(I'm 36) He never seen a white soldier aim a gun at
a white child. Only of Blacks, in Alabama, Asians in
Viet Nam at Hispanics, Native Americans, only at epople
of color - until that day - Race matters: "REMEMVRANCE
AND STRUGGLE" Keep On!" Mary Ann Wadden
"White Black Green Yellow Blue Brown Pink Orange
Please tell me which color do you prefer
(No matter what color you learn to take as is)"
"As a teacher in N.Y. City. I have experienced
segregation as it exists now. The first school I taught
in was in the South Bronx. The paint was peeling off
the walls and ceilingsand fell onto students' heads.
The school burned coal for heat in three large burners
in the cellar. The equipment was old. The desks were
carved up and nailed to the floor the way they had been
the first day the school was built. The neighborhood
around the school looked like downtown Beirut. Many
buildings were abandoned and there were empty lots everywhere
becayuse they had burned down in the seventies. Needless
to say these were no white students at that school.
The students were under seige by violence, frugs and
poverty. Yet the school provided only broken down facilities
and boring, traditional lecture teaching. One guidence
conselor for 300 students and so on and so on..."
"I think that white people and black people should
not be seperated. They should be together. W are all
brothers and sisters no matter what color we are. One
day we which means the whole world, sould get together
and help each other. If we don't, it is going to cause
more problems. HAving wars and fighting is not going
to help or solve any problems. It doesn't matter what
color we are. We could be blue, white, black, green.
We are still a family. This is what we should do!"
Catherine Allport, Jerri Allyn, Emma Amos, Tomie Arai,
Marilyn Banner, Rudolf Baranik, Dorothea Blue, Annalisa
Bookstrum, Elena Borstein, Delores Bowens, Phillip Brookman,
Marie A. Camp, Nancy Chalker-Tennant, Jueith Ortiz Cofer,
Susan Crowe, Linda Cunningham, Betsy Damon, Penelope
Dannenberg, Robyn Daughtry, Eleanor Dickinson, Jim Dozier,
Kinda Earle, Carolina Escobar, Leslie Fedorchuck, Helen
Frederick, Roy Gillus, Janet Goldner, Ted Griggs, Jarvis
Grant, Carolyn Goodmand, Dorothy Hamm, Edgar Heap of
Birds, Miriam Hernandez, Betti-Sue Hertz, Hettie Jones,
Kellie Jones, Tamarra Kaida, Betty Hano, Jerry Kearns,
Bea Kreloff, Avis Lang, Cassandra Langer, John Lewis,
Lucy Lippard, Joan Lyons, Virginia Maksymowicz, Leonore
Malen, Valerie Maynard, Dr. Loretta Mears, Ella McCall-Haygan,
M. Salynn McCollum, Colleen McElroy, Carissa McKenzie,
Yong Soon Min, Robin Moore, Sabra Moore, Marilyn Nance,
Eileen Norton, Esther Parada, Pau W. Pearce, Sam Pickering,
Howardena Pindell, Alan Prokoff, Margaret Randall, Faith
Ringgold, Miriam Schapiro, Joyce Scott, Caroline Sharfman,
Joan Shapiro, Annie Shaver-Crandell, Maggie Sherman,
Thomasina Sligh, Alta Sligh-Ayers, Elaine Soto, May
Stevens, James Stockard, Barbara Takenaga, Ethel Thompson,
Gloria Thompson, Lilian Thompson, Stephen Thompson,
Gail Tremgley Bisa Wathington, Deborah Willis, Judith
Wilson, and others