Ruben Blades and Junot Diaz

Categories: Short Story
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English Composition

“If you didn’t grow up like I did then you don’t know, and if you don’t know it’s probably better if you don’t judge” (Junot D?az). “A lot of times you are just conditioned by what is around you” (Ruben Blades), born July 16, 1948, in Panama City, was one of the most successful salsa musicians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

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On the other hand, Junot Diaz, who is a contemporary American author who was born in the Dominican Republic.

Diaz emigrated to the US in 1974 at the age of six years old and spent his childhood in New Jersey. Blades and Diaz two-person from a different country who came to America with the same dream, blades a Panamanian singer, songwriter, actor and musician. On the other hand, we have Diaz who is an immigrant, inspirational and writer who struggles to get where he is today, who have spent 5 years writing and reading books, and finally, he comes out with drowning at 10 short different stories about his life.

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Writing is Diaz’s life and music is Blades life: both have the same dream differently, and both of them came to another country to start from the beginning to make their dreams comes true.

Ruben Blades was born in July 16 of 1948, Panama City, Panama, Ruben Blades is a Panamanian musician, political activist and actor who was one of the most successful also influential salsa musicians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Blades was born into a musically family all his family loved music as he does. His father, who was born in Colombia but raised in Panama, was a bondo player, and his Cuban-born mother was a musician and actress on radio soap operas. Compare to Diaz who was born in Santo Domingo, December 31, 1968. Growing up, Diaz and his brothers lived in Santo Domingo with their mother while Diaz’s father went to the United States to work and have a better life. His family came to the USA when Diaz was seven years old. Their family lived in a really poor area of New Jersey populated primarily by people from the Dominican Republic. Diaz, however, spend a lot of time reading everything he could at the library.

First, Junot Diaz experiences and struggles in becoming a writer. From the outset, his family wanted something else for him. They did not want him to become a writer because they knew that was going to be very hard for him. It wasn’t that he couldn’t write. He wrote every day. He worked hard at writing. At his desk by 7 A.M. At the dinner table, in bed, on the train number 6, at Shea Stadium. He did everything he could. But none of it worked for him. He kept at it for five straight years, every day failing for five years. Similarly to Blades who had a similar life before becoming famous. During his childhood, Blades was not aware of his family’s financial stability. He never realized how poor was his family until he left his neighborhood. Not only did he start thinking about his economic problems, but also the country’s political situation with the United States was also becoming more and more difficult. This affected young Rubens life, the led him to think about problems he had never even thought about before. Both of them did everything they could. But none of it worked for them. They kept working harder and harder, they cried as they fail. All the years of their life and the dream that they had was all down. Success didn’t come easily – “At first, nobody paid attention except those who went true the same before becoming famous,”. Diaz and Blades felt that people of color did not belong in certain places. “Sometimes you won’t want to apply or reach for things because you fear you won’t succeed.”

Next, Blades initially played the guitar and sang North American rock and roll, but he later composed and performed songs of political protest. Blades’ first notable hit was a song on the 1977 album, Metiendo Mano, that he had composed in 1968 “Pueblo Puelo”. On the other hand, Diaz who started working as a writer, Contributor to the anthology Best American Short Stories in 1996 also contributor of fiction to periodicals. Has also written book reviews for Entertainment Weekly. Also author of the short story “Miss Lora.” Stories from Drown were translated into Spanish and published as Negocios, Vintage Books (Gale, 2016). Junot Diaz’s first book was (Drown). Published in 1996, it is a collection of 10 short stories that first introduced his readers to Yunior De Las Casas. The stories are narrated through the perspective of an adult Yunior, touching on themes related to patriarchal abandonment, homosexuality, immigrant poverty and migration from the Dominican Republic for the United States.

Diaz has a unique voice throughout his writing. No matter the gender of his narrator, they keep a similar tone in their inner dialogue. Each short story is told with a different twist, but they all blend in this collection nicely to craft Yunior’s story. Diaz is accredited with his ability to include the Spanish language tastefully throughout his words, as each piece follows someone of Latin heritage. His use of Spanish slang allows you to better understand their lives and dynamics. Diaz plays with the Spanish language in all of his works, but he does it so powerfully in this collection of pieces (Casto, 2019).

Lastly, Ruben Blades started Seis del Solar, a group based on experimentation. He tried to move away from typical salsa by eliminating the brass section and utilizing certain keys closer to rock. He recorded “Agua de Luna” with the group, this song was inspired by a series of short stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. With Seis del Solar he was awarded a Grammy that showed the much recognition and acceptance needed for his innovative theories with Caribbean popular music.

The group which Blades created kept unfolding and developing, and eventually turned into Son del Solar. Blades continued to explore the problems of Society within Latin America through his music. Ruben Blades gives the songs more speed and movement. Blades again got recognized for his special and unique salsa with another Grammy. Ruben Blades was a pioneer of his time. He tried to universalize his music and tried to destroy stereotypes.

On the other hand, Diaz last book was in 2018, island-born From New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz comes a debut picture book with a lot of imagination. Junot Diaz promised his goddaughters he would write a children’s book for them. He says, “I had no children’s books growing up, not really. My mother didn’t read to me as a kid, not in the [Dominican Republic] or the U.S. – her generation didn’t grow up with that tradition, she didn’t know better. By the time I learned English, I had missed the whole picture-book moment.”

The biography and story of Junot Diaz and Ruben Blades show the inspiration for does who doesn’t believe that you can archive your dreams if you work hard for it, your language should never stop you of doing what you like and what you love to do. I am really inspired of how strong they were and how hard they worked to get where they are now, they had a really bad life as an immigrant in this country, but that did not stop did not stop Diaz from portrays his life as an immigrant in 10 short stories and tell the story of Dominicans living and later transferring to the United States in search of a better life and achieve the American dream. Same with Blades that did not stop him from singing his beautiful song around the world. Diaz worked hard to become a writer when he did not have any idea of what he is going to do with his life, it takes a while for him to know that the only thing that he felt interesting was to read and write. Do not matter the obstacles that he had he became a writer and a really good one as well as Blades who needed to work hard also to achieve his dream. Both of them sparing people who fail and feel down to stand up again, both giving people hopes.


  1. Junot Diaz. (2016). In Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit, MI: Gale. Retrieved from ” HYPERLINK ” article gives an overview of the life and career of writer Junot Diaz. This source will be useful when I write about the author’s background.
  2. Casto, H. (2019, February 13). Book review: ‘This is How You Lose Her’ by Junot Diaz. UWIRE Text, p. 1. Retrieved from HYPERLINK This article explains Diaz works as a writer. This source is useful when i write about the author’s details.
  3. Junot Diaz at Whitman. (2013, November 6). UWIRE Text, p. 1. Retrieved from HYPERLINK ” paragraph gives an explanation of his ability and how he translate Spanish to English. This source will be useful when i write about his details.
Cite this page

Ruben Blades and Junot Diaz. (2019, Dec 19). Retrieved from

Ruben Blades and Junot Diaz
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