Students had the privilege of exploring the mind of award-winning author and journalist Diane Roberts on March 29th. Roberts is currently a professor at Florida State University and has four books under her belt along with many other accomplishments including, writing an article about Lillian E. Smith titled “Stay and Resist” in the fall 2016 issue of Oxford American.
Roberts talked about her life before all of her success, beginning at her high school career when she thought she was an excellent writer because all of her teachers would give her praise. However, once she got to college it was a completely different story.
Roberts turned in her first paper feeling accomplished, that she sure had definitely made an A worthy report, but sadly when it was returned it had red marks all over it. Her professor at the time sat her down to look over every single sentence with her. She began to realize she didn’t like how most of it sounded and then she realized she had a long way to go before writing her first book.
“It was nice to know that someone so successful as her has failed multiple times but never gave up. It shows that it happened to everyone, it is just the matter of what you learn from that failure.” Said Leslie Pritchett, a senior mass communications major.
One of her biggest jobs she talked about was being a part of a radio talk show for the B.B.C., and to most that comes a shock. A southern woman to be the voice of their British radio show isn’t usually heard of, but she enjoyed every minute of it. “It just shows that when we are looking for jobs in the future to not limit ourselves, we could end up going across the world doing something we never thought we would end up doing,” said Nate Roys, a sophomore mass communications major.
Roberts is known for her spoken truth on what it is like to be a southern woman in the 21st century without the stereotypes people have given her. One of her known stories she talked about during the event was her experience in interviewing the head of the white supremacist group in Tallahassee, Florida. Roberts said he was very polite to her to begin with, but once she wrote her article about her opinions of the organization and their actions he called her a “bad dog”.
Roberts isn’t new to people having there personal opinions about her writings. She has plenty of hate mail and is not phased by. She says it means people are reading her work and “The worst thing is being ignored”.