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”.
“…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.