On January 27, share how you make people’s history
This year marks the 40th anniversary of A People’s History of the United States, and the 10th anniversary of Howard Zinn’s death on January 27, 2010. No doubt, Zinn’s writing and life of activism inspired many worldwide, and A People’s History continues to shine a light on the people left out of the mainstream history books and media.
The mainstream news is an endless cycle of tragedy, violence, and fear-inducing reports. What we have to find for ourselves are the millions of people invisible in the headlines: the ones helping provide shelter for their neighbors, the ones demanding living wages, the ones helping bond immigrants out of detention centers, the ones demanding that #BlackLivesMatter, the ones knocking on doors to register voters, the ones risking arrest to fight fossil fuel pipelines, the ones connecting students to their histories — the present-day grassroots movements writing new chapters of people’s history.
One need not look too far to find encouragement and optimism from Howard Zinn, he himself having been witness to tragedy, violence, and fear:
An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.
In that spirit of optimism, on January 27 we invite you to share on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) how you are making people’s history today using the hashtag #WeMakePeoplesHistory. We see this small act as a way to unite — even if only virtually — across generations, locations, professions, races, and ethnicities. It is a way to see each other, and emphasize how we bring to life compassion, sacrifice, courage, and kindness to transform the world.
Let’s share and gain strength from each others’ stories of making people’s history in defiance of all that is bad and towards a more just society.
1) SHARE: Please share this announcement with your network of friends, colleagues, authors, activists, and educators.
2) POST: On Monday, January 27, begin sharing on social media how you are making people’s history today or how reading A People’s History influenced you.
3) ENGAGE: Follow the hashtags:
We will also share selected posts on the Howard Zinn website at www.howardzinn.org/we-make-peoples-history.
QUESTIONS: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.