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Zinn Education Project News
If We Knew Our History Series
Author: Charles E. Cobb Jr.
Guns and the Southern Freedom Struggle: What's Missing When We Teach About Nonviolence
By Charles E. Cobb Jr.
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee veteran and journalist

Fire bomb watch at a community center in Milestone, Miss., June 1, 1964. Photo: Matt Herron. 
Fire bomb watch at a community center in Mileston, Miss., June 1, 1964. Photo: Matt Herron.

This country is bad with its history. Pieces of history that could help us think more clearly about today's movements for social change are often ignored or distorted in popular media or commercial textbooks. This is especially true in the treatment of "nonviolent" resistance in the Civil Rights Movement.

Asserting their right to defend themselves when attacked was a tradition that has safeguarded and sustained generations of black people in the United States. Yet this tradition is almost completely absent from the conventional narrative of the Southern civil rights struggle. Organized self-defense in black communities goes back to the aftermath of the Civil War. Continue reading.  

"Guns and the Southern Freedom Struggle: What's Missing When We  
Teach About Nonviolence" is the newest article in the Zinn Education Project series,
If We Knew Our History, posted on Common Dreams and Huffington Post.  
You can help us reach a wider audience in three steps: 
Read, comment, and share today!

Champion the Right to Teach and Learn People's History
"I am grateful to the Zinn Education Project for keeping the idea  
of agency alive. My students are Alaskan Natives, and unfortunately  
are familiar with being on the margins of history textbooks. They  
become more interested when other groups that share similar struggles  
are brought to the forefront in lessons."
Banned Books Week: Champion the Right to Teach and Learn People's History With Banned Books Week (Sept. 21-27) in full swing, we call attention to the recent attempts to ban people's history books and curriculum, and to celebrate the power of learning people's history.
(Read more here.)

For Banned Books Week you can make sure more students read banned books and learn the history missing from textbooks. With your donation to the Zinn Education Project, we can equip thousands more classroom teachers to bring people's history to millions of students.

Students Protest Curriculum Change to Downplay 'Social Strife'

Hundreds of High Schoolers Walk Out to Protest Conservative Takeover of History Standards 
By Zaid Jilani, Alternet.org
As part of the long-running textbook wars over American school curricula, the Jefferson County Colorado Board of Education moved earlier this month to alter AP U.S. history standards to meet a more right-wing view of the world, emphasizing "patriotism" and the "free enterprise system" and downplaying "social strife." Continue reading.
Teaching People's History
Teaching Critical Inquiry with Howard Zinn's
A People's History of the United States
Teacher Mark Kissling wrote "Grappling with Multiple Histories: Teaching Critical Inquiry with Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States" in response to the attack by Mitch Daniels on teaching any work by Zinn in Indiana Public Schools.

Kissling concludes, "As Zinn makes clear about his own books, no text----including all textbooks----is neutral. The takeaway is that all people----every single student sitting in the classroom, as well as everyone else outside of it---- matter in the workings of communities toward peace and justice." Continue reading.
New HowardZinn.org Website
Re-release Available

A new version of HowardZinn.org launched to provide greater online access to articles, interviews, and other works by and about Howard Zinn. Popular articles include:
  • Untold Truths About the American Revolution
  • "Fellow Workers" Liner Notes by Howard Zinn

  • The People Speak DVD

    Inspired by A People's History of the United States and Voices of a People's History of the United States, The People Speak offers readings and performances of letters, diary entries, speeches, and songs from throughout U.S. history. This excellent classroom resource is now available.

    Upcoming Educator Conferences
    Oct. 11 | San Francisco
    Teachers for Social Justice - Bay Area
    "The Root of Resistance"
    Visit the Rethinking Schools table
    Oct. 18 | Portland, Ore.
    "Rethinking Our Classrooms, Organizing for Better Schools"
    Visit the Rethinking Schools table
    Keynote Speaker: Enid Lee, co-editor of
    Beyond Heroes and Holidays, published by Teaching for Change
    Nov. 5-9 | Tucson, Ariz. 
    "Dismantling Fronteras through Multicultural Education: Con Comunidad, Cari�o y Coraje"
    National Association for Multicultural Education
    Visit the Rethinking Schools booth
    Nov. 22 | Chicago
    Teachers for Social Justice Curriculum Fair
    Visit the Rethinking Schools table
    Nov. 21-23 | Boston  
    National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference
    Visit the Zinn Education Project booths

    Headed to a workshop or conference?
    Take the Zinn Education Project with you! 
    Help spread the word by distributing bookmarks at conferences or sharing sample booklets at your next workshop. Request copies here.  

    Zinn Education Project
    The goal of the Zinn Education Project is to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history.
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