PS: You talk about the importance of knowledge and arming yourself with it. As a Black Puerto Rican scholar, how does your scholarship tie into your investment in organizing?
You have to spend however long you have on this earth scrambling, clawing at, and maintaining some dignity. Life's too precious and fragile of a gift not to fight for that.
JS: I frequently feel really powerless, overwhelmed, depressed, infuriated, and, frankly, despairing. I guess I look to the past for examples of people who felt the same, faced worse circumstances; were enslaved, enserfed, incarcerated, immiserated, addicted, violated, debilitated, massacred, and so forth. Yet, they survived, they thrived, they fought back, and sometimes they won. You have to spend however long you have on this earth scrambling, clawing at, and maintaining some dignity. Life's too precious and fragile of a gift not to fight for that.
PS: That reminds of the quote from James Baldwin, "You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read."
JS: I suppose it's easier to be inspired in that way when it comes to people that resemble you, or at least that's probably the attraction for me. I also want to make sense of why they were oppressed, and perhaps the whys and hows of their circumstances could illuminate my own? I mostly think that it does.