Jessica Daniels Aspiring Writers Scholarship Essay

Jessica Daniels Aspiring Writers Scholarship Essay

I express with my wrist the fight of my fist. These are the words that come to my mind when I sit down to write a poem, when I’m writing a paper, or when I’m expressing thoughts in my journal. I have found freedom in written words, whether they be my own or the words of others. Written words can’t be misconstrued. Factors like body language or facial expressions don’t interfere with their power. They stand firm on the page, open to interpretation, but never changing. Through written words we can preserve and evolve our understanding of the world we live in. Through their many forms, written, written words have the power to inspire the leaders of tomorrow.

I have seen words molded and shaped into tools use to uplift the soul. This practice is very personal as much of my understanding of the power of the written words comes from the women in my family. It is, in fact, a crucial component to the way we express our love.The most intimate and thoughtful messages I have ever received from my mother were in the form of letters and I have learned to express my love the same way. When I want to apologize or express my gratitude, I write letters. This is a tradition my grandmother began. She had a prayer box in which she wrote down prayers for each member of my family. Most of the women in my family keep several journals, expressing our most intimate thoughts and feelings. As I grow, I write, and when I reflect on my writings I realize that my life is an evolving story, and that is what makes it beautiful. One of the many powers of the written words is its ability to show us where we’re going and where we’ve come from. Through the narratives of people like Frederick Douglass and Assata Shakur, we can begin to understand the meaning of life. By writing words down we expunge forgetfulness. As we reflect we can learn from the mistakes of the past and look expectantly towards the future.

I believe firmly in the power of intergenerational discourse. There’s just something about the stories of those who’ve come before me, from people who’ve seen the other side and have experience both the highs and lows of life. There are many people I wish I could sit at the feet of and absorb the knowledge they expel. The beauty and power of the written word is that it makes death seem as if it doesn’t exist. Through their words, the people we have lost can be with us forever and as we read, we cultivate the tools necessary to shift culture, to break barriers, to make change. Written word has the power to inspire those who will lead us into a brighter future. From poetry to scholarly discourse, written words comes in many different forms. Through these forms we can create culture. Nina Simone’s most powerful songs started off as written words, as lyrics on a page. Through the poetry of artists like Maya Angelou and novels written by women like Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde, I have learned what it means to function in this body of mine, how to love myself and everything I come with. I have learned what it means to express myself creatively and what it means to fight for freedom. Written words transcends both time and space and as they fulfill different purposes, they help us transform our world into the place we desire it to be.

I am grateful for the slaves who learned to read and write under candlelight or moonlight in both the literal and figurative darkness of American plantations. Without out their resilience I wouldn’t have the courage or ability to use the page as a tool, as a Northern star guiding me to freedom. I am grateful for the written prayers of my grandmother, for the words my mother wrote me that hang above my bed. Honoring those who have paved the way for me , I choose everyday to pick up a pen and write out the path to my future. In doing so I hope that I amutilizing the power of the written word as I use them, in their many forms, to encourage and push someone else to continue to continue this fight for freedom, utilizing pen and paper to reveal the fire in their hearts.


Last Updated: Saturday, March 31, 2018



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