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Howard Zinn’s US history project includes everyone, not just rich white guys

By Cathryn Wellner / November 13, 2015

Howard Zinn speaking in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, 2009, via Wikimedia Commons

Growing up female in America, I had a hard time believing the official version of my country’s history. What I saw around me was the gritty reality. Women working full time while rearing children. Low-wage workers being exploited. Brilliant minds being dismissed because they were not backed by degrees.

Then in 1980 Howard Zinn came out with A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present. Finally someone was telling the stories of workers, women, minorities. Someone was telling the stories I could relate to, the stories of my people instead of far-off “heroes”.

So I appreciate Alissa Bennett’s letting me know about the Zinn Education Project, whose goal is:

“…to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula….Students learn that history is made not by a few heroic individuals, but instead by people’s choices and actions, thereby also learning that their own choices and actions matter.”

That’s the secret of hope, isn’t it? You matter. I matter. We all matter. We don’t wait for heroes to change the world. We roll up our sleeves and get to work.

You can follow the Zinn Education Project on Facebook and Pinterest.

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