Junot Diaz in Conversation (Not with Me)

Following is some knowledge that Junot Diaz dropped on Tuesday, September 19th at Scripps College:

  • The specific can be universal.
  • You can’t produce the same art when you sincerely want to be famous or are seeking approval.
  • There are conversations to be had outside of the rubric of approval.
  • When a book works, it works to the degree of the individual.
  • For straight, white males, the artist, somehow, is not a civic actor.
  • However, the artist NEEDS to have civic engagement.
  • Radical hope is a practice.
  • The narrative of our victimizers encourages that we only fight when victory is certain.
  • Power and hegemony actively reconstitute themselves.
  • The problem with power is that it wants to isolate you.
  • Our sense of who we are and what we seek to be free is dynamic.
  • You have never seen young people with less accountable institutions in history.
  • Your violator will always have a cover story to justify why you are in pain.
  • All of us are always in hegemonic institutions based on contradictions.
  • As a POC in America, you are always living a double consciousness.
  • “You are here [in college] with a promethean task. You are here to steal fire,” (Diaz).

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