Thursday, January 28, 2010

Remembering Howard Zinn (1922-2010), a mensch who lived to the young age of 87

[image of Howard Zinn is from *here*

If you did not know him, please take a moment to read up about him and his life. He was one of many examples of how to be a white Jewish man, or a mensch. A mensch means many things--and is not specifically raced or gendered as a term. But to me and to many it means a man of integrity and honor, who respects people deeply and cares fiercely with a compassionate heart. It means someone who loves his spouse as his equal, who loves his children each as if they were an only child, and who cares as much about justice for the oppressed as for anything else on Earth. It is quite the opposite of what it means "to be a man" in dominant white gentile secular society. If living in the U.S., it is to reject that sort of being, in fact, in favor of being a man who is against all forms of domination, violation, and exploitation. Howard Zinn was, among other good things, an anti-racist, anti-corporate, pro-Indigenist historian and writer, and a civil rights, labor, and anti-war activist. He taught a young Alice Walker (and many other students!) at Spelman College, and taught for decades at Boston University. He was a dear man, a mensch to be missed and one to be remembered.

More information will be forthcoming at

This next news report is from *here*.

Howard Zinn, American Jewish historian, dies

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Howard Zinn, an American Jewish historian who wrote the "People's History of the United States," has died.

Zinn, whose best-seller helped establish him as a central figure of the American left, died of a heart attack Wednesday in California. He was 87.

Along with another Boston-based American Jewish professor, Noam Chomsky, Zinn was a leading left-wing intellectual. His "People's History," published in 1980, accused Christopher Columbus of genocide while venerating labor leaders and war opponents.

"He's made an amazing contribution to American intellectual and moral culture," Chomsky said, according to the Boston Globe. "He's changed the conscience of America in a highly constructive way. I really can't think of anyone I can compare him to in this respect."

"People's History" inspired a documentary in 2009 on the History Channel titled "The People Speak." Zinn narrated the documentary, which highlighted those who spoke up for social change.

Zinn, a New York City native and the son of Jewish immigrants, wrote several books and three plays. His last essay, about President Obama's first year in office, was published last week in The Nation.

His last essay, about President Obama's first year in office, was published last week in The Nation.

Recent news, from just two weeks ago:
Howard Zinn is 2010 New York University MLK Humanitarian Award Recipient  
NYU press release: On February 10, 1961, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech on the campus of New York University that advocated for civil rights and championed nonviolent protest for social change. For the fifth-consecutive year, the University will commemorate Dr. King’s visit and his legacy by hosting a weeklong schedule of special events and programs. This year’s theme “Who Will You Inspire to Dream?” is intended to remind us of Dr. King’s message of activism, motivation, and leadership in service to the community. 

The Week will showcase featured events that include the University-wide Feature Celebration in the Eisner and Lubin Auditorium, Kimmel Center, January 21, 2010 at 7pm. Join us for an evening of NYU student and special guest performances; the 2010 MLK Humanitarian Award presentation to distinguished alumnus, historian and author of “A People History of the United States,” and the landmark film, “The People Speak,” Dr. Howard Zinn and remarks from NYU President John Sexton.

The links that follow were found on his web page.

Please see the Democracy Now! tribute:
And from The Progressive:
From The Nation / NPR:
(Please also see the "Howard Zinn Series" of videos on NPR:)
From the Huffington Post:
From the Boston Globe:
From the Washington Post:
From the Assoiated Press:

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