August 28, 2023
In the Alta article Abolition, Anarchism, and a Question of Action, Diego Báez reflects on the books and editorials that have shaped his political view. He begins his review in 2009 and concludes with the present time. These writings include Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire and Revolution in the Borderlands, and an editorial for the New York Times titled “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police.”
Diego Báez has a debut collection coming out in February 2024, Yaguareté White. In this collection English, Spanish, and Guaraní encounter each other through the elusive yet potent figure of the jaguar.
The son of a Paraguayan father and a mother from Pennsylvania, Baéz grew up in central Illinois as one of the only brown kids on the block—but that didn’t keep him from feeling like a gringo on family visits to Paraguay. Exploring this contradiction as it weaves through experiences of language, self, and place, Baéz revels in showing up the absurdities of empire and chafes at the limits of patrimony, but he always reserves his most trenchant irony for the gaze he turns on himself.