Author Archives: The Stripes

The Place of the Black Collegiate in the Fight for a Better World

As Princeton students, we are often reminded that due to our privileged positions, we are also the perfect candidates – that’s right: presidential candidates, senatorial candidates, and even big consulting firm candidates. Our leadership potential is assumed upon entry, and perhaps this is why we sacrifice everything from our youth to normal sleeping habits. As someone engaged with the tides of activism in its many forms – from social media activism to grassroots organizing I have come across a large range of people interested in changing the world. A great number of those I run across are college students or graduates.

However, because the average American still cannot afford to attend college without incurring massive student debt, folks who attend four year colleges often get categorized as part of the “elite”. Marxian scholars would even characterize such figures as part of the “petit bourgeoisie”. This is despite the fact that there are many students at schools like Princeton who come from low income backgrounds, receive full financial aid, and work multiple jobs. Unsurprisingly, this is especially true for students of color and more specifically, black students. The dynamics of race and class are more evident from within Princeton, yet from an outsider’s perspective, by enrolling at Princeton one is alienated from the proverbial masses.

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My mother’s Buddhist shrine

My mother’s Buddhist shrine

is a cheap, improvised thing –

Bodhisattva miniatures

found at East Meets West

(two aisles down from the healing crystals and New Age sex toys),

arranged over gold dollar-store table cloth,

draped over the nightstand from my parents’ first American bedroom,

drawers mostly blank envelopes and binders full of old utility bills.

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JOIN US ON Monday (12/11) AT 5PM







An Old Catholic Church in a New Political Era

This past summer, I decided to be a tourist in my own city. A born-and-bred New Yorker, however, I have learned in my nineteen years to avoid crowded sights such as Times Square and Midtown like the plague if I wish to keep my sanity. I discovered a new way to enjoy a piece of New York’s cityscape: church hopping. Churches, ornate and unapologetically enormous in a city well-known for its expensive real estate, are numerous, aesthetically pleasing, and perhaps best of all, free for everyone. Rich, poor, bold, meek, native, or foreigner—all are welcome to the physical manifestations of New York’s strong Catholic community.

I have used the word “strong,” but it is perhaps not as strong as it once was. Catholics leaving the Church for a non-religious life, or even one of atheism, is no longer news. Feeling isolated from the Catholic Church’s traditional stances or simply no longer interested in the banalities of a life of prayer and weekly Mass, many American Catholics are not as “Catholic” as they once were generations past. The Archdiocese of New York, which administers to New York’s Catholic churches, schools, and the community at large, has responded accordingly. Four years ago, the Archdiocese launched its “Making All Things New” campaign, a euphemism for closing churches and combining parishes to cut costs in the face of a dwindling base of support among New Yorkers. Sunday Mass at the Church of St. John the Martyr, where I cried as a newborn baby, drew in my coloring books in the pews as a toddler, and altar-served as an awkward pre-teen, became a thing of the past when the church shut its doors in 2015. However, it remains standing and intact, a silent beacon of what once was on New York’s Second Avenue.

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Letter From the Editors: 2017 Fall Letter

Dear Readers,

Welcome back! We hope your summer was full of excitement, relaxation, and thought. A lot has happened since we last spoke: difficult and divisive events such as protests in Charlottesville, North Carolina; controversial statements made by President Trump; persisting instances of police brutality; President Eisgruber’s statement on DACA; and a series of devastating natural disasters continue to shape our political discourses. We hope that it has become apparent to you, as it has to us, how important it is to have the kinds of conversations that The Stripes aims to bring to the forefront of our campus discussions.


Each year, we strive to bring The Stripes closer to our imagined utopia: a place where everyone on campus can engage in conversations surrounding identity and politics, and directly interact with new and different opinions on some of the most important topics to our Princeton community and the world. This year, the stripes looks forward to continuing our mission of providing a platform for traditionally underrepresented voices within the Princeton community to reflect on personal experiences, perceptions, and minority identity. We hope that by providing a space for critical reflection on issues affecting marginalized groups, individuals are  better informed, more willing to engage in intellectual conversations surrounding these issues, and inspired to take meaningful action to change these realities.

To this end, we would like to thank last year’s staff and contributors: without you, the our efforts would be fruitless.

To the Class of 2021: welcome to campus. We encourage you to engage with us critically and thoughtfully. We would love to hear what you have to say about us, our world, and our campus.

As always, we want to know what you –yes you– want to read and talk about. If you have content ideas, would like to write for us, or have questions, concerns or comments, please shoot us an email at

It’s a new year, and The Stripes is back and better than ever.

Your Editors-In-Chief,

Lauren Richardson and Cierra Robson

A Letter To Those Who Don’t See Me – A Reflective Piece on my Visibility at Princeton

To the Population of White Liberals at Princeton,

I call your name to ask you what time it is because my phone is dead. You don’t respond. I call your name the second time, remembering who you are despite having first met you less than 20 minutes ago. I know you’ll never remember mine until I repeat it to you for the 12th time, until I show you my prox and help you sound it out. There is something about societal invisibility that makes me observant of all that is around me. Continue reading

A Song For Us

The bass comes in – high and bright. The steady, slow knock of the snare. Simple, clean, groovy. In true R&B fashion, this tempo makes you want to move your head and snap your fingers keeping your hips still. The bass dips quickly, bringing the mood down. The tone is a bit solemn now, but still groovy. In the background Solange Knowles sings passively the words, “One for us.” The keys enter with a fresh, simple progression and, just as they simultaneously, Solange simultaneously inhales in anticipation of delivering the thirteenth heartfelt message from her newest album A Seat at the Table. Continue reading