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HSBurke's picture

Internet Identity

Part of me struggles with keeping my real name as a part of my user name. Just the other day, one of my Customs babies told me that they found me on this thing called Serendip.


That was my first thought. I felt "found out". Stumbling over my words, I tried to explain that it was for class, my posted opinions solicited by the requirements of academia, so on. She responded with silence -- politely listening to my ramblings. And it was her silence that tipped me off to something. I had nothing to be ashamed of, nothing on Serendip that warranted my sudden reaction. Every thought here is something that I would feel comfortable sharing off the net, too. 

I'd considered changing my name to something more obscure since the beginning of the semester, but I realize now that that is unnecessary. I'm not ashamed of what I have to say, and I don't feel as though my privacy is breached by allowing non 360-ers to read it. By detaching my name, I would be in a way stifling my own voice. 

Chandrea's picture

Race: Still Relevant?

I was interested in Gross' statement about how a white factory worker named Gabe Blum asserted that black men were the most intelligent and honest of workers but didn't have access to more job opportunities simply because of the color of their skin (47). It makes me think about how some people think we actually live in a post-racial society. I find it hard to agree with that idea because of the institutional racism that still exists in our world. It's subtle racism - the policies we maintain in certain instituational settings may not be made purposely to discriminate against a particular group of people, but the outcome is that it does. I volunteer at an organization where I help my clients access social services, and I was helping one of my clients apply for a job at a retail store. The questionnaire on the store applications are unnecessarily tedious and repetitive, but at one point it asked for my client to identify her race. Although it was ultimately her decision whether or not to disclose that information, I still felt annoyed that that was even a question. Why did I have this nagging feeling that if she indicated that she is black, it would be a huge factor in whether or not she would get the job? If a white man were competing with a black man to get a job, who do you imagine would get the job? I acknowledge the fact that other factors are considered when employers look at different applicants but can we really say that race has nothing to do with it? I feel like this situation would have the potential to involve racism, but it's so subtle.

Sarah's picture


For my avatar I chose an image that shows the surface of water.  I went back and forth about putting a picture of me, but because I was unsure about the level of anonimity I want to maintain on serendip, I decided that I could always do that later.  I chose this image because when you are looking down at a surface of water, you can see a general picture of what's beneathe, but it's not completely clear.  This is sort of how I see my presence on serendip at the moment.  I am trying to put myself "out there" (online, where anyone can see), while still trying to maintain a boundary (I'm just not quite sure what that boundary is yet).  My view my username "sarah" similarly.  Everyone (or at least most people) in our class know who I am when I post, but if a random person were to go on serendip, the name "sarah" isn't very informative because it's so popular.  Both my username and avatar allow me to express myself, while still maintaining some sense of privacy.

ishin's picture

12Sept2012Vision1: Noticing "Colored Amazons"

Gross makes an observation in the introduction of Colored Amazons that's stuck with me as I read about these cases and their history.  "For most [of these women], their criminal records serve as the only documentation of their lives." (pg.4-5)  It strikes me in a way that I cannot shake.  We, after all, live in a time where we are constantly anxious of the legacy we may leave--may it be by the "greatness" or change we want to bestow on the world, or even by becoming paranoid over the paper-trail we leave on the internet.  In other words, we understand that we have a history and constantly think about it.

These women, however, would have almost never existed.  They were given no birth certificates, no social security code, no formal identification of any kind was given to them when they were first born to let us know that they were born and continued to lead lives.  Instead, we were close to not acknowledging their presence on this earth and to being blind at their imprint on the world.

sdane's picture


Thought you guys might find this interesting.

HSBurke's picture

Colored Amazons available as Ebook!

Hey guys. Hopefully this is helpful but I just discovered that Colored Amazons is available as an Ebook through Ebrary. So, no paying! 

Here's the link:

couldntthinkofanoriginalname's picture

Relevant TED talk about the Injustices in the American Justices System

I realized today that this 360 reminds me of one of my favorite TED talks by Bryan Stevenson, an activist and lawyer in the American justice system. Similar to our 360, Stevenson brings up issues of race and poverty in our justice, or more like our injustice, system. More importantly, he highlights how there is a silence in our society about the injustices that mar the image and realities of individuals in prison. I invite everyone to listen to this TED talk, it is definitely worth listening to and thought-provoking. I think he does a beautiful job at talking in depth about his vision for our justice system, the unheard voices in prison and the silence that keeps society as a whole from caring.

I also wanted to leave you with my favorite quote from the talk:

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve done” –Bryan Stevenson

I have also posted the link here:

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