Remembering Howard Zinn, Historian and Activist

Remembering Howard Zinn, Historian and Activist

TheANSWER Coalition joins with the anti-war and progressive movementworldwide in mourning the loss of historian and activist Howard Zinn,who died Wednesday at the age of 87. While we extend our deepestcondolences to his friends and family, we also note that his 87 yearsconstituted one proud, unceasing effort in the fight for justice.

Weknow further, that while Prof. Zinn may be gone, his books, which haveopened so many eyes and minds to the hidden history of the UnitedStates, will continue to inspire generations of activists to come. Itis no accident that each year the sales of his People's History of theUnited States continued to outpace the prior year's sales (a nearlyunprecedented feat in book publishing).

His intellectual and historical contributions are only one part ofProfessor Zinn's life and legacy. Indeed, he learned about history bytaking part in it. Professor Zinn became involved in the struggle forjustice in the 1950s, as the modern Civil Rights Movement was beginningto grow in the Deep South. As a professor at Spelman, he lent hisadvice and support to the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee(SNCC), the youth movement that was taking bold action against JimCrow. While his activism ultimately cost him his job, Prof. Zinnrecalled that he "learned more from [his] students than [his] studentslearned from [him.]"

Prof.Zinn dedicated the next half-century to opposing militarism and warabroad, and injustice at home. He practiced what he preached,frequently joining the picket lines of striking workers and lending hisvoice to the anti-war movement.

In2007, in a statement for the ANSWER website, Prof. Zinn wrote: "I'll bemarching March 17th, with my wife, with friends, to express oursolidarity with all those people, all over the country, who demand thatthe United States bring our troops back from Iraq. We need to makeclear to the Democrats in Congress that we expect bold action from themto stop the war, to save the lives of Americans and Iraqis, and use theenormous sums wasted on war to serve the needs of the people."

HowardZinn endorsed and worked with the anti-war movement to build thestrongest opposition to the Iraq invasion and other colonial-type wars.On March 20, when tens of thousands march together we will honor thework, the legacy and the example of Howard Zinn.

Indeed,this is how we will be honoring the life and legacy of Howard Zinn: bybuilding the movement and protests that he always approached with somuch energy and enthusiasm.

Long live Howard Zinn, activist and people's historian!

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