Ten Years After Howard Zinn’s Death — Lessons from the People’s Historian

Washington, D.C.

On the tenth anniversary of Howard Zinn's death, educator Bill Bigelow reflects on why Zinn's messages still resonate today.

"It’s always worth dipping into the vast archive of Zinn scholarship, but as the United States flirts with another war in the Middle East, as the presidential campaign raises fundamental questions about the kind of country we will become, and as the world confronts a potentially catastrophic environmental crisis, now is an especially good time to remember some of Howard Zinn’s wisdom....

"Zinn urged educators to teach a people’s history: 'We’ve never had our injustices rectified from the top, from the president or Congress, or the Supreme Court, no matter what we learned in junior high school about how we have three branches of government, and we have checks and balances, and what a lovely system. No. The changes, important changes that we’ve had in history, have not come from those three branches of government. They have reacted to social movements.'...

"As we remember Howard Zinn on the 10th anniversary of his death, let’s count him among the many social justice heroes who offer proof that people’s efforts make a difference — that ordinary people can change the world."

Bigelow includes link to a video and transcript of Zinn's address to the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference in Houston soon after the election of Obama.

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AWTT portrait of Howard Zinn
AWTT portrait of Bill Bigelow
AWTT portrait of Fannie Lou Hamer