Ralph Nader: Remember Zinn by organizing

Ralph Nader: Remember Zinn by organizing

February 9, 2010

From Ralph Nader’s beautiful call-to-action tribute to Howard Zinn, posted Friday at

… Judging by similar gatherings for remembering other progressive activists and writers, the encomiums for Professor Zinn, who taught at Spelman College in the late fifties and early sixties (two of his students were Marian Wright Edelman and Alice Walker) and at Boston University until 1988, will be heartfelt, wide-ranging and inspiringly anecdotal.

Receptions will follow and those in attendance will return to their homes, hoping that what Howard Zinn spoke and wrote and how he acted will serve as an example for those who follow his public philosophy of being and doing.

Mr. Zinn’s legacy, however, needs more than sweet memories that carry forward the spirit of people. His impact needs more than the adult and youth book version (now in a television miniseries via the History Channel) to continue inspiring what the Times described as “a generation of high school and college students to rethink American history.”

How about drawing on the large, national constituency whose lives he has informed honestly and helped improve to support the establishment of the Howard Zinn Institute for Advancing Peace and Justice? Thought and action in a seamless flow toward returning the definition of “freedom” back to the words of Marcus Cicero as “participation in power.”

… Roslyn and Howard Zinn left two children, Myla and Jeff, and five grandchildren. Together with his publisher, Dan Simon of Seven Stories Press, his editor, Matthew Rothschild, his interviewer, Amy Goodman, his associate, Anthony Arnove, and his innumerable writers and fighters for justice, for the principle that the truth is revolutionary, why not a well-funded and staffed Institute, organizing from the neighborhoods on up, as he urged so often, with horizons for all seasons, as befits his vision?

Although the desire to remember is now intense, it is the willpower that implements the thought.

For the full article, please see

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