YCteen publishes true stories by teens, giving readers insight into the issues that matter most in young people's lives.
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Issue #222 (September/October, 2010) issue cover
Race: Let the Healing Begin

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Margarita introduces the race issue by explaining that, while it may be uncomfortable to speak honestly about race and ethnicity, it's a necessary step toward racial healing. (full text)

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Nesshell summarizes the Shirley Sherrod story that arose in the national news during the summer. She concludes that the way media and government figures reacted to Sherrod's message bodes badly for prospects of racial healing. (full text)

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Evin's parents warn him to avoid certain neighborhoods and he develops a wariness toward anyone from the "ghetto." It's not until he befriends kids from hood that he learns to separate "bad neighborhoods" from the people who live there. (full text)

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Jimmy, who is Asian-American, becomes friends with a Puerto Rican classmate and they visit several of the city's Puerto Rican neighborhoods together. Jimmy learns to appreciate another culture and develops a new appreciation for his own Chinese background. (full text)

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YCteen interviews three experts on race: Rinku Sen, a racial justice activist; Lasana Harris, a neuroscientist who studies how our brains process race; and Dalton Conley, a sociologist and author of the memoir "Honky." (full text)

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Evin interviews Adam Mansbach—author of a novel in which white people spend a day apologizing to black people—and ponders the usefulness of the word "sorry." (full text)

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Ebony critiques the usefulness of HotGhettoMess.com, a website that seeks to shame blacks and Latinos who "act ghetto" and perpetuate negative stereotypes about people of color. (full text)

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Kelly explains the historical origins of the idea of race, which has no basis in science. She argues that we should be taught to appreciate our essential sameness as well as our differences, since moving beyond race will make it more possible for people to be judged by their actions. (full text)

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Renea reports on a series of studies that show how our brains are hard-wired to categorize people by race. She explains that, although some biases may come naturally, there are easy ways to counteract them and become more open to people who are different from us. (full text)

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When Irving realizes that his 4th grade teacher has been criticizing and isolating him because he is dark-skinned, he develops a plan to prove that skin color is not an obstacle for learning.
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In junior high school, Nesshell was ostracized by her peers for "acting white." More recently, she was taunted and called the N-word by white kids in a chat room. Labeled on both sides, she wonders in frustration whether people are capable of seeing her for herself. (full text)

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Meghan is the only white girl in Anita's junior high grade. When Anita, a black person, befriends Meghan, she learns about a culture she never experienced before. (full text)

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Samantha, who is black, has a difficult adjustment to the overwhelmingly white University of Michigan. (full text)

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After talking to author Adam Mansbach, Evin realizes that white people in America still enjoy certain advantages. (full text)

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After being mugged by two black boys, Chantal—who is African-American, herself—starts to think that racial profiling is justified if personal safety is at stake. (full text)

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Margarita unintentionally offends a black classmate. After the two girls cool down and talk, they find friendship. (full text)

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As a person of mixed race, Brittany has never considered interracial relationships a big deal. She interviews peers who have been involved in interracial relationships to learn more about the practical pros and cons. (full text)

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Virginia Vitzthum answers teens' questions in the second installment of Sex Ed's Q&A (full text)

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Tell us about a time when you were tempted to seek revenge on someone. What did the person do to you? How did you finally respond? How do you feel now about what happened? (full text)

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Describes a recent wave of attacks on Latin Americans in Staten Island, the community's response, and the definition of a hate crime. (full text)

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Angelica researches the origins of some common ethnic and racial slurs, and notes that it's the intent of the user—rather than anything inherent in the word—that gives a slur its sting. (full text)

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Nesshell admires the Anti-Defamation League's message of tolerance. But in attempting to spread this message, she learns that she won't always meet with like-minded people. (full text)

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Brief comments from Queens teens on what it's like to live in America's most diverse county. (full text)
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