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The San Antonio Book Festival proudly presents GET LIT with Maria Hinojosa, Emmy Award–winning journalist and anchor of NPR’s Latino USA, featuring Maria’s new book, Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America, which tells the story of immigration in America through her family’s experiences and decades of reporting, painting an unflinching portrait of a country in crisis. Maria will be in conversation with actress and immigrants’ rights activist, DIANE GUERRERO.
About the author: Maria Hinojosa’s nearly thirty-year career as a journalist includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WGBH, WNBC, CNN, NPR, and anchoring and executive producing the Peabody Award–winning show Latino USA, distributed by NPR. She is a frequent guest on MSNBC, and has won several awards, including four Emmys, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club. In 2010, she founded Futuro Media, an independent nonprofit organization with the mission of producing multimedia content from a POC perspective. Through the breadth of her work and as the founding co-anchor of the political podcast In The Thick, Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad. She lives with her family in Harlem in New York City.
About the book: In Once I Was You, Maria shares her intimate experience growing up Mexican American on the south side of Chicago and documenting the existential wasteland of immigration detention camps for news outlets that often challenged her work. In these pages, she offers a personal and eye-opening account of how the rhetoric around immigration has not only long informed American attitudes toward outsiders, but also enabled willful negligence and profiteering at the expense of our country’s most vulnerable populations—charging us with the broken system we have today.
This honest and heartrending memoir paints a vivid portrait of how we got here and what it means to be a survivor, a feminist, a citizen, and a journalist who owns her voice while striving for the truth. Once I Was You is an urgent call to fellow Americans to open their eyes to the immigration crisis and understand that it affects us all.
About the moderator: Diane Guerrero appeared on the hit shows Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin. She was just 14 years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., she was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family. She has written about her family in the Los Angeles Times and her book In the Country We Love, and she has appeared on CNN to discuss immigration issues. She also volunteers with the nonprofit Immigrant Legal Resource Center. She lives in New York City.