The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Stereotypes (31 found)
Note: These stories are from Represent and its sister publication, YCteen, which is written by New York City public high school students.
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Jessica experiences racism and internalizes it. A natural hair blog and a growing understanding of society help her see that black is beautiful. (full text)
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The author learns about a theory called "the looking-glass self" in sociology class: When we change our appearance, people treat us differently, and that changes us. As he grows from gang kid to young businessman, the writer sees this happen to him. (full text)
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Chimore ponders how other black people use the "n" word lightly and jokingly. The word's history as a tool of oppression ultimately keeps her from joining them in using this or any slur. (full text)
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When she enters 7th grade as the only black student in her class, Desiree is thrown into confusion about her racial identity. (full text)
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Dwan is teased by fellow blacks for “acting white” and wonders why people can’t be more open-minded. (full text)
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As a Muslim teen who dresses traditionally, Sara becomes an object of attention after 9/11 and gets harassed on the street. (full text)
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Odé learns that a close male friend has a crush on him. (full text)
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Xavier is prejudiced against homosexuals and therefore terrified when he finds himself attracted to men. (full text)
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When George, who is Chinese, moves to the Bronx, he is frequently taunted by black kids. But after a black youth befriends and defends him, George moves beyond his stereotypes. (full text)
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Jamal speaks standard English, can’t dance, and prefers baseball to basketball. Does this mean he’s less black than his peers? (full text)
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Marcus, a foster youth, is hurt by the way his peers associate bad behavior with being in foster care. But when he overhears a girl gossiping maliciously about a foster child in her family, it's the "normal kid" who's acting like a "problem child." (full text)
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Sandra’s friends have lots of stereotypes about lesbians—but Sandra’s gay sister proves them wrong. (full text)
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Edwidge describes the bewilderment, culture shock, and stereotypes she faces on arriving in the U.S. from Haiti at 12. She will later credit this essay with helping to inspire her novel Breath, Eyes, Memory, which became a New York Times bestseller. (full text)
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Christina aims to dispel the various stereotypes associated with people who live in the projects. (full text)
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After putting up with insults and stereotyping for most of her life, Ruby decides to speak out to dispel untruths about Muslims. (full text)
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YCteen writers talk about how to make the world a more equitable place and move past stereotypes that harm people of all genders. (full text)
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“Being Chinese felt like a bad kind of different, like a crack in a wall,” writes Winnie. Determined to push back against the racist remarks she encounters, Winnie takes action and writes a play. (full text)
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In grade school, Gaby is often called an Oreo and writes, “I began to feel as if I wasn’t black. That I was an outsider in my own race.” (full text)
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After Yousef, a Muslim, faces ignorant comments from peers and his teacher about Islam, he speaks up. However, Trump's anti-Muslim speech stokes his anxiety. (full text)
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Aniqa reports on racism experienced by black students in her school. When a #hashtag is created to inspire students to speak out, the school community must confront difficult issues. (full text)
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Austin wrestles with the pressure he gets from friends based on an Asian stereotype. "You're made to be good in math," they say. (full text)
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After Lisuini learns the history of the ‘n’ word, and “how it was used to abuse and demean black people,” he decides to drop it from his vocabulary. (full text)
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Andre says he feels like he has more in common with a white runner or writer than he does a black hip hop artist. (full text)
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Here several teens share their experiences in an effort to help others move beyond ignorance, fear, and stereotyping of Muslims. (full text)
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Aissata, an immigrant from Senegal, is stunned by her classmates’ ignorance about Africa. We do wear shoes, she writes, and don't have lions for pets. (full text)
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Julieta Velazquez challenges common stereotypes about immigrants, questions the contention that immigrants are taking jobs from American citizens, and asks who really profits from illegal immigration. (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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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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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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Janill, who is Ecuadorian, is bothered when people assume she’s Puerto Rican or Dominican. (full text)
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At 14, Oni decides she no longer wants to be isolated from the hearing world and transfers to a public high school. (full text)

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