iOS app Android app

Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Tony Diaz "El Librotraficante" is a writer, activist, professor and author of THE AZTEC LOVE GOD. He is the first Chicano to earn an MFA from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. In 1998 he founded Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say to promote Latino literature and literacy.

Nuestra Palabra has organized the largest book fairs in Texas and the largest book events in Houston-for any demographic. Diaz co-hosts the group's weekly radio program THE NP RADIO SHOW which airs Tuesday 6p-7p cst on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston, part of the Pacifica network. Live stream and podcasts are available at Nuestra Palabra provided the expertise, volunteers, network and resources that blossomed into the Librotraficante Movement.

In response to Arizona prohibition of Mexican American Studies through Arizona House Bill 2281, Nuestra Palabra organized the 2012 Librotraficante Caravan to Smuggle the wetbooks back into Arizona. Thousands of books were donated from around the country, 4 Under Ground libraries were opened along the 6-city caravan route and a movement was launched. The group continues to defend Freedom of Speech and advocate for Ethnic Studies.

Diaz appears every Thursday live on Fox 26 Houston for the political talk show "What's Your Point?" live 5:30 pm - 6pm.

Entries by Tony Diaz

Undocumented Voter: Running for Office in Texas

(5) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 6:15 PM

2015-10-29-1446127281-6120113-TonyXitlaliPilar.jpg Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, Candidate for Aldine School Board.
"Running" for office is almost a perfect metaphor for seeking elected office.

Running is right. Yes, it's a tired metaphor, but most candidates are exhausted-if they are campaigning right.

Read Post

Arizona Gets Schooled: Update on Ban of Mexican American Studies #MayaVsAZ

(11) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 12:44 PM

Writer Dagoberto Gilb, who is banned in Arizona, author Denise Chavez, Tony Diaz-El Libroraficante, and The Librotraficantes as the Librotraficante Caravan Smuggling Banned Books Back into Arizona stopped in Mesilla, New Mexico. Photo Credit: Liana Lopez-Librotraficante Lilo.
Discrimination is...

Read Post

The Race to MAS: Mexican American Studies for 100 TX School Districts

(0) Comments | Posted February 16, 2015 | 6:27 AM

Students from Mission High School, Mission, Texas. Photo used with permission.
". . . it seems to me to strengthen the argument that the state's regulation is intended with discriminatory intent to hold back a given group of...

Read Post

The House on Mango Street Goes to Trial: #MayaVsAZ

(3) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 10:41 AM

The Tucson students who launched the lawsuit against the state of Arizona to overturn H.B. 2281 -- Maya Arce, Korina Lopez, and Nicolas Dominguez -- next to a picture of former Mexican-American studies instructor Curtis Acosta at the John Valenzuela Youth Center, the location...

Read Post

The Election Detection Kit: 10 Ways to Catch Someone Lying about Voting

(1) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 8:44 AM

Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, with Jose Rivera from Neighborhood Centers, Inc. who provided a van to drive students from the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) at Lone Star College-North Harris to an early voting site in Houston, Texas.

My name...

Read Post

Every Week Is Banned Books Week For Chicanos

(9) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 8:22 AM

Every week is banned books week for Chicanos.

In Arizona, two Chicana high school students, Maya Arce and Korina Lopez, await word of when their case against Arizona HB 2281 goes up before the 9th Circuit Court of appeals.

That's because in 2012, via...

Read Post

Lalo Alcaraz Kicks Off the Border Convo Tour

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 6:58 AM

2014-09-02-10513506_10152257560203715_1378425693205680107_n.jpgLalo Alcaraz is bringing BORDERTOWN to the border state for the Border Convo Tour.
When bridge-blogging is the height of discussion about the border, but only because of its elevation over a highway-then discourse has hit a new low.

Read Post

Texas Teachers Aren't Waiting for Permission

(2) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 2:02 PM

2014-08-08-photo11.JPGVeterano Placido Salazar of the Hector P. Garcia American G.I. Forum testfies at the Texas State Board of Education for support of Mexican American Studies. The TX SBOE told him to wait, again.

Everything changes in a Texas minute.

The same week in July...

Read Post

Do Republicans Hate Latinos?

(3) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 11:58 AM

A June 15, 2011 file photo shows Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file) | ASSOCIATED PRESS


"Republicans hate Latinos." Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta famously uttered these words in 2006...

Read Post

Top 10 Chicano Films for M.A.S.

(5) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 3:12 PM

Josefina Lopez (Real Women Have Curves) with Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante.


Mexican American Studies (MAS) is spreading like wildfire in Texas.

By the time you read this, Texas will have the most schools...

Read Post

Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 11:41 AM

Gaspir Mir III, Dr. Dorthy Caram, Alex Lopez Negrete, Gracie Saenz, Esq, Edward James Olmos, Dr. Tatcho Mindiola, and Tony Diaz kicking off the 2004 Latino Book and Family Festival-the largest book fair in Texas, organized by Nuestra Palabra....
Read Post

The Jury's in: Texas Wants MAS, Mexican American Studies is Act II of the Civil Rights Act

(1) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 5:20 PM

2014-04-04-0gfVMbt9NGJiLATMSYuAPUcFDowraaaSLaMWBUGbzU.jpg Photo Credit: Sophia Flor

The Texas State Board of Education can mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act by voting to implement Mexican American Studies. This would stamp out one of the last vestiges of the discrimination...

Read Post

Ted Cruz Shut Down the Government, But We Won't Let the Tea Party Shut Down Mexican American Studies

(14) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 12:32 PM

2014-01-28-JustinCommSrvc.jpg Photo Credit: Sandra Silva

Texas has become the center of the universe.

I must admit we have some characters here.

From Ted Cruz, a Canadian Cuban-American who shut down the government, to the Texas State Board of Education...

Read Post

Galveston: The Home of Texas Mexican Literature

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 3:31 PM

A version of this article was first published in The Galveston County Daily News Sunday, October 5, 2013


Texas Mexican Literature began in Galveston.

Now don't get nervous.

You already love Mexican-American Studies.

You love Mexican-American Studies when you tan.

Read Post

Columbus Janitors Clean Columbus Day's Clock

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 9:09 AM

It's ironic that Columbus Day falls during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Let's just say that it's not the Day Columbus discovered the Americas. It's the day that Columbus invented corporate America.


He fine-tuned the policy of imposing the royal business agenda on an entire people,...

Read Post

All Educated With No Place to Go

(3) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 1:07 PM

The author circa 1995. Originally published in the Los Angeles Times.

I thought I was a hyphenated American because I chose to call myself a Mexican-American. But looking at my resume, I realize I earned the designation because I've worked as a free-lance journalist,...

Read Post

Mexicans Ain't White: The Gus Garcia Story

(26) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 9:26 AM

2013-07-15-1039641_402104753240728_1611139403_o.jpgPhoto Credit: Zeke Perez

Spoiler alert: The life of Civil Rights lawyer Gus Garcia doesn't have a happy ending, but the true story of our people lies between the echo of the gavel at the Supreme Court hearing, where he brilliantly defended our rights, to...

Read Post

Blue Grass Librotraficantes Use Border Crossing Art to Spread the Chican@ Renaissance to Louisville, Kentucky. Yes, Kentucky!

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 11:50 AM


Saturday, June 22, the Chican@ Reniassance spreads into the fabric of Louisville as the Librotraficantes open at Under Ground Library in Kentucky at the Americana Community Center.

That's right, Kentucky has Latinos! And we're supplying them...

Read Post

7,000+ Attend Outdoor Ethnic Studies Class in Downtown Houston

(2) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 5:31 PM

2013-05-24-MingoandLibrotraficante.jpgAccordion Bandit meets Book Bandit: Mingo Saldivar & Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante. Houston, TX.

Of course, I don't want the organizers to get in trouble for violating City of Houston Fire Codes, so let's say 6,081 attended this amazing Ethnic Studies...

Read Post

The Librotraficante Creed: A Poem

(1) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 12:58 PM

Celebrate National Poetry Month

Read poems.

Write Poems.

Defend freedom of speech & critical thinking.

By Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante

My parents picked crops. I pick my destiny.

My mother and father...

Read Post