This week has been a big one for writers of color. On Monday, the MacArthur foundation announced that Pullitzer Prize winning Dominican American writer Junot Díaz was one of the recipients of this year’s MacArthur Genius Grant Awards.
On Tuesday, Díaz took to his Facebook page with a note to the people who helped make it possible:
Thanks to everyone who wrote a letter to make this happen. Thanks to all the teachers and librarians and booksellers who kept me in circulation through the long silences. Thanks to the beautiful readers who did the same. This honor belongs to my community, whose sacrifices and courage and yes genius made me possible. Gratitude without end.
The $500,000 award was one of 23 given out this year by the foundation to writers, scientists, musicians, and photographers. Award-winning Ethiopian American author Dinaw Mengestu was also announced among this week’s winners.
If you want to see Junot Díaz in action, make sure you register to attend our national Facing Race conference this year in Baltimore, where he’ll be the keynote speaker.