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The Race Card Project
Jul 01 – Jul 14, 2021
Michele Norris

In 2010, Michele Norris began inviting people to distill their thoughts on the word “race” to only six words. Today, more than 500,000 personal narratives, from all 50 American states, the District of Columbia (Douglass Commonwealth), and 96 countries have been collected.

You can add your thoughts to this online project. Race Cards range from being thoughtful and funny to heartbreaking and brave. On the Race Card Wall, you can read what others have added, though many are longer than six words.

Wilhelmina Street of Baltimore wrote: “Actually, more people of our very own race seem to struggle with the idea of an extremely light person marrying someone who is extremely dark. Even after 30 years of us being married, I still catch racist remarks and side glances from those on our side of the tracks. In my Fathers’ Day, it was called being ‘color-struck.’ In the words of Rodney King, ‘Can’t we all get along?’”

People also sent backstories and photos to share more about what is behind their six-word statements. Nevertheless, Norris says the intention is to use these cards to get a peek at America’s honest views about race, so “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,” added Norris.

Norris is a journalist, author, “instigator founder of The Race Card Project, and contributing columnist with The Washington Post. In 2013, the prestigious Peabody Award awarded her project for excellence in electronic communications for turning a pejorative phrase into a productive dialogue on a difficult topic.

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