Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Howard Zinn (1922-2010)

Howard Zinn died today. An historian best known for A People's History of the United States (1980) an alternative history that told more than the mythical history of America, but told the history of labor organizers, native americans, blacks and women. Dr. Zinn was known for his activism for civil rights and anti-war mvement from Viet Nam to Iraq. He also wrote a play about Emma Goldman "Emma" (1976).

He modeled activist teaching. From his autobiography You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (1994): "From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than 'objectivity' ; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it."

Howard Zinn's voice today was silenced, but his words still move me/us to action.


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