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
This essay was written three years ago on Martin Luther King Day in Oxford, UK.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday: January 15th, 2015.
I woke up at noon and scrambled to make myself presentable enough to eat in the dining hall. I lingered in front of the mirror, contemplating what to do with my hair. I hadn’t braided it last night, resulting in increased volume and loose, wild curls. My grandma, a Southern woman born and bred, would’ve called it “bushy.”
Last winter, an incident shook the quiet college-town of Charlottesville, Virginia, and brought dormant tensions over race relations bubbling to the forefront of local media. Having just returned home for winter break, I sat at my kitchen table and opened a local newspaper to the headline “Knockout: Victims of brutal Downtown Mall assault want arrests, and answers from police.”
In 2012, a study examined the correlation between TV watching and self esteem in children, and came up with some not-so-surprising results: white boys who watched television had higher self esteem, while white girls, black girls, and black boys who watched television had lower self esteem. Both lack of representation and associations with undesirable behavior contributed to the low esteem outcomes, while, on the other hand, white male characters were far more often associated with strength, logic, and accomplishment, as well as a more varied set of character traits.
On Monday, over 300 Princeton students gathered to protest the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot 18 year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9th.
The Stripes was on the ground, covering the action. Below is a collection of our best shots from the protest, some accompanied by commentary from students who participated.
Last month, Justin Simien’s film “Dear White People” premiered across American theaters. Days before its official release, the film had an early screening near Princeton University campus as a part of Princeton’s black alumni reunion weekend. Since that showing, and the subsequent nation-wide release, several members of The Stripes have watched DWP and weighed in with their impression. Continue reading
It is not uncommon for transnational adoption to double as transracial adoption, and in those instances families must strive to reconcile a new set of cultural, ethnic, and geographic concerns. A persisting race-conscious and race-critical American society inadvertently forces some adoptees to confront not only why they look different from their parents, but also why they are subsequently treated differently. Nonetheless, the American tendency to adopt from abroad is higher than ever, and our already diverse nation is witnessing the addition of many newly diverse households. The arduous process of upholding an adoptees’ multicultural identity relies on the proactivity of the parents, the community, and of course the adoptee him or herself.
“Who cares?” says Jerry Seinfeld about diversity in comedy.
I do. In early February, Jerry Seinfeld made remarks about his role in increasing diversity in media. He states: “People think [comedy] is the census or something, it’s gotta represent the actual pie chart of America, who cares?” I believe complaints about minority representation in media are not particularly calling for creators to diversify as an obligation, but question how the media is not reflexive of our diverse society. Continue reading