@blackatshs aims to create understanding within community

The Instagram page @blackatshs aims to build bridges within the Westport community amid nationwide racial discussions.

Graphic and Picture by Marina Engler '21

The Instagram page @blackatshs aims to build bridges within the Westport community amid nationwide racial discussions.

We live in a time where the ability to communicate with thousands lays at the tip of our fingers. As discussions regarding race grow across the nation, many within the Staples community want their voices to be heard. Thus the creation of the Instagram page @blackatshs.

According to the Instagram account’s bio, the purpose of the page is to increase understanding and discussion within the community. 

“We encourage all members of the community to reflect on their role in perpetuating racial trauma and injustice,” @blackatshs states.

Followers are encouraged to share their experiences with race in Westport through a google form located in the account’s bio. The author has the choice of remaining anonymous or including their name and grade, and submissions are posted on the account.

“Sometimes people aren’t always comfortable with talking about their experiences with racism,” Linnea Jagenberg ’21 said. “The account gives students an outlet to talk freely.”

The idea of the account is to empower Black students at Staples to share their stories, ultimately amplifying the voices that are so often unheard in Westport. 

“Before the Black Lives Matter movement, a lot of students and faculty were indifferent to the constant berating of the Black community’s experiences,” Jagenberg said. 

Contrary to the account’s name, this is not only a space for Black students to tell their stories. Anyone who wants to express their ideas can use the page as an outlet.  

“Some people that aren’t black have experienced [agressions, such] as people in the Asian community, as racism against Asians is so normalized,” Emorej Hunter ’22 said. 

With the account already having over 700 followers, many believe that this is an effective way to go about discussion within Westport. 

“As someone who does not understand the challenges that many in our community face, the Instagram page allows me to gain insight into stories which I believe are really important to hear,” Chloe Chaple ’21 said.

The ultimate goal is to build bridges of understanding within Staples and beyond. 

“For people of color, Staples has never been a safe haven,” Jagenberg said. “The Instagram page allows POC to reclaim their voices.”