Position(s): 2021 MiC Managing Editor, 2020 MiC Assistant Editor
Section(s): Michigan in Color, Miseducation
Semesters at The Daily: 4
Michigan in Color is one of one — a place of, by and for resistance, revolution, understanding and inspired community. I entered 420 Maynard for the first time with not even an inkling of how deeply I would come to understand these truths in the years to come.
MiC taught me complexity, that every moment in history and in the present possesses a million nuanced perspectives; about objectivity, that objectivity is not and should not be neutrality; and about companionship, that engaging in community does not necessitate the physical presence of those within it. MiC has given me the opportunity to learn from a physical group of thinkers, through both tangible and intangible manifestations of our collective work — the pieces we have written together and those we have each written separately, discovering one another through the editing we have engaged in together. And thus, community is a constant presence for MiC, even when we are not all physically together.
There is so much to say about MiC and everything it has shown me; trying to define it all and lay it all out is an impossible feat. Everything intangible it has given me, I will take with me throughout my life — notably, the lesson of writing, in its cyclical nature, in its indefinability. I seem to circle back to one thing: Writing is often the very thing that sparks a twinge of embarrassment, tension rising in my shoulders and teeth gritting as I read something I wrote a year, two years, five years ago. I have learned to embrace and understand this tension with the knowledge that this means I am not who I was yesterday. There is immense comfort in that, and undeniable unrest. Amongst assorted scribbles in my notes reminding me to return to certain videos, performances, albums, books, tasks — or visit them for the first time (Miles Davis “So What” (official video), “MiC to-do list,” PJ Morton piano album, James Baldwin: “The Last Interview: And Other Conversations,” “finish writing senior goodbye,” “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers”), I know one thing is true. I will never stop engaging these scribbles. MiC has taught me to keep my “Drafts” folder full, always continuing its ever-expanding movement into the realm of unfinished thoughts, attempts at making sense of a mind in constant flow and unrest.
This piece itself is a conglomeration of little snippets, little thoughts, little notes. But what is writing and what is a story if not for a conglomeration of passages, paragraphs, sentences, words until something makes sense — or even, makes truth.
And if we are to regard journalism as truth-telling, which I most certainly do, then it is somewhat immortal. It lives much beyond the physical vessel with which it is displayed. But journalism is anything but absolute, and I have learned that truth can be expressed in many ways. The very understanding of what journalism is has slowly unraveled and become less and less definitive for me, and that, I am convinced, is one of the greatest realizations of all.
I am not who I was a year ago, and this role has changed me. I cannot express my gratitude enough for the pleasure of changing and for the sincere honor of becoming anew. Michigan in Color holds regard of the highest order in my heart and at my very core, and along with it — its People. These People who wake up every day and choose pursuit of truth, community, spiritual understanding and self acknowledgement. I offer my sincerest gratitude and love to all those who came before, both in my life and in the life of Michigan in Color — the founders and those who chose with active conscience to uplift its mission every day, every month and in this lifetime.
To anyone who has engaged with my work and the work of Michigan in Color and its members, you have given me a blessing and I thank you deeply for allowing me to choose this work.
This is a reminder to myself that inspiration will strike unassumingly and in perhaps, what we may even consider, inopportune moments.
I was asked, in writing when I first took this managing editor role, what my intentions for MiC were, and I answered: “My intention for MiC is such that we remain a community of mutual care and art told through introspection, creativity and truth. Our expansion within the realm of the newspaper is but an extension of the kinship of our safe space.” So much has changed since January, but this has remained my intention. We worked toward achieving the aforementioned, and part of that is knowing that we will never have “reached.” But this is the ultimate pursuit in my mind, a broad notion that reminds us that our work is ongoing and never finished.
In a class I took during my first semester at MiC, we read a book about writing and in it, I found a quote that has stuck with me ever since: “The Japanese have a word, aware, which speaks to both the beauty and pain of our lives, that sorrow is not a grief one forgets or recovers from but is a burning, searing illumination of love for the delicacy and strength of our relations.” I am sorrowful to leave MiC, but I don’t think I will ever fully have left. I am incredibly and profoundly grateful for this fact — that this work will never leave me, nor will I leave it. And of course, I write this piece with the full intention of returning to it when time has passed (probably gritting my teeth with a twinge of embarrassment) but feeling all the same love and gratitude I do at this current moment. I know that I am forever changed because of this group of People and the place MiC is; that will forever humble me and fill me with such great joy.