Howard Zinn Centennial Events, Aug. 23–25

HowardZinn.org, Zinn Education Project, Tamiment Library, Busboys and Poets, and Voices of a People’s History are pleased to present a week of events to celebrate Howard Zinn’s 100th birthday that include:

Read about other events and commemorations at Howard Zinn at 100.

Schedule

Tuesday, August 23 • 4pm PT / 7pm ET

Teaching Outside the Textbook About the Red Scare: Subversives in Labor Organizing and the Black Freedom Struggle

In legislatures across the country, Republican lawmakers are introducing bills to curtail what educators in public schools and universities can say and teach about racism and sexism. It is also worth reminding ourselves — and our students — of other times in U.S. history when powerful politicians manufactured threats and whipped up fear to neutralize progressive challenges to the status quo — the McCarthy Era being a well-known high watermark of state repression. In this session, participants will experience a mixer lesson that can be used in grade 7+ classrooms. Students meet 27 different targets of government harassment and repression to analyze why disparate individuals might have become targets of the same campaign, determining what kind of threat they posed in the view of the U.S. government. Participants will also be introduced to relevant primary documents from the Tamiment Library at NYU.

Facilitated by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca and Jesse Hagopian, Zinn Education Project Writers and Organizers • Introduction to the primary documents from Tamiment Library by Michael Koncewicz, Michael Nash Archivist & Ewen Center Program Coordinator

Hosted by the Zinn Education Project. Co-sponsored by the HowardZinn.org and Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University


Wednesday, August 24 • 4pm PT / 7pm ET

You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: People’s Historians and Artists Commemorate Howard Zinn’s 100th Anniversary

On the anniversary of Howard Zinn’s birth, guests will speak on the theme, “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train,” the title of Zinn’s autobiography and documentary.

Confirmed speakers:
Lauren Cooper
Martín Espada
Myla Kabat-Zinn
Imani Perry
Alice Walker
Kidada E. Williams
and more to be announced!

Hosted by Dave Zirin, sports historian, and Jesse Hagopian, Zinn Education Project Writer and Organizer

Hosted by the Zinn Education Project. Co-sponsored by the Howard Zinn Revocable Trust, Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at NYU, Busboys and Poets, and Voices of a People’s History


Thursday, August 25 • 10am PT / 1pm ET

Radicalizing the Archives: Compiling a Whole New World About the Lives, Desires, and Needs of Ordinary People

To mark the 100th birthday of historian Howard Zinn (1922-2010) in 2022, we reflect on his paper presentation at the 1970 SAA “The Activist Archivist” and subsequently published in Midwestern Archivist as “Secrecy, Archives, and the Public Interest.” In this paper, Zinn urged archivists to “take the trouble to compile a whole new world of documentary material, about the lives, desires, needs, of ordinary people” and is often cited by those in the field who’s work includes methods to humanize the archive with a praxis of anti-racist and anti-colonialist methods. While Zinn was not alone in that charge, he pierced through conventional, professional standards, inspiring archivists still today.

Building on the momentum of 2020, many institutions committed to assessing their record of collecting and featuring the histories of people of color and who is making the decisions. This initiated a surge of activities to highlight obscured histories and sought ways to improve public and private archives. This session will focus on highlighting the work of humanizing the archives and ask what opportunities and challenges lie ahead. The audience will discuss these questions in small groups and contribute to a living document to serve as a guidepost for others to get past the roadblocks.

Presenters include:

  • Lauren Cooper, HowardZinn.org Digital Curator with Teaching for Change; Center for Black Digital Research Librarian & Managing Director, Penn State University
  • Linda García Merchant, Public Humanities Data Librarian, University of Houston; co-founder of Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective
  • LaShawn D. Harris, Associate Professor of History, Michigan State University
  • Michael Koncewicz, Michael Nash Archivist & Ewen Center Program Coordinator, Tamiment-Wagner Collections, New York University
  • Nancy Raquel Mirabal, Associate Professor of American Studies, University of Maryland
  • Shannon O’Neill, Curator, Tamiment-Wagner Collections, New York University

Hosted by the Howard Zinn Revocable Trust and Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at NYU