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United States of Race

Author: DB Crema

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Poignant and candid stories that explore what it means to experience race in America - from our earliest childhood memories to our current day social and political beliefs. Some heartbreaking, some cringe-worthy, some uplifting – all very personal. By sharing the stories of when we first learned we are all different, we find the common thread that shows us how much we’re all the same. Follow #unitedstatesofrace for more content at and If you have a story to share, send us a message at!
22 Episodes
Kyra discusses the challenges that come with being the child of an immigrant in the U.S., always pushed to doing her best and be constantly productive. We discuss the critical need for Black and Brown people to find ways to just rest and her journey to accepting that who she is in fact enough. In fact, Kyra Assibey-Bonsu is enough. She works on all things that highlight the lives and stories of underrepresented communities by advocating for those who do not have a voice or a platform. Sh...
Chris grew up among a predominantly Hispanic population and came to love the culture, food, and familial ties he was invited into. It cemented his lifelong passion as a chef. But while he realized that it’s the celebration of cultural traditions that binds us all together, he saw that many others felt slighted, and chose to focus on hot button, political issues not in their favor, like immigration and border walls. The issues that tear us apart.
Grace shares the personal ways in which historical trauma has impacted her life and that of her family, her community, and her tribe. In discussing the lasting effects of the Residential Schools and a system of assimilating Native Americans, she helps us understand the beauty and strength of cultures lost or slowly being recuperated. A heartbreaking story, it is a stark reminder that ignoring or denying our history only binds us to repeating it.
Aware that racism existed, it wasn’t until he was in his teens that Ryan realized that it was happening all around him, whether he saw it or not. In this episode, he shares the uncomfortable moment in which he had to confront his own bias and discusses the privileges of being a white, middle-class man in America. This conversation raises the question, will we ever get to a place in which people can acknowledge their own privilege without taking personal offense? .We’d love to hear f...
Sarah Valentine is a writer, translator, and teacher of creative writing. She has taught at Princeton, University of California - Los Angeles, University of California - Riverside, and Northwestern University and holds a PhD in Russian literature from Princeton University. She is the author of the memoir When I Was White.We first met at a book reading for her memoir. I was taken with her stunning story and beautiful writing, in which she tackles the topics of race, identity, family rela...
Welcome Back to United States of Race!In this inaugural episode of Season 2, host and producer, DB Crema, reflects on season one, discussing challenges as old as time, like Identity - how we see ourselves, how we want others to see us, and how others actually see us. Excited for what’s coming in this season, this episode gives a sneak peek at some of the poignant and powerful moments we will share as we use the power of storytelling to build connections and bridge divides.
Holly has spent most of her life trying to figure out where she fits and, after feeling like she wasn’t quite accepted anywhere, she’s learned that making her own community is what matters most in finding belonging.
Alex grew up in a tight-knit community that often turned oppression into prejudice, and that’s exactly what pushed him to start thinking differently about race and society.
After growing up in the Midwest, Kathryn purposefully sought out new experiences with race in other countries, only to find that humans share the same hopes, dreams, and fears all around the world.
After years of learning to survive in an unwelcome environment, Gabe is tired of trying to make others feel comfortable around him. The time for talk is over; he wants to see action and change.
For Melanie and her community, protecting the earth and our water is a way of life – even if it puts them in conflict with others - because, without it, there is no life.
Dylan experienced a childhood that most people don’t even know still exists and it ended up shifting his entire worldview for the rest of his life. Dylan references two amazing resources for Land Acknowledgment:
While Kyndra was made fun of as a child for her looks, it’s the present-day bullying for her unpopular political beliefs that really makes her feel like she doesn’t fit in within her own community.
Nick - lead of the band Buenos Diaz - has been playing rock 'n roll all his life, but that hasn’t stopped people from typecasting him and his music to fit their own assumptions.Check out the latest from Buenos Diaz at
Katie has thought a lot about how she dealt with race when playing make-believe as a child, but she wonders if she will be equipped to handle her kids’ questions about race as they grow older.
Ken feels his community is often treated as an invisible group, but neither that nor growing up with privilege are keeping him and his family safe right now.
Turk felt the sting of race starting at a young age, and with humor as her shield, it set her on a path to building inclusive workspaces for those who need it most.
Akeem gets conflicting input about his race when he has to pick a box to check on the state aptitude test, triggering decades of questioning whether he wants to be in the box people put him in.
Moving back to the U.S., Ami is on a steep learning curve with race relations in America and grapples with the model minority concept when she sees rampant anti-black sentiments in the South Asian community.
In Rick’s community growing up, he was considered mixed. He explains why years of seeing other people disadvantaged doesn't mean he is privileged.