More Black High School Students, Alumni Using Instagram to Describe Racial Experiences

Two new Instagram accounts – detailing experiences with racism – recently started among black students and alumni at Walter Johnson High School and Bethesda Chevy Chase High School. 

The new Instagram accounts, “BlackAtWJ” and “BlackAtBCC,” started after black students and alumni at Walt Whitman High School first created their page on June 14 in an effort to address their racial encounters. Individuals spray painted racist graffiti on campus just one day before the Whitman Instagram account first appeared.

Both B-CC and WJ black students and alumni created their Instagram accounts on June 21. “We MAY think that our school is inclusive and diverse but there have been MANY incidents that have been demeaning & disrespectful but no action has been taken,” the caption of WJ’s first photo stated. 

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This page was created for black students at WJ high school in Bethesda to share their experience at this predominantly white school. We MAY think that our school is inclusive and diverse but there have been MANY incidents that have been demeaning & disrespectful but no action has been taken. Due to the recent protests surrounding black deaths at the hands of police brutality it is time to shed light on the much needed conversations that need to be had within our own community. We see that WJ has been trying to combat the divide in our school with study circles, racial bias training, and other “inclusive” tactics. But where is the change? We go right back to our daily lives as if nothing happened. If we are ever going to make a change in our community it starts where we prepare young leaders for the future. So if you find yourself on this page, please share and spread awareness about these conversations. Take accountability of things that you yourself have done to be racially bias, whether it be colorism, ignorance, racism, or just blatant disrespect. Join the fight to make a change. #mcps #blacklivesmatter #blackstudentsmatter #blackvoicesmatter

A post shared by @ blackatwj on

The Instagram accounts give anonymous testimonies from current and former black students, some who graduated as early as 2013 and others who will graduate as late as 2023. 

“My sophomore year my English teacher would continuously be surprised at my writing capabilities because I was born in an African country and that’s not expected to happen,” a post on the B-CC account stated from a class of 2021 student. 

The Instagram accounts also sparked after the death of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality. Protests across Montgomery County and the nation continue, with demands for police reform and racial justice.

All three Instagram accounts’ profile pictures feature the official symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement—a fist in the air representing liberation among the black community. 

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About Shauneen Miranda

Shauneen Miranda is currently an intern at Montgomery Community Media. She is studying journalism with a concentration in sociology at the University of Maryland.

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