Ecological Identity

Official Logo of Eric Christopher Jackson

One of the underlying currents of my artwork and writing is to show, especially young African-American kids, that there is more out there for you to become than a basketball player, a football player, or a rap artist. It’s fine if that’s your gift, your talent. But not everyone is supposed to be one of these three. There are so many more options available. I encourage people to search through all of them to figure out where you fit.

There was a Faculty & Staff Gallery Opening Thursday night at the college. I was walking through the crowd, being nosy, (I’m kidding) developing my photo-journalistic skills. This black student walks up to me and says, “I saw your work and I’m going to read your essay from the Environmental Science class. I really like your work though!” I thought to myself: ‘Wow, I completed that assignment in June 2013 and Professor Beck is still showing incoming students my work. Now, since I’ve mentioned it, I have to post it here.

This is my Ecological Identity. We had to write a five-page essay and create a visual representation of how we impact the Earth, our world, the issues. I’m aware of some issues, loosely following them. I have “issues” with some of the issues concerning the environment. But I never discussed them. So, my visual became a man, looking away (my condition at the beginning of this class). Gradually, difficult assignment after difficult assignment, my attention turned towards the issues, still without looking at them. And “the tape” was peeling off as I began to feel the need to say something. This, being the final assignment of the class, also shows my final state: looking at the issues, no tape over my mouth. I had the strength and the will to “speak” about the important issues typed out in the background. I did so as we all had to present our work in the class and participate in discussions throughout the Quarter.

The five-page essay, with references, is included in my recently self-published book. The book is entitled, “Speak”. This class, this assignment, really opened up the floodgates to my willingness to verbally and artistically communicate with complete strangers. I finally realize that I have a lot to say about a myriad of topics. I only need to figure out how to express my emotions creatively with enough tact not to anger too many people. 😀 Seriously though, someone will always be angry, offended, and kick back at my stance on certain topics. But that shouldn’t stop me from speaking succinctly (and politely, with the proper level of respect to others) about the issues.  ECJ

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