Can you condense your experience of race into six words?

That’s the premise of the Race Card Project, NPR host Michele Norris’ initiative to help explore the complexity of race relations in America through candid six word essays. It’s garnered fascinating responses, submitted by thousands of people in 63 countries.

Norris revealed that one of the most popular and poignant responses is a variation on “where are you originally from?,” the thought behind the query being that if you’re not white, you couldn’t possibly be from America. The question helps to establish “otherness” among people of color by implying that America only belongs to white people.

Other fascinating cards are “You’re pretty for dark-skinned girl”, “We Aren’t All Strong Black Women” and “But…you don’t have slanted eyes.” Though most of the six word testimonials are “thoughtful, funny, heartbreaking and brave,” some are alarmingly offensive. Norris addresses those, saying “If the intention is to use these cards to get a peek at America’s honest views about Race, then I must try to honor those people who offer up candor, even if what they share is unsavory or unacceptable in some people’s eyes.”

How would you describe your experience of race in six words? Share your thoughts at The Red Card Project.

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