The pursuit of a fair, just and changed world has always been in our leaders' talks and manifestos with each one of them promising to make the world a better place than they found it. This desire existed in the 1960s, and it cost our predecessors their freedom and rights to make the world we are in now a place worth living in. Howard Zinn, a well-known historian, and advocate the realization of human rights and freedom, started off as a history teacher with his eyes set on making the world a free and just place( Howard 262). His participation in historical events and movements granted him a political view that has not been challenged to date.
During the Second World War Howard Zinn in his quest to fight against fascism participated in the army air force as a bombardier. This was a war with a majority of participants, ranging from the army to workers who contributed unceasingly to the war bonds ( Howard 260). During his time as a bombardier. Zinn threw bombs to a resort on the southwestern part of France. At this time, there was a war against foul of unuttered evil, with Germany, then led by Hitler spreading racism, totalitarianism, militarism and warfare aggression. Nine years later, Zinn visited the restaurant and landed his eyes upon an article that approximated the death caused by the aerial bombs over a thousand French civilians and a few German soldiers. Later on, in his book, a people's war, Howard described battle primarily by the United States, as a pretense of showing care the helpless and weaker nations as noted in high school textbooks. He outlines the American aim for selfish power by discrimination countries like Cuba and Mexico, the so-termed weak states that needed their help. In another of his books, Howard Zinn on war, he strongly advocates for the abolition of warfare saying that time has come for our planet to be solved.
As an instructor at Spelman College, Howard was the chair of the department of history and social sciences. He was also an active participant in the civil rights movement that advocated for equal legal rights for the African- Americans just like any other American citizen. Howard believed that all humans are made similar despite the differences through their constant encounters and experiences with inequality and injustice, segregation and quest for fundamental civil and human rights (Zinn, 161). He also believed that every human being was similar to the other through their unison decisions to bear the personal sacrifices that come as a result of speaking the truth via public protests. He also was the serving advisor for the student's nonviolent coordination committee. This movement in a way supported the Albany movement, and they faced a lot of challenges regarding the mistreatment of the blacks by the whites. The racial discrimination had even crossed boundaries to the extent that a white, found in company with the blacks was regarded as a threat, as stated in a case where a white student (sympathizer) who was leading prayers at Albany was beaten senseless. This happened in an era when the government turned a blind eye to the black's rights and even at time instigated the violation against them. Zinn in his latest comments said that the real issue facing the American citizens is not their racial differences. However, they are all deprived of their generations through the corrupt corporations that rob them of their abundant resources.
Before he could land a decent professional job at the Spelman College, Howard Zinn secured a job vacancy as an apprentice at a New York navy yard. The hazardous working conditions with low wages by the apprentices compelled and agitated Zinn and some other apprentices to form an apprentice association. During that era, the labor unions did not recognize nor cover apprentices and therefore this association, though not a strong a cover for them, was an avenue for Zinn and his fellow apprentices to discuss their challenges and strategies. Howard was the activist director of this so-called radical group( Martin 199). Later in his journal, history is a weapon, Zinn presents a classical situation of employee's challenges of unfavorable and hazardous working conditions and minimum wages. The workers and the mass resorted to strikes and picketing and as expected their attempts were met with utmost vigilance by the government. Through the 19th century harsh measures upon employees seeking shielding from exploitive employers, the 21st century is enjoying the fruits of a well-formulated labors act that protect employees.
As both a historian and an activist, Howard Zinn has remained a figure of commemoration. As one of his books goes, history is a weapon, he advocated for peace, as an anti-war peace campaigner, as an activist for employee rights and also for the equal rights for the blacks and whites alike. His effort might not have seemed practical at that time of existence, but the fruits of his sweat and blood are enjoyed today ranging from students protests to employee medical covers and an improved and sensitive diverse world.
Howard Zinn, The Politics of History p. 260.
Martin Duberman (2012). Howard Zinn: A Life on the Left.New Press.p. 199
Zinn, Howard (2010). You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times. Beacon Press. p. 161.
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