On Thursday, Pulitzer-Prize winning author Junot Díaz accepted the Hispanic Heritage Literature Award at the 29th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards in Washington, D.C. Check out this powerful quote from the speech and watch the speech in its entirety below:

“Our community is the paragon of strength, of resilience, of creativity. We are the only superpower this country will ever know. We survived everything this world threw at us. We survived wars, survived dictators, survived torturers and violence endless violence and borders all the damned borders and hunger and the loneliness of the newcomer to a new land. We survived the loss of home, the loss of family, the loss of languages. We survived no one knowing how to say our names and we survived not knowing how to say our own names. We survived our parents suffering and their silences and their scars that speak louder than the bombs that put them there, we survived our confusions about who we were in a country that only seems to speak black and white, and we survived not speaking English, not speaking Spanish, not speaking and the paperwork all that damn paperwork we survived that too. And we survived the ingratitude of the nation where we settled, the nation we help build and for whom we always die. We survived the infinite heartbreak that is the true story of immigration and we survived the agony of not knowing how to bear witness to that story and to our selves. And we survived the hate—the hate that never seems to die—that hate that pretends to be patriotism, that pretends to be security, that pretends to be leadership, the hate that won’t listen to reason, to morality, to compassion. We survived it all; we are the people who survive—We survived everything, survived even the surviving which is one of the hardest survivals of all and in the middle of all that surviving some of us even learned to live. Our story is an epic, a saga, an odyssey. We crossed continents, we crossed oceans and every time there was no way we made a way. We are the children of bridges –bridges made from our backs our tears our sacrifice and from all the ones who never made it across with us.”

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