The April 2018 issue of National Geographic magazine is devoted to how race defines, separates, and unites us—and it clearly hit a nerve.
Illuminating the human journey has always been a core part of our mission, so it made sense for us to cover one of the most important issues of our time. Our cover featured fraternal twins who look very different from one another, we published articles covering topics that range from police stops to white anxiety to the lack of scientific basis for race, and editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg wrote a letter calling out the racism of our own past coverage.
We knew our readers would have a lot to say about the way race has impacted their lives, too. Millions of you read our stories, and the response across all our social media platforms was tremendous.
I was born in Togo in West Africa and was thought that we are all God’s creatures. My sister is married to a French, my uncle to a Russian and countless cousins married to German, Indian, Korean... I’m surrounded by diversity and I can’t see the world without it. #IDefineMe https://t.co/wS3pWNukfE— Natalie A Nubukpo 🇨🇦 (@akpenubp) March 14, 2018
@annakhs @NatGeoMag One happy fam. I’m Hispanic and Anglo with indigenous blood from Mexico, my husband’s Native. Our son Native+Hispanic = New Gen, New America. This is our future. Two gen, 3 different histories and races. #IDefineMe pic.twitter.com/rNqURHBQD4— firstname.lastname@example.org (@bohemianouveau1) March 18, 2018
Our 2 same mom/dad both African Amer. but with quite a diff. look. Early on we recvd many stares and quest. even from family and now at 12 & 13 they are getting the same stares & questions "you're bro & sis?" I hate that for them, but they're prepared to address it. #idefineme pic.twitter.com/J5gdjcNTfD— Dr. Ciuinal Lewis (@DrCiuinalLewis) March 13, 2018
Some of you even took our hashtag, #IDefineMe, as a creative challenge and responded with poems and blog posts.
We also asked the National Geographic Your Shot community to make images that thoughtfully visualized what comprises their identities and to share those images with us. Kholood Eid, a documentary photographer based in New York and the editor for this Your Shot assignment, is looking for images that creatively answered the thought-provoking question of who we are as individuals.
This issue of National Geographic and the conversation it has sparked are just the beginning of a series of stories coming up that explore race and diversity in America. Our goal is to help people better understand the world and their role in it. Through #IDefineMe, we want to continue the discussion about the complexity of race and identity in today's society, dispelling myths and helping us move forward in a positive way.
And we want you to continue to be a part of that. Through photos, Instagram posts, Tweets, videos, or Your Shot assignment submissions, share with us how you see your own identity using #IDefineMe—whether or not race is a part of it. We want to know how you define yourself. So what’s your story?