PlainSpeak is not just a name it’s a way of life


Names say a lot about a person or a thing. Obviously, I wanted a great name for a great blog! I didn’t want to name it Kathryn since I want posts to be more than just my opinion. I don’t have any cool nicknames so that wouldn’t work either. As I was trying to think of a name for my blog, PlainSpeak (PS) came to me immediately. It’s short, sweet, and simple but it also packs a lot of meaning for me.

In the last two posts, I wrote a lot about who I am and what I want to bring to the blog. In this post, I want to explain my thoughts about the name and vision of PlainSpeak. PS is not about food, sex, or religion but it will cover a lot of interesting topics. This blog is not about the topics themselves, it is about having meaningful conversations with good friends. I hope PlainSpeak! will be a place where knowledge empowers us to seek further information and take action. To be cliche, the philosophy is knowledge is power!

If I had to describe my culture it would be Southern Black. However, my family is very multicultural because of our travels and also my adoptive sisters that come from Chicano and Indian backgrounds. Some of my best friends come from different traditions such as Greek-Serbic, Nigerian, Australian, Egyptian, German-Irish, and other ethnicities/traditions. In spite of our differences, we all have similarities and can share experiences in a common language that binds us together as friends.

For instance, PlainSpeak can highlight multicultural thinking like Henry Louis Gates’ theory of, Signifyin(g), so that the blog becomes PlainSpeakin(g). Gates theory of Signifyin’ is one of the most praised contemporary Africana theories of the 20th century. It explains the phenomenon within black culture of using characterizations and slang/Black vernacular language (Ebonics) to portray double-meanings to describe one’s TRUE feelings or opinions.

Standard English words such as whip, cool, boo, crib, girl are all homonyms of a slang/Ebonics word so that these words has a standard and a slang meaning within the African American community. Essentially, it is figurative language. Therefore, even when attempting plain speech, I will use symbolism, imagery, and/or politically correct language because this is the world in which we live.

PS is about using everyday language in order to better understand the current issues and events that affect you and I. Overall, we will explore topics in a conceptual way to encourage discussion. I hope it will serve as a vehicle to channel positive energies to share thoughts, words, and deeds. In this space, we can share our thoughts on a wide variety of topics in order to gain insight and further empower ourselves and others.

PlainSpeak (PS): PlainSpeak is meant to show the importance of being multicultural… To be a part of something that is bigger than one’s self.


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