By Madison Pena and Emmy Liederman
News Editor and Former Editor-in-Chief
Students at the College are tired of remaining silent — they are turning to Instagram to recount the microaggressions, exclusion and sometimes blatant discrimination that people of color face on a predominantly white campus.
Black at TCNJ, which was created at the end of June by an unidentified student, has secured nearly 2,500 followers. It is one of several emerging Instagram accounts that invite marginalized members of the community to anonymously share their stories.
“I hope the people that have caused damage to these students, faculty, staff and alumni come across this page and realize that we are done staying silent for their comfortability,” said the creator of Black at TCNJ, who wished to remain anonymous. “We are all tired of hiding. It’s time that this campus takes accountability for their actions. It’s their turn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
After seeing the outpouring of posts on Black at TCNJ, several other accounts have been created to provide anonymous platforms for students who are marginalized to share their stories, such as Disabled at TCNJ, Jewish at TCNJ, LGBTQ+ at TCNJ, Womxn at TCNJ and The Truth about TCNJ.
The Instagram pages continue to amplify the stories that have been “swept under the rug,” according to rising junior economics major Tia Suggs, in an effort to begin holding individuals and organizations accountable for incidents of racism and prejudice.
Aside from shedding light on incidents that may have gone unnoticed, pages like Black at TCNJ also aim to provide a support system and a sense of safety for marginalized students at the College while urging organizations and administration to take action.
“I have never felt more brown than when I’ve been at TCNJ,” said Ambar Grullón, a rising senior English major. “I am reminded that I am perceived as nonwhite when I am ‘othered’ in the classroom and even by peers. It is frustrating to relive these traumas through reading these testimonies, but I hope that they strike a nerve and incite productive action.”
“Black at TCNJ” has received more than 200 submissions. Here are some of these stories.