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This Powerful Video Of 12-Year-Olds Talking About Racial Identity Is So Important

"People think I'm supposed to talk 'Ghetto,' whatever that is."

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As part of their Being 12 series, WNYC created this incredibly powerful video of a diverse group of 12-year-olds from New York City schools talking about their racial identity.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via youtube.com

WNYC producer Jennifer Hsu told BuzzFeed that the multimedia project is "about being 12 and how it's one of the hardest, most awkward years of your life."

In answering the question, "Who are you?," Eki identifies herself as being from Haiti and Nigeria.

WNYC / Via youtube.com

James identifies as biracial.

WNYC / Via youtube.com

"My name's Lamine, I'm Muslim."

WNYC / Via youtube.com

Kyona opens up about trying to share her Venezuelan culture.

WNYC / Via youtube.com

Eki recalls an upsetting experience she had when her family was forced to pay in advance at a restaurant.

WNYC / Via youtube.com

Lamine worries about how he will be perceived by the police.

WNYC / Via youtube.com

He adds, "If I try and explain to them, they won't listen — and then just start beating me up and doing terrible things to me."

James says, "I think there's this kind of anxiety that comes with being biracial, like, that eats away at you. Almost like you have to prove yourself as one or the other."

WNYC / Via youtube.com

And Becky, who identifies as African-American and adopted, finds humor in people's expectations of her based on her race.

WNYC / Via youtube.com

Kyona is not going to live down to stereotypes.

WNYC / Via youtube.com

Lydia explains white privilege as "the idea that in your everyday life, you're getting treated differently, and sometimes with more respect, or people just trust you more, or they have certain expectations of you... because you're white."

WNYC / Via youtube.com

You can learn more about WNYC's multi-media series by following them on Twitter and Facebook, #being12.

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