This White Mom and Black Son Never Talked About Race – Until This Horrific Traffic Stop

(Content Warning: Anti-black slurs and violence.)

“I thought that love would conquer all and skin color really didn’t matter.”

In “Traffic Stop,” from the oral history project StoryCorps, an African-American man named Alex Landau talks to his adoptive white mother, Patsy Hathaway, who raised him to believe that skin color didn’t matter.

Find out how one terrifying police encounter changed his “colorblind” views forever. Have you ever had a reality check like this one?

With Love,
The Editors at Everyday Feminism

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Alex Landau, an African American man, was raised by his adoptive white parents to believe that skin color didn’t matter. But when Alex was pulled over by Denver police officers one night in 2009, he lost his belief in a color-blind world—and nearly lost his life. In this video, Alex tells his mother, Patsy Hathaway, what happened that night and how it affects him to this day.

Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews with over 100,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on StoryCorps’ Listen pages.