The Daily Debater Blog celebrates all the Great Debaters out there - coaches, teachers, students, activists who are using the superpowers of speech and debate to make the world a better place.  We dedicate this blog to you! If you have any stories to share or if interested in joining a speech and debate team, or participating in our free tournaments, please visit us at Thanks! - Erik Fogel,


This Day in Debate History! (April 16th, 2020) Celebrating Rueben Martinez!

In this Day of Debate history, author, activist and entrepreneur Rueben Martinez was born. Martinez used his small barbershop to change the world with his voice! He is a model for any of us who want to change the world. You do not need to have a powerful organization, huge budget, or fancy job title to support you. As the owner of a barbershop for twenty years he transformed his small barbershop into a community center for the Hispanic community and a bookstore - Librería Martinez Books & Art Gallery and Libros Para Niños - to empower his community as well as Hispanic books, authors and artists.

Martinez was born on April 16th, 1940 in Miami, Arizona. At the age of 17 he moved to East Los Angeles where he found a job at a steel plant. In the 1970s he used his savings to open a barbershop where he spent the next 20 years. His barbershop became the community center of cultural events and community activities in the Hispanic Community.

In 1993 he got an idea to open up a bookstore based on the Latino community. California did not have bookshops focused on Latino culture. His collection of books featured books imported from Latin America by Latino and Chicano artists. These books son outgrew his barbershop so he opened up a small bookstore nearby and the Librería Martinez Books & Art Gallery and Libros Para Niños was born! He transformed bookselling to a social movement to support underserved populations in California and the rest of the United States, promote literacy across all ages, promoting Hispanic authors and artists, and empowering the Hispanic American community. His bookstore spread nationally and he as also co-founder of the Latino Book Festival which now tours nationally. In 2004 he was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship for "fusing the roles of marketplace and community center to inspire appreciation of literature and preserve Latino literary heritage."

And so we celebrate another Great Debater! If you are a student, then join your school's speech and debate team! If you do not have one, then start one! If you are an adult, then help support and volunteer at your local speech and debate league! There are many online resources like the that provides free speech and debate opportunities, speech and debate tournaments, speech and debate summer camps, and speech and debate clubs! Be Great! Be a Great Debater! - Erik Fogel,,


The Greek's call it "Pathos." Means the same as "Passion." We have to have energy, sincerity, and believe in what we are speaking. This is very clear in his speech on books and his community. His voice reflects that passion. His hand gestures reflect that passion. His facial expressions express that passion. His body movement expresses that passion. His movement across the world expresses that passion. His personal stories express that passion. His humor and jokes express that passion. SO BE PASSIONATE IN YOUR SPEECH. SELECT A TOPIC THAT MATTERS TO YOU!


Wikipedia Article

MacArthur Genius Award

Youtube Clip

Biography Clip