Excerpts

Shall the House Committee on Un-American Activities Be Abolished?

Source: Howard Zinn Papers, Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University • 1963
On February 11, 1963, at Emory University, Howard Zinn participated in a debate with Fulton Lewis III, a journalist and member of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) on whether HUAC should be abolished. Zinn noted this in his diary and the two-and-half hour event was recorded.

Obedience and Disobedience

By Howard Zinn • Excerpt from The Zinn Reader “Obey the law.” That is a powerful teaching, often powerful enough to overcome deep feelings of right and wrong, even to override the fundamental instinct for personal survival. . . . Peace, stability, and order are desirable. Chaos and violence are not. But stability and order are not the only desirable conditions of social life. There is also justice...

Howard Zinn’s Southern Diary: Excerpts

Howard Zinn’s Southern Diary | HowardZinn.org The University of Georgia Press has published Howard Zinn's Southern Diary: Sit-Ins, Civil Rights, and Black Women's Student Activism by Robert Cohen with a foreword by Alice Walker. The book includes diary entries from Howard Zinn’s time teaching at Spelman College (1956-1963). Historian Robert Cohen offers a substantial overview of Zinn’s role at Spelman and other archival documents.

Insisting on the Rights of Everyone Everywhere

Insisting on the Rights of Everyone (excerpt) | HowardZinn.org By Howard Zinn • Excerpt from The Zinn Reader
was one of the speakers at historic Faneuil Hall in Boston (though named after an early slave trader, it was the scene of many meetings of anti-slavery groups before the Civil War) in 1991, when the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts organized a celebration of the Bicentennial of the Bill of Rights. I wanted to use the opportunity to make clear that whatever freedoms we have in the United States—of speech, of the press, of assembly, and more—do not come simply from the existence on paper of the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution, but from the struggles of citizens to bring those Amendments alive in reality.

When Zinn and Chomsky Met

Today (December 7) is the birthday of Howard Zinn’s longtime friend Noam Chomsky. In celebration, we share this interview with David Barsamian (DB) of Alternative Radio about how they met. Excerpted from The Future of History, Zinn discusses Chomsky’s popularity, “His message has been so powerful and so outrageously true and so backed up by information and so very often ahead of everybody else.”

Staughton Lynd — “Long Distance Runner for Justice”

Staughton Lynd speaks with Freedom School teachers in Ohio. Photo: Herbert Randall. | HowardZinn.org Nov. 22 marks the birthday of Staughton Lynd, longtime friend of Howard Zinn. They both taught at Spelman College and can be described as long-distance runners for justice. "I have admired [Lynd] enormously ever since I first met him,” Zinn wrote shortly before his death, because he is an “exemplar of strength and gentleness in the quest for a better world." Read more about Lynd in this tribute by Andy Piascik.