Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010) was an American historian, professor, and social activist. Zinn grew up in Brooklyn in a working-class, immigrant household. His life’s work focused on a wide range of issues including race, class,
war, and history, and touched the lives of countless people. He wrote the influential A People’s History of the United States, and his memoir You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train. From 1956 to 1963, he taught at Spelman College where he became active in the Civil Rights Movement and was eventually fired because of his
involvement in the black freedom movement.
“Feminism/womanism never seemed odd to Howard Zinn, who encouraged his
Spelman students, all of them women, to name and challenge oppression
of any sort.
I was Howard’s student for only a semester, but in fact, I have learned from him all my life. His way with resistance—-steady, persistent, impersonal, often with humor—-is a teaching I cherish.” – Alice Walker
Before he died, Zinn stated that he would like to be remembered “for getting more people to realize that the power which rests so far
in the hands of people with wealth and guns, that the power ultimately
rests in people themselves and that they can use it. At certain points
in history, they have used it. Black people in the South used it. People
in the women’s movement used it. People in the anti-war movement used
it. People in other countries who have overthrown tyrannies have used