Sunday, September 9, 2007


Ever had a moment when a word, a typical word, all of a sudden started to look foreign and you had to think hard about what that word really means? The word "public" is often used as the opposite of "private." I've been thinking of what "public" means since this blog is now, once again, public. It is now open to the general public (you don't need an invitation to view the blog or to register with blogger to view it). Anyone can find their way to this blog, to read my random thoughts and musings, my off-the-cuff remarks about the state of race in America (and any other things I happen to be ruminating on at the time).

There are now rules of engagement, so to speak, about this blog (see the right sidebar). When I began this experiment three months ago, I really thought that only a handful (as in maybe 3-4) people would ever read it--it was really a pre-writing excursion to get me jumpstarted with the book project. But after a surreal incident at the end of July and a lot of thoughtful comments from people, on and off this site, I realized that I'm interested in this blog for a variety of reasons, and like many academics who can't stop thinking of the next project, am hoping to write about my experiences with this blog one-day (maybe sometime soon...more on that later).

Anyway, that's my post for the day. To think about the word public--that there has been a tension in my life between the public and the private. That I value my privacy--I want to contain myself and my innermost thoughts to myself, and yet here I am, going public, with my thoughts on this blog (even when it was by invitation) and by making this blog open to the public once again. And really, I've always been proud that I was a public school girl (educated in California's high school and university systems) and that I teach at a public university. So it does seem appropriate that the word of the day is public.

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