The Race Card Project

by Mary K. Clark.

Race?  How do you start a conversation or share a story around race? In 2010, Michelle Norris started a national conversation on this prickly topic with The Race Card Project.  Jesse Washington, recently wrote about Norris and her project:

She asked for just six words.

Michele Norris, the National Public Radio host, was starting a book tour for her memoir, which explored racial secrets. Sensing a change in the atmosphere after the election of the first black president, and searching for a new way to engage and listen, Norris printed 200 postcards asking people to express their thoughts on race in six words.

The first cards that trickled into her mailbox were from Norris’ friends and acquaintances. Then they started coming from strangers, from people who had not heard Norris speak, from other continents. The tour stopped; the cards did not …

She and an assistant have catalogued more than 12,000 submissions on People now send them via Facebook and Twitter or type them directly into the website, leading to vibrant online discussions.

Many cannot resist accompanying their Race Cards with explanations, stories and personal experiences. Norris, in turn, feels compelled to contact them, listen to their stories, and archive this new conversation about race.

Those interested in the project, race, conversation and story will be in for some interesting perspectives as they peruse the site.

I’ve had many stories related to race in my life.  It is interesting how these stories manifest.  Some have a difficult place finding an audience; others have surfaced only to meet silence or censored glances.  On the other hand, I’ve had also shared some stories with listeners and come away enriched and enlightened.

How do the stories we live out reflect the issue of race in your life?  If you have additional resources, we’d love to hear about them.

– Mary

PS  If you have the time, Jesse Washington’s piece on The Race Card Project is well worth reading!


©Copyright 12/5/2012  by Mary K. Clark.  All Rights Reserved.

Scroll to Top