Monday, June 15, 2020

When I Discovered Race

I shared my story of racial awakening with United We Pray well before the boiling point of racial inequity exploded in this country. Our stories vary, but if you're Black, the common thread is pervasive racism showing up in subtle and not so subtle ways. Despite the turmoil, the exhaustion, the calls to action in recent weeks, I as a believer in Christ remain hopeful, for it is in Him alone my hope is found (1 Corinthians 15:58).

I always say I discovered I was Black when I came to New York in 1978. For the first twelve years of my life, I lived in the Bahamas. We were a large family doing OK for ourselves. We could hire someone to do the cleaning and look down our noses on anyone in a lower position than us.
The difference I discovered was class – those who had and those who didn't, and we were somewhere in the middle.

Click on the link to read the rest of my story, then feel free to leave a comment over here.

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God, he created them; male and female, he created them (Genesis 1:27 NLT).

When did you discover racism existed? How have you dealt with it? 


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PS - My Book is Coming - The Comfort of Night; How Jesus Makes it All Right


  1. Our stories are so similar. I too noticed the differences when I landed in the US 20 years ago. I didn't know my great grandfather was Black until I came here. He was my great grandpa before, a human being. I love seeing your comment on my blog. I so hope to talk to you in person. I'd love to have you over in my Podcast. Let's connect! {hugs}

  2. Excellent, Nylse. Tweeted and will share. I am grateful to know you and feel so sad about how other races are treated. Only God can make such a deep-seated, surgical change.

  3. Thank you for sharing this part of your story, Nylse. It breaks my heart that it's such a common story. :(

    I barely remember it, but our public school system integrated when I was entering 3rd grade, and suddenly I was zoned for the "Black" school because it became the new elementary school for everybody. I don't remember thinking anything about it, but looking back, that is the year that many of my White friends switched from public schooling to private schooling. I'm glad my parents were wise enough to keep me in public school because I had many new White and Black friends from then on.

    May God continue to work on opening our hearts and eyes to see the destruction and sin of racial inequality and to do something about it at last. Blessings to you, friend.

  4. Thank you for using your voice and your story to continue the conversation.

  5. I have come late to this discussion, growing up and raising my own family in very-white northern New England. I appreciate the voices of wisdom on line and have been doing a lot of reading and listening these days. Thank you for your offering of wisdom.

  6. Hi Nylse, I was blessed to grow up in a family that did not see color. My dad's best friend was black. And although we lived in a primarily white town, the one black family that attended my school, I didn't see them as black, but just my good friends.

    Fast forward to about 10 years ago when my friend's adopted Korean daughter who as a young adult would share stories of racist things that were said to her. I was aghast thinking, "how could anyone say that to someone!". I guess I would say that is when it hit me that "wow, racism DOES exist". It was a sobering realization. Even during these past weeks, when I hear stories, I am still so taken aback that anyone would think of another human being as different or "less than" just because of the color of their skin. I still don't see color, but I am more acutely aware now that, sadly, others do...

    Thank you for your humility in asking this question and for the Truth that our only hope is found in Christ Jesus.


  7. Thank you for your measured tone in what is so often such a heated debate - our hope for justice is indeed in Christ alone.

  8. I have wondered what differences there might be with POC who recently moved to the US. I'm heartbroken that our country has such a problem with racism. I am praying that I (as a white woman) will be even more aware and that our country will make the right changes. Thank you for this

  9. Nylse, I thought I had already commented on this post. Nevertheless, I appreciate your transparency. Coming here from a different culture allowed you to get a true picture of racism. I wish it were not the fact, but it still exists. I take comfort in knowing it cannot prevail. God is real and he says we are more than overcomers. So I join the Prophet Amos in saying, "Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream".

  10. Nylse, my heart aches for what you have experienced even as it is warmed by your humble and grace-filled response. Thank you for sharing your story, and also for introducing us to U?WP ... it seems to me that organizations with this kind of focus and mission are desperately needed right now.

  11. Your linked post was well written, and I wish racism didn't exist. I hope you don't feel as isolated as you once did, and my prayer for our country is that it becomes a better place for all races. I hope we are at the beginning of a better society. I hope you see racism disappear in your lifetime, and even in the next decade. That may be unlikely, but it was an important person's dream, and it is a worthy goal.

  12. I love the grace you give to those that don't deserve it - the hope, the optimism. I am so sorry people treated you like that. It breaks my heart. Praying for strength, transformation and wisdom along with you - and that no-one ever feels isolated because of how God made them!

  13. Very well written, Nylse! So many of us have a similar experience. Thank you for sharing your story! God bless you! :-)


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