An Evening with Zinn & Terkel
A fun, informative and inspirational program with two of America’s greatest raconteurs and keepers of the past. These enduring and endearing figures talk about breaking segregation in the South, individual and social change, hierarchy of values, media, propaganda, history and memory, etc. The introduction is by Alice Walker, noted poet and novelist, and former student of Zinn’s.
HOWARD ZINN CENTENARY 1922-2022
Howard Zinn, professor emeritus at Boston University, was perhaps this country’s premier radical historian. He was born in Brooklyn in 1922. His parents, poor immigrants, were constantly moving to stay, as he once told me, “one step ahead of the landlord.” After high school, he went to work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. During World War II, he saw combat duty as an air force bombardier. After the war, he went to Columbia University on the GI Bill. He taught at Spelman, the all-Black women’s college in Atlanta. He was an active figure in the civil rights movement and served on the board of SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was fired by Spelman for his activism. He was among the first to oppose U.S. aggression in Indochina. His book Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal was an instant classic. A principled opponent of imperialism and militarism, he was an advocate of non-violent civil disobedience. He spoke and marched against the U.S. wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. His masterpiece, A People’s History of the United States, continues to sell in huge numbers. Among his many other books are You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, Failure to Quit: Reflections of an Optimistic Historian and Original Zinn with David Barsamian. Shortly before his death he completed his last great project, the documentary The People Speak. Always ready to lend a hand, he believed in and practiced solidarity. Witty, erudite, generous and loved by many the world over, Howard Zinn, friend and teacher, passed away on January 27, 2010. He would say, Don’t mourn. Get active. The struggle for peace and justice continues.
Studs Terkel was never neutral or passive. The longtime Chicago radio host was the Pulitzer Prize-winning pioneer in oral history capturing the voices of Americans from all walks of life. In the 1930s, while acting in the theatre, he dropped his given name, Louis and adopted the name Studs, after the fictional character Studs Lonigan. He was the author of numerous books including Working, Hard Times, The Good War, and Hope Dies Last. He was the recipient of many honors including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critic’s Circle and the Presidential National Humanities Medal. He was a legend and his voice and work will endure. Studs Terkel died in Chicago on October 31, 2008. He was 96.