Moyers & Company

Full Episode: 'An Optimist for Our Times'

This episode aired on April 13, 2012.

Angela Glover Blackwell has spent her adult life advocating practical ways to fulfill America's promise of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for all. Now, with our middle class struggling, poverty rising, and inequality growing, the founder and chief executive officer of PolicyLink, an influential research center, finds reasons for hope in the face of these hard realities.

Bill Moyers and Blackwell discuss what fuels her optimism.

"I'm not discouraged, and I wouldn't even dream of giving up, because we're at a moment right now where I think we have more possibility than I've seen in my adult lifetime," Blackwell tells Moyers. "Part of what I've been feeling is that all the issues are finally on the table... So many people who are being left behind are now in places where they have voice, and influence, and they're forcing their way into the conversation."

"America doesn't want to talk about race," Blackwell states, but says the future "is a five-year-old Latina girl. It is a seven-year-old black boy. What happens to them will determine what America looks like."

"And so this country, as a democracy, really cannot expect to continue to be proud on the world stage, competitive in the global economy, or having a democracy it can put forward as working in a multi-racial society if we don't invest in the people who are the future."


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