Pulitzer Prize-Winning author Junot Díaz was Bill Moyer’s last guest of 2012 and sat down for an hour-long conversation on the current state of affairs in the U.S.
Díaz discussed his personal history and straddling two cultures and discussed the United States’ past and future.
Moyer’s showed a clip of Díaz’s appearance at Facing Race 2012—the national racial justice conference organized by Colorlines.com’s publisher, the Applied Research Center. He shared short clip of Díaz arguing we should all be more like José Martí, the revolutionary poet and hero of Cuba’s independence from Spain.
“You need to cultivate the Martí mind—the Martí mind is simply that as much love as I have for my own group I have for every other group. To take possessive investment in each other’s struggle, where whatever is happening to the gay community is happening to us, whatever is happening to the Asian community, that’s us, instead of commodified possessive in our identities we need to take possessive investment in our other community’s struggles.
You can watch the full interview in the video embedded at the top of the page or shorter promo clips below.
First, Díaz cautions us about relying on “myths.”
Here, Díaz describes how his first visit to a library astonished and inspired him.
“It was an astonishing thing for a young kid who grew up in a society like Santo Domingo — where I didn’t have access to libraries — to be told, ‘this belongs to all of us,’” Díaz told Moyers.