Author Archives: The Stripes

The Black Kids At the Table: Understanding Self-Segregation

This past summer the University of Connecticut made headlines when it announced that it would establish a separate housing section particularly for black male students. Immediately, this decision sparked outrage and criticism, with detractors accusing the administration of encouraging a separatist atmosphere. The magazine The National Review went so far as to say that the new policy encouraged “racial isolation and stereotyping, along with a sense of grievance and a victim mentality”. It reopened a larger conversation about the role that race-specific spaces play on college campuses; the term “self-segregation” began to fly around. Certain sources like the NPR and Fox News paralleled Uconn’s new project with the racist policies of the 1960s. “Self-segregation” almost always has a certain ‘tsk-tsk’ connotation, as if minorities were doing themselves a disservice by primarily associating with those that belong to the same race and/or culture as them. Continue reading


After months of hard work, we are happy to present The Stripes’ second print edition! A huge thank you to everyone that has helped us throughout this process and to all of our loyal readers that make this work worthwhile.

Print copies are available around Princeton’s campus, however,  you can also access a digital version of the print issue online. We hope you enjoy the The Stripes Volume II

The Importance of Affection

This past semester was my hardest semester at Princeton thus far. As a junior, I was confronted with taking five classes for the first time, having to think about my independent research, producing independent research, attending to a more rigorous work schedule, the thought of actual post-graduation plans, familial tensions, maintaining entire relationships and, of course, Continue reading

The Way WeChat: Chinese Americans, Social Media, and Trump

In the months leading up to the election, the prototypical “Trump voter” was endlessly described, dissected, and puzzled over. Summer 2016 gave us extensive post-primary analyses, comparisons to Brexit, and Hillbilly Elegy, with the terms “xenophobic,” “misogynistic,” and “racist” used to describe our fellow Americans with astounding frequency. On the other hand, we were given the assurance that minority voting blocs, at least, would vote in favor of Clinton. Continue reading

Fictive Kinship in the Dying Age of Obama

“All kinfolk ain’t skinfolk” – Zora Neale Hurston

When faced with the astounding fact that there are very few black folks at your institution, any black person may initially seem like a sibling. I remember when I first arrived at Princeton and immediately had this urge to join the Black Student Union. I was simply not used to being around many non-black people, considering my predominantly black hometown. I assumed that by joining the Black Student Union, I would find unity in just being in a room with people with mocha, caramel, burnt sienna skin like mine. As fellow black people, we could understand an arena like Princeton in a way that a non-black person could not. Who else could understand inside jokes about “black culture” and how difficult it is being a black Princetonian sometimes? As a first year, I did not consider or find it particularly relevant that just because someone “looked like me” (which is complicated because black people are perhaps some of the most aesthetically diverse people in the United States), did not mean they had my best interests at heart or even considered our fates aligned. Only later I began to question what words like “community” and “unity” meant, especially in such crucial times when the idea of fictive kinship is perhaps the biggest roadblock to a dialectical understanding of racial community. Continue reading

Letter From The Editors: 2017 Black History Month Picks

Dear Readers,

As we kick off yet another great Black History Month, we are thrilled to officially introduce you to the The Stripes’ new website! After months of hard work from our executive board, content staff, and production team, we are very happy to present this new platform. We sincerely hope you enjoy the opportunity to engage to with our content in new and exciting ways.

In addition to launching our new interface, The Stripes has decided to kicked-off Black History Month by featuring a number of new pieces. Our pieces range from comments about the current political climate, to to the importance of love and family. We are very fortunate to have a passionate and engaging group of writers contributing to The Stripes this semester. So, check out our newest content here and when you’re done, let us know your thoughts via Facebook, Twitter, or email at We really do want to hear what you have to say so keep on commenting, sharing, and engaging with our pieces.

If you still can’t get enough of The Stripes, feel free to look back on some of our favorite Black History Month pieces:

Ferguson’s Role In Black History Month: Check out a discussion of Ferguson, and the Black Lives Matter Movement here, written right in the midst of city and campus protests worldwide.

“This is a fear I have not only for myself but also for the Princeton community and society at large. I am afraid. I am afraid that people will stop thinking about Ferguson because it is easy to do so—because, to many, it is simply no longer news worthy of coverage.”

Black Women’s Lives Matter Too: Read a piece on the oft forgotten narrative of black women in the story of social justice movements here.

“At those same protests in which activists, young and old, highlight the deaths of Black men, I always notice one lone and audacious woman holding up a sign with the names of murdered Black girls and women penned on it.”

Why Does America Need A Black History Month?: Take a look at the argument presented here for why a Black History Month is needed in America, now more than ever.

“American children, especially descendants of the Diaspora, are not given adequate instruction on, not just American History, but specifically Black History. We don’t spend too much time on slavery because it is supposedly too depressing or traumatic for young children, and when we do, the focus is mostly on the impact on the economy, not necessarily the evils of the institution itself and its lasting legacy.”

Finally, we want to extend a special thank you to everyone that has helped up during this crazy period of transition for The Stripes. We could not have come this far without the assistance and support of countless individuals. As they say, it takes a village. So, with that we welcome you to The Stripes new home. As always, we appreciate the time and attention you all give to our work. If you have any comments, questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at


Your Editors-In-Chief,

Cierra Robson and Lauren Richardson


Dear Stripes readers,

Drum roll, please… We are proud to announce that after months of recruiting contributors, editing and designing layout, The Stripes’ first print issue is now available! We are excited to bring you a publication that both celebrates some of our best content and premieres some fresh takes on race, culture and minority identity. We welcome you to enjoy and engage with the essays, editorials, poetry, and photography you’ll find inside.

While we are working to distribute the print copies around Princeton’s campus, you can access the print issue online. Please contact us if you would like to help with distribution or simply can’t wait to get your hands on an issue!


Aisha Oxley, Emily Tu and Lauren Richardson

The Stripes Team


It’s no secret that the literary world is dominated by white, male voices. But some writers and editors of color are shifting the focus. The Stripes EIC, Aisha Oxley, recently sat down with Safia Elhillo, an poet, Cave Canem Fellow and editor at Kinfolks Quarterly, a literary magazine that features black authors exclusively.

Read their conversation below. Continue reading