Friday, January 29, 2010

In Memory of Howard Zinn

(photo by Joyce Culver)

Howard Zinn, author of The People's History of the United States was an extraordinary man who changed the way we look at history and spoke for the people who couldn't.  I had the honor of meeting him several times when he spoke at the 92nd St. Y.  Most recently, when my colleagues and I produced "Voices of a Young People's History of the United States," hosting actors who brought the words of some often-forgotten historical figures to life on stage.  You can hear his intro to the evening by clicking on the top photo of my sidebar.  The Y, in fact, hosted the first of over 60 performances of A People’s History of the United States in 2003- that performance featured Alice Walker, James Earl Jones, Marisa Tomei, Kurt Vonnegut, Danny Glover and many others and can be seen here.   Below, I've compiled a few favorite quotes.

The memory of oppressed people is one thing that cannot be taken away, and for such people, with such memories, revolt is always an inch below the surface.


We need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

 Historically, the most terrible things - war, genocide, and slavery - have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.


What matters most is not who is sitting in the White House, but "who is sitting in" -- and who is marching outside the White House, pushing for change.


If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

14 comments:

Carol said...

We have lost a great dear man... a voice for justice and sanity. One of my heros! How wonderful you met him and your efforts towards a sane world... Brava!! Thank you so much for this post. I plan on doing one too. I am assuming you have seen Amy Goodman's show dedicated to Howard Zinn! I found you at blotanical... Love your blog. Political and plants are personal. One of my favorite quotes you listed is " Historically, the most terrible things - war, genocide, and slavery - have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience." We will miss you Howard! ;>(

Cafe Fashionista said...

It's so sad to see so many powerful authors losing their lives this week. R.I.P. :(

Joanne said...

Definitely a legacy left behind in words. I love this one: What matters most is not who is sitting in the White House, but "who is sitting in." It sounds like he really tapped into the pulse of the country.

tina said...

So sad to see such grand people pass on. Sorry for the loss of your friend Jen.

tut-tut said...

Thanks for this! I'll be back to read and listen.

Talon said...

How sad that another enlightened soul has left this planet. Thank you for sharing this, JGH.

Ronda Laveen said...

Great tribute post! He was a bright light in our world and will be sorely missed.

Karen said...

What a guy. Speaking for those whose voices get lost in the shuffle, so powerful and necessary. Very cool that you were part of that deal at the Y, I remember reading about it! Thanks for this nice memorial for a great man.

fairegarden said...

A true hero! We mourn the loss of a voice such as his. Sanity amid chaos.
Frances

Noelle said...

What a wonderful legacy he has left. I love hearing 'real' history from an objective point of view.

sam said...

His was an important voice, not only for the country but for me as an individual. I look forward to listening to your links!

pattil said...

Oh, thank you for educating me on Howard Zinn. Why, oh, why, do we not have articles like this on front pages???

Or maybe I ama reading the wrong things...

Gail said...

A very fine tribute to a wonderful human being! gail

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