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White Girl: A dialogue on race


Last fall, we spotted a story from The Washington Post and wanted to share it with you, knowing it was powerful and knowing it would trigger conversations unlike any story on race we've run. It appeared both here on and in the Scene section of The Seattle Times.

It's a story about race and about two cousins, one black and a reporter for The Washington Post, the other, mixed race who'd moved in with her cousin in Washington, D.C., and who called herself white.

When the story ran here, we asked you to tell us what you thought. The response was overwhelming, in the number of replies we received from readers, in the content of those replies and perhaps most importantly in the interest readers had in keeping the conversation on race going.

We've kept it going. We resurrected comments from readers which you can read here (They originally were posted in October.) and later we asked both the author and her cousin to write about what's happened to them since the original piece first appeared. Those stories are here, too.

And then came ABC's Nightline and its upcoming broadcast on The Post piece and what The Seattle Times and its readers did in response to it. You can use our link to the Post to read the story that began it all, and then come back to to see what happened after we carried the story. And you can participate with us, too, in a new forum on race which you can also access from this page.

Dialogue on racial identity continues [August 10, 2000]
Plunged into a nationally televised debate about race, Washington Post reporter Lonnae O'Neal Parker and Seattle Times reader Peggy Sakagawa, of Kirkland, kept talking in private, until it hurt. And then some.

Comments from readers [May 16, 2000]

Comments from readers [May 15, 2000]

It took guts to write 'White Girl?' - and it took guts to respond [May 4, 2000]
The choice to run Lonnae O'Neal Parker's original piece was not a choice at all. There was no question in my mind. It was too good not to run.

'White girl?': 'Nightline' joins our conversation [May 4, 2000]
Launched by a provocative story from The Washington Post, we started a conversation with you last fall - an in-your face, sometimes painful dialogue about race. What you said sparked letters and stories that have continued for more than half a year - and tonight we take another step. A crew from ABC's "Nightline" traveled here to talk to Seattle Times readers, and at 11:35 p.m. on KOMO-TV, barring a postponement for breaking news, you'll see the next step in our dialogue.

'White Girl?': The story, and dialogue, continue [January 4, 2000]
When O'Neal Parker's story ran in The Seattle Times, we asked you to read it and tell us what you thought of the piece and the issues it raised. Score of you did, and reprinted many of your responses just a few weeks ago and then sent them off to the two cousins.

Comments from readers [October 22, 1999]

Comments from readers [October 22, 1999]
Excerpts from just some of the letters we received - powerful, poignant, controversial and certainly courageous.

'White Girl?': Cousin Kim Is Passing. But Cousin Lonnae Doesn't Want to Let Her Go. [August 8, 1999]
Read the original story written by Lonnae O'Neal Parker from The Washington Post.

Keep the dialogue going
Send in your thoughts about this story and the issues it raises.

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