Ja’Niece Grayson Grayson 1
Prof. K. Douglass
25 September 2011
Essay #2, Prompt #3: Public Self vs. Private Self
In the essay “ From Outside, In” Barbara Mellix expresses how her and her family use the two different languages, Standard English and Black English, at different times to show that they can speak proper English when needed as well and not just black English. Her story relates to having a public a private self because she is switching in between two different languages as if they were two different lives; while at home with her mom she would speak Black English, and then when she is out in public she speaks Standard English. A public self is who and how someone acts outside of their private self, which may or may not show the real personality of who they are. The advantage between having a public and private self is being able to communicate and meet new people in the process; I believe my public self does not compare to my private self because my private self is more focused on being relaxed, stress-free, and healthy, whereas my public self is focused on being goofy, reserved and hardworking.
The advantage of having a public self-separate from my private self is being able to take a risk and be goofy, reserved and hardworking. When out with friends and family I immediately become comfortable and goofy. I feel if a group of people such as family and friends have known me all my life, I should be comfortable with them. On the other hand, in public around people that I am not familiar with, I can also become reserved. I'm shy around people I do not know that well, but I can take the risk at times to get to know others for who they are. If I'm goofy all the time around people I don’t know they will not take me seriously and get to know the real me. Me being goofy and outgoing allows me to open up to people and show them the real me.