GALLIPOLIS — One tradition leads into another and this past weekend, the Emancipation Celebration included noting the 25th annual Emancipation Proclamation Scholarships.
As previously reported in the Tribune, the Gallia County Emancipation Board’s 2021 Scholarship Awardees were announced as Jarrell Scott and Markeya Gardner. Scott will be attending the University of Rio Grande, studying Business Administration; Gardner will be attending Ohio Northern University studying Forensic Biology. Each graduate was awarded a scholarship in the amount of $1,000.
Twenty-five years ago, Arthur Clark’s cousin asked him to be the keynote speaker for the Gallia County Emancipation Proclamation celebration.
“I said to her, what would you have me talk about and she said, ‘that’s entirely up to you,’” Clark said. “It really put me on the spot.”
Clark said he grew up with his cousin who was intelligent, tough, gracious and persistent. It was his cousin who inspired Clark to do more, creating the Emancipation Proclamation Scholarship.
“It’s really, really certainly based on, you know, her inspiration to me,” Clark said.
Clark said he likes to have have scholarships recipients share “a little bit about themselves” but he was so impressed with Scott’s essay, he asked him to read it.
The essay was based on what he calls “one of the greatest moments in history,” the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Scott wrote about the little things leading to the large outcome — the abolishment of slavery.
“When you look at the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation has had, even today, you have to ask yourself, where would our country or even the world be if it had never happened,” Scott wrote. “How much would America be differently? Would slavery still exist? Where will we be at as a race? Even questions like, would I even exist or what country even exists if [the] Emancipation Proclamation had never happened.”
Scott said while there is still work to be done he is thankful for how far the world has come because of the legendary document.
“I’m thankful for what Lincoln did in that time and I’m thankful for the Emancipation Proclamation, I wouldn’t want to live in a world without it,” Scott read.
Scott went on to read the rest of his essay on the impact and memories he has from the celebration held in Gallia County.
“I am thankful for the history I have learned after all of our Emancipation celebrations,” Scott read.
Along with the two page essay, recipients had to show academic achievement and collect three letters of reference.
© 2021, Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Brittany Hively ius a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (740) 444-4303 ext 2555.