Thank you for spending part of your summer with us in WRI 100; it has been our PRIVILEGE to work with you on your writing and to share ideas with you. It has been a PRIVILEGE to be part of the University of Michigan CSP Summer Bridge, and I hope you feel the same. It’s important to consider the positive side of PRIVILEGE, while keeping ever vigilant against its negative side that arises from prejudice and (bad) habit. I hope that you continue to add to your portfolios in WordPress, as using the Internet to express yourself in writing is a PRIVILEGE specific to your generation of student-writers. You all did not start this fight, it was begun many generations before any of us, but it is our responsibility, and perhaps PRIVILEGE to be the ones to end it. Writing is one of the best ways to combat the harmful downsides of PRIVILEGE. Look at what Marlon James, Ulysses Burley, Mat Johnson, the EJI, and many others have done: Write about it! If you see something that’s not right, take a picture! Write about it! Post it to your WordPress, share it on Twitter or Facebook or any of the other ‘socials.’ Believe in your unique power to do good work, to make a difference, to be successful, to be educated. Don’t wait until after you graduate to get started. Start now! You were selected to be part of the UM class of 2021 not because we expected you to quietly study all four years, but rather, because you represent a new definition of the best and brightest, and we want to hear from you, NOW, and going forward. So stay out there, stay in touch, keep writing! Thank you Gabrielle for your amazing support and help as C.A. for the class! Thank you all: Jade, Brian, Eliyas, Deron, Olivia, Jordyn, Hannah, Alexis, Jasmine, Andres, Ashley, Joshua, Malikah, Elaine, Sofia, and Christopher! Go forward and do great things!
p.s. Here is an art project that I offer for future discussion, and as an example of keeping the edge sharp, and refusing to accept privilege. It came about as the result of eating a simple piece of blueberry pie, http://www.achatzpies.com/ when I noticed the packaging, and then pulled out an old paper doll book that I got for my daughter many years ago (she is now 23). The two sets of images together made sense. I was also at the time watching some of the AMC series “Turn: Washington’s Spies” http://www.amc.com/shows/turn/video-extras/season-04/episode-09/next-on-turn-washingtons-spies-season-4-episode-9
Clearly, there is a problem with the branding of the Achatz pie packaging. Clearly, ‘American Family’ paper doll book is absurdly, and only, white. Yet the AMC series “Turn: Washington’s Spies” does include several major/minor characters who are not white, and who have families, and who play important roles in the so-called Patriot community.
The art project is called: “What is wrong with this picture? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE! [subtitle: Are you fucking kidding me?] a/k/a The Revolution will not be commercialized.”
For Malikah P. and Ashley H.
Mixed media, photography, filters in Photoshop
By Elizabeth Ferszt, 2017
Ann Arbor, Michigan