Basically the core of my research interests, except summarized succinctly and eloquently by Cameron Awkward-Rich.
Here’s the rest of the quote but be sure to check out the full interview on Bettering American.
“I actually think it’s quite weird to imagine that social change can happen without literature, since books of various kinds (and I’m counting oral traditions as “books” here) tend to be where ideas are stored and transmitted, where each generation learns all over again what the world is like, and has been like, and might be. How do you have collective action without collective imagination?
That said, I don’t think that writing is always, or even usually, the same thing as activism. Writing a poem is not the same thing as throwing a brick, marching, scattering ashes on the White House lawn, raising funds, allowing yourself/you story to become the basis of civil rights litigation, on and on. But, you know, a poem can provide the language of these actions. A novel can show us the world that makes such actions necessary. Etc. On the flipside, activism has made it possible for more and more kinds of people to be recognized as writers, more and more stories to circulate. So, the two things depend on one another.”