This article recounts how I came to write for the Pan-African magazine, New African, and draws on my personal experience as a columnist to discuss a range of issues, including the challenges I faced writing for a non-academic publication as well as the controversies that arose within the magazine over my own racial identity. I also highlight how opinion writing, in particular, tends to generate a highly personalized form of criticism, in which the author rather than his or her ideas can come under attack. I conclude by arguing that if the humanities are to survive the current economic crisis, which has caused many to question the utility of a liberal arts education, universities need to more actively support the efforts of scholars who are writing for audiences beyond the narrow confines of academia.