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Word Count: 726
Upon Whose Shoulders I Now Write Saida Grundy Freshman Composition 103 October 11 2000 Although the pen is in my hand when I write I allow my mind body and spirit evoke the essence of my ancestors and feed my soul from the feast of their experience If the writer must write from observation and experience then mine spins from an ancestral memory harvested long before my birth It has been tilled from the blood of my grandfathers spilled across Mississippi plantations reaped from the teardrops that cluster and drop from the chins of Black leather faces and sewn as seeds in the wombs of my grandmothers My story the story of my people composes my being like the ladders of DNA in my cells The essence of my ancestral identity translates the essence of me as unveiled each time I clasp the pen I recall lying upon my mothers chest and absorbed the honey-soprano mezzo vibration of her voice moving upwards through her bosom The cadence of her precise diction seemed to compliment the beat of her heart Perhaps my mother realized the value of the gift she was bestowing upon me as she modeled such great oratory and writing talent It is from these most intimate moments that I inherited my love for language From the most impressionable ages I observed that great people practiced a great command of words and more importantly great Black people possessed the capability to speak and write our people into freedom Coming of age inside a house saturated with stacks upon stacks Brother Malcolm Zora Langston Toni Cade Amiri Baraka and Sonya Sanchez I did not realize until late childhood that my people were oppressed I did not hear my white teachers nor their white heroes speak and write anywhere near the caliber reflected by these giants of my race Naturally I deduced that great writing was born innately of my people and
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