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Scholarship Essay

I’ve always been captivated by the moving marvel that is film, but it’s tremendous

capacity to connect with others and change perspectives influenced my desire to be a filmmaker.

I specifically seek to challenge the narrow space in which the media has traditionally allowed

people of color to exist within.

As a black female who grew up in mainly white environments, I often felt pressured to

either become my stereotype or exhaust myself running from it, finding little solace in the

limited representations of people who looked like me or shared my struggle. Seeking out other

black creatives, however, played a great role in my healing. Langston Hughes’, “The Negro

Artist and the Racial Mountain” in particular made a lasting impression. He wrote that, in the

face of racial obstacles, he and his fellow “younger Negro artists who create now intend to

express [their] individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame.” Neither the approval of

whites or blacks mattered, as Hughes wrote, “We know we are beautiful. And ugly too.”

In recent years, I’ve not only realized that my race and gender does not limit me to one

way of life, but also that the conflict between identity and conformity is a universal theme,

particularly for people of color, that I want to explore and help others with. I don’t wish to reduce

us to caricatures nor idealize us, ignore our pain and history nor let that define us, but allow us to

see our endless potential for both beauty and ugliness.

My ultimate goal is to write and direct feature films. However, my first step in achieving

this goal is to find myself as a creator. I have attended the Maryland Institute College of Art’s

Summer Pre-college Film and Video program with a scholarship during the summer of 2019 and

am currently taking a video production class at my high school to gain more experience that I

can infuse with my conceptual, intellectual, and artistic studies from my humanities and art

coursework as well as my own personal perspective. Additionally, since spring of 2019, I have

made two short films and am finishing the script for my third. My foremost priority, however, is

to major in film and minor in gender studies at a four year institution, obtaining a Bachelor of

Fine Arts, and possibly pursue a masters. From a young age, my parents have instilled the

importance of a college education within me. I look forward to such an experience not only as an

intellectually curious person, but also because the generations of my family before me were not

afforded such an opportunity. Though I am unsure of what school I will ultimately attend, I have

already been accepted into Howard University, Emerson College, the Maryland Institute College

of Art, Pace University, and Towson University. Regardless of where I go, I plan to tirelessly

seek experience, explore the medium, collaborate with peers, experiment with concepts, gain a

more worldly exposure while studying abroad, and most of all, create.

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