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Table of Contents
I. Introduction
II. Rationale for Research
III. Method
IV. Accounts of Behavior
V. Accounts of Feelings
APPENDIX A. - Materials Sent to Participants
APPENDIX B - Questions Asked of Each Group
APPENDIX D - Group Instructions and Guidelines
APPENDIX E - Chart - First-hand Accounts of Racial and Ethnic Activity
APPENDIX F - Chart - First-hand Accounts of Feelings
First-hand Accounts of Racial and Ethnic Activity
No. Speaker's
Statuses of others Role speaker plays
toward others
Activity or event that
Moral of the story
1. minister - congregation members
- whites
- people of color
- communities of color
- Latinos
- African Americans
- Caribbean Americans
- Asians
- Indians
- Pakistanis
- Chinese
- witnessing

- ministering to
nonspecific Racial differences become apparent in how people view issues, with a large difference between whites and people of color. Difference is interesting
2. person - Italian
- Irish person
- German
- person of color
meeting nonspecific Not aware of color when meeting a white person.

Aware of color when meeting a person of color.
This lack of awareness is normal.

This awareness is painful.
3. friend - a person met
- confidant
- recalling color

- replying to confidant's question about person met the day before.
- outside of home
- home
Speaker could not recall color of person met.
This non-awareness is what one should strive for.
4. high school student
college student
young black girl

same young black girl, now older

friend within a circle of friends
high school

Had the best time together None given.
5. neighbors black neighbors neighborly acquaintence neighbor- hood Relations with black neighbors were cordial, but the black neighbors were standoffish. White and black people are becoming increasingly separated.
6. employee

dating partner

a black guy
subjected by employer to an organizational culture of discrimination

Employer was reprehensible with practices; effect reached into employee's private life. Finding that society condoned this discriminatory behavior was shocking and different from lessons learned growing up in the home.
7. employ- ment recruiter clients


office Clients demand white candidates
Black candidates suspect recruiter because recruiter is white
Racism is structural; you get flack from both black and white people.
8. employ- ment recruiter a kid right out of school working with him working with him Recruiter finally beginning to win trust of candidate Would have been easier if recruiter were black.
9. trainee - Hispanics
- whites
- black people
fellow participant nonspecific Learned to trust one another over a 10-month period Reaching this level of trust was wonderful.
10. employ- ment recruiter client/friend

a black man
hiding personal information from
nonspecific Under pressure from dating partner to reveal interracial relationship to client Living a lie. Role conflict.
11. girlfriend

neighbor- hood child

black people

aware of but never met

Girlfriend had a black friend; speaker could never do that as child.
Never brought into contact with black neighbors on block.
None given.
12. friend childhood friend, as an adult listening nonspecific Speaker's friend said she had never felt different until moving to speaker's neighborhood as a child. If you weren't the right race and religion, you were made to feel weird.
13. high school student a very large black component, about 20% witnessing high school High school had more people of color than elementary school; whites and people of color moved in separate social circles on separate academic tracks. That was how it was (as a segregated structure)
14. elementary student

high school student
other students all white
one-third of students were minority
witnessing elementary school

high school
Proportion of people of color in school increased between elementary and high school. But we didn't think of it that way. (Colorblind)
15. son parents witnessing ethnic neighborhood Lived together for safety reasons, unfamiliarity with English. Not all segregation is bad.
16. daughter - parents
- non-Jewish boys
- Catholics
- black people
witnessing home Being socialized by parents to believe that difference was bad. The message may be couched in other terms, but we are taught that other people's cultures are bad.
17. grammar school student - Catholics
- non- Catholics
- parents
- nuns
witnessing community There were two schools in town, public and Catholic. Kids sent to Catholic school because of stricter discipline. Choice of sending kids to Catholic school had nothing to do with color.
18. Older member of household young people witnessing home Young people say appalling things. Maybe they get it from TV images of blacks as criminals. Race relations are becoming polarized.
19. high school student black friend inviting home speaker's neighborhood in 1960s Black friend said he better not go to speaker's home. Speaker did not realize until later his black friend's sense of danger about entering white social setting.
20. town citizen mayor - overhearing
- conversing
nonspecific Mayor makes a pejorative remark about an African American. Racism was casually and deeply embedded in the culture.
21. - friend
- godmother
- aunt
- best friend
- godson
- niece
- nephew
witnessing Northeastern suburban community The high school band, which is nationally competitive, only has one black band member. The music teacher is white as well. This is a very white setting, protected by community-level structures for preserving its whiteness.
22. college student - students coming off the farms
- a black
- a diverse student body
witnessing College in rural portion of Northeastern state (White) kids off the farm were unable to adjust to diversity since their previous education, via TV, left them with preconceived notions. The country is changing and some white people can not acquire the skills needed to meet this change.
23. parent children educating one's children small urban community Decided to send children to public school with mix of people of color, sacrificing academic quality for exposure to a diverse student body. Kids have turned out better for it. Learning about diversity will be a key component of every child's education and life skills.
24. employ- ment recruiter companies that encourage hiring of people of color
companies that discourage hiring of people of color
assisting corporate Meeting client needs Employers' hiring preferences are racially structured.
25. community resident - Korean
- Japanese
- Pakistani
- Indian
- Sri Lankan
- dark- complexioned people
- professionals
- doctors
- teachers
- Nissan executives
- African Americans
witnessing suburban community Community changed from lily white with one family of color to one-third representation of well-to-do people of color over last 10 years. Change happens, sometimes quickly. It is not necessarily bad.
26. girl scout leader - Asian families
- Japanese families
- Korean families
- Japanese women
- Korean women
recruiting membership suburban community Difficult to recruit from Japanese and Korean neighborhoods because cultural norms precluded Japanese and Korean women from joining activities outside of families. Recognizing differences is a useful and necessary skill. Difference does not necessarily mean bad.
27. trainee - black friends
- militant black group
- fellow trainee
- being trained during one session by militant group
impoverished Northeastern city Militant black group disparages white establishment, with ranting and raving. It is difficult being singled out by one's race and held accountable by extremists. Multi-racial friendships make it less difficult.
28. mother son witnessing nonspecific Son, when in Taiwan, was called "big nose" and realized what it felt to be a minority. The feeling of "being a racial minority" is not available to us in our culture, but it is nonetheless real and something we can experience under changed circumstances.
29. trainee militant black community activists - listening
- learning
impoverished Northeastern city Learned how to be a squatter in an impoverished community. Some people are desperate, and they are usually not white.
30. godmother - black godson
- entire church
attending ritual Christening in black Baptist church Attended Christening of black godson; only white in church; wonderful experience Interracial contact can be nonthreatening, enjoyable.
31. the only white black congregations unspecified in the shelter unspecified Interracial contact and being only white is comfortable, but this experience occurs only in one setting.
32. wife - husband
- husband's secretary
- husband's secretary's brother (deceased)
attending funeral black church With husband, were only whites there. Did not feel out of place, maybe due to relationship to husband's secretary. Personal relationships are an important way to bridge differences.
33. - graduate student in business school
- only woman in class
- male teacher
- classmates
having everyone's "eyes on" her graduate business school classroom Instructor felt student did not belong, on account of her gender. Student understood what it meant to be a visible minority. It's not just race, but gender as well. Experience of discrimination helps one empathize with people of color.
34. - traveler
- husband and father
- white sister and husband
- wife and daughter
- a very large military person
- disembarking plane
- carrying luggage
Airport in West African country On trip to visit sister in Peace Corps was intimidated by local military man who refused to get out of the way. Sometimes it is us who are different and vulnerable.
35. traveler unspecified foreigner Streets of 99% Muslim country in West Africa Everything was unfamiliar. This was very uncomfortable, to lose the familiarity of one's culture.
36. person - Martin Luther King
- Jesse Jackson
- black Muslims
- five whites
listening to speakers Mid-western city during race riots in 1960s, at burned out A&P As one of five whites in nearly all black crowd, walked up to Jessie Jackson; was apprehended, shoved up against wall and frisked. It is debilitating to be put in a position of powerlessness.
37. audience member black woman speaker
almost all white audience
listening nonspecific Black woman told nearly all white audience, "You need to figure out who you are." We need to figure out who we are.
38. minister man listening to concerns nonspecific Man said he tried attending another church, but it was too "ethnic." It's not that they're ethnic and you're not.
39. shelter worker two young Hispanic kids, one black and one not helping kids secure a ride home at shelter One kid asked speaker if she was white. Speaker felt she had transcended a racial stereotype in this child's eyes. It feels good not to be viewed as stereotypical of being white when seen in the eyes of a person of color.
40. friend other white friends witnessing non-specific Speaker's white friends would be condescending when talking to blacks as if to make up for being white. Whatever it may take to improve race relations, condescension is not it.
41. seminary student church official, lecturer listening college Lecturer said the church has been both scandalous and glorious. The white race may be viewed the same way.
42. neighbor- hood child - neighbors who had been in Nazi concentration camps - American Jews neighbor suburban Northeastern town Neighbors formerly in camps often resented American Jews. Being "different" invokes feelings of embarrassment, shame and guilt.
43. student
student body (one-third Jewish, one-third Catholic and one-third Protestant)
school Thought composition of school reflected country. Told by father it did not. Our childhood concepts of what is normal are often wrong.
44. friend best friend who was Japanese American friendship nonspecific Growing up, the speaker's best friend was Japanese American. Our childhood concepts of what is normal are often wrong.
45. college student students from deep south or midwest witnessing college Many white students had never met Jewish people or had personal contact with people of color. Whites differ in what they regard as normal vis-a-vis ethnic and racial difference.
46. college student sociology professor discussing college classroom Professor had students identify their roles; emphasized people usually identify with family and occupational roles. Racial and ethnic identities are often viewed as less important than familial and occupational identities.
47. minister - well-to-do family
- Hispanic family
coordinating wedding arrangements church Two families with drastically different ideas on appropriate wedding decorations are scheduled for ceremonies on the same day. Celebrating different traditions is difficult to do while keeping people together.
48. family member older relatives who immigrated to the U.S. witnessing nonspecific Relatives had strong feeling of America as land of opportunity. We need to recover and/or instill this feeling in all U.S. citizens.
49. friend since childhood friend since childhood discussing views nonspecific Learned as children in 1960s that treating people as members of groups is stereotyping, and that is bad. Treating people as individuals is no longer considered appropriate, but will be in the future.
50. child white people witnessing large Southern city Whites became a minority in the city, but not in the suburbs; still retained power. Being a numerical racial minority is not necessarily threatening.
51. person - Latino people
- white people
- black people
- American black
- West Indian black
- Hispanics
witnessing Large Southern city Balance of racial groups existed with no one group dominating. Being a numerical racial minority is not necessarily threatening if no single group is dominant.
52. child other children talking school When growing up, all kids had watched the same TV programs the evening before. Nowadays society is becoming very fragmented, in media offerings and otherwise.
53. Canadian - Canadian government
- French people
- English people
witnessing Quebec Government holds that Canada is bilingual, but French people must learn English, not vice versa. Those in power have the say about cultural practices.
54. wife - husband
- Jamaican supervisor
- West Indian supervisor
- American black supervisor
witnessing corporation In husband's work setting, next level of management has three black supervisors, each of whom has a different cultural heritage. Race alone is too simplistic a way to view people. Ethnicity is important, too.
55. patient medical staff donating blood nonspecific Identified self as "other" on forms, rather than "white." Labels are bad, annoying.
56. clerical worker employer preparing job bulletins government offices Must collect race-based statistics as part of the job. Race is highlighted by our government.
57. minister phone caller listening nonspecific Caller wanted to know religion of speaker before making a complaint. Speaker would not reveal information. Does not like presumptions made about self based on group membership.
58. - worker
- boss who is black
phone caller listening work Could not tell caller was black due to strong regional accent. Black boss also could not tell. Our stereotypes fail us, especially on the phone.
59. - wife
- dinner guest
- husband
- other dinner guests
attending a dinner party nonspecific Someone asked husband what he did. Husband refused to say all evening; made other guests uneasy. People have a strong need to classify other people.
60. child

adult worker
no black people

all minorities


Life as a child was sheltered, with no contact with people of color.
As only white in department at work, learning a lot about minority cultures.
Being raised in a segregated setting leads to an impoverished education about other cultures.
61. child a melting pot neighbors Northeastern urban community Became acquainted with different cultures. Exposure to a culture is the key to learning about it.
62. child black people witnessing community Saw Jim Crow water fountains and blacks seated at the back of the bus. It was distressing to see this and to realize white people were the cause of it.
63. friend black friend listening nonspecific Black friend describes being followed by security guards in stores. It is distressing to hear this.
64. youth - security guard
- store manager
customer store Speaker was refused entry to store by guard due to age. On complaining, manager let him in. Color does not matter. Age does.
65. teenager, new kid on block - neighborhood kids
- a person of color
neighborhood kid new neighborhood, mostly white Moved into predominantly white neighborhood at age 17; befriended a person of color; subjected to hostile attitudes by neighbors. Sometimes color does matter, and it is unpleasant when it does.
66. mother - black girl
- daughter's classmate
talking unspecified Speaker remarked to daughter that a classmate was black. Daughter asked, "What's black?" Children do not learn about racial and ethnic difference naturally; they must be taught.
67. person - people who grew up with speaker
- whites
- blacks
- Oriental person
- Spanish person
- dudes
speaking to, or about, people racially different nonspecific Speaker has made racist remarks because it's in the culture, but his friends know he's not racist, and he criticizes others when they make racist remarks. Saying something racist is not necessarily a true measure of one's feelings about others.
68. sales manager - salesman
- black customers
supervising large-ticket retail outlet Salesman said to manager, "I know how to handle these people." Manager tells salesman to change attitude, respect customers as people. Categorizing people by race is wrong, and bad business.
69. person persons familiar with city talking Northeastern city People assume speaker grew up in an all white neighborhood; change attitudes and are more open when speaker says he grew up in diverse neighborhood. People's stereotypes about you affect how they treat you.
70. child parents witnessing nonspecific Family arrived in U.S. in 1960s without clear understanding of race in U.S. Seeing race riots shook them up. Race is treated differently in the U.S. than in the rest of the world.
71. worker department next to speaker's witnessing work All black staff (but one) interpret events in racial terms because supervisors and higher-ups are white. The social structure has nothing to do with it; it's an excuse.
72. business owner black employee, laborer employing repair shop Black employee works two jobs, does menial work, teaches values to his children. Individuals are made by their own efforts, not by structural forces.