Writing Portfolio: Part IV

I found the text “Remembered Rapture: Dancing with Words” by bell hooks very interesting. This is not the firs time that I’ve read something by hooks during my time at Transy. (Shout out to Kerri for introducing me to hooks’ work in the first place. #tb to FYS.) The way hooks describes writing and her journey as a writer is very eloquently written, and I really enjoy how she portrays it as a “transformative force.” Although the short and to the point, this description is extremely powerful because I think all writers experience some sort of transformation and push in their writing career at some point. We might not all become “professional” writers or even meet “good” academic standards of writing, but I personally believe that we all grow as writers. Even if some of us strictly write what we have to write for class or if some of us become well-known critics like hooks, I think we all experience a point in which we have a realization about ourselves as writers at some point.

Furthermore, I was also very captivated by how hooks described writing as “pure magic” because I think that all forms of writing are powerful. Whether it’s a critical essay, science-fiction novel, or other form of writing, I think it has the capability of having a tremendous influence on someone. All projects have the power to be the spark for a movement, new ideas, and the enhancement of old ways of thinking. Thinking of writing like this helped me realize that my project—whether I write a traditional paper or create a different type of project—could be a transformative force or even a form of magic.

Moreover, in this essay, hooks discusses how “we write ‘to find secretes in experience that are obscured from ordinary sight’.” This statement is really significant because it claims that writing can call attention to information and experiences that aren’t well-known. Reflecting on this statement, I realize this is what I like todo with my projects. For instance, I did this when I wrote my FYRS research paper about African-American women’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. I, like many others, didn’t know a lot about the role that women, especially African-American women had during that time; therefore, I wanted to research that in order to bring attention to the incredible influence these women had on a significant time period in United States history. I did this when I analyzed a speech delivered by Laverne Cox and critiqued the #NOMORE Celebrity PSA Campaign.

Not only have I done this in the past, I realize that I want to do this again for my senior seminar project. For my final project, I have decided that I want to research what it’s like to be Latino/a  and  a member of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States. Personally, I think my topic is still too broad so I’m still trying to narrow it down more. I would like to analyze the microagressions that these individuals face within their community (so the Latino/a LGBTQ+ community) and also endure from the larger American community. I really want to try creating project that is not a traditional research paper; I have considered creating a website or a documentary of sorts. I want to meet with LGBTQ+ and Latino organizations here in Lexington to learn more about Latino and LGBTQ+ issues so that I can learn how the communities/cultures intersect.

I know that a person’s identity is made up by several factors including race, gender, and sexuality; for that reason, I want to learn how these two aspects are interconnected as well as how they influence a person’s life. I think that it would be neat to make a documentary or video of sorts because I could incorporate videos and audio (with the permission of the participant of course). Maybe this would make the stories of these people more concrete and relatable for audiences that do not know a lot about what it’s like to be Latino/a within the LGBTQ+ community. Telling the story of what it’s like to be Latino/a and a member of the LGBTQ+ community reminds me of how Gloria Anzaldúa describes the writer in “Tilli, Tlapalli: The Path of Red and Black Ink.”

Anzaldúa states that “the writer, as a shape-changer, is a nabual, a shaman.” This quote stood out to me because I like how Anzaldúa describes that the writer is the controller of a store and having influence. The writer is like a storyteller. From what I understand, she portrays the writer in a very uplifting way. I don’t know if I can be as a great of a writer or storyteller of the community I plan to represent in my project, but I want to do it well; I want to help tell their story in a way that lets their voices be heard. If I created a video, I know there are probably all sorts of protocols I’ll have to follow and information I’ll have to sort out if I took this route. However, I’m willing to explore this because I think it will be interesting to try creating a documentary or some sort of video project.

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