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Saturday February 6, 2010: Songs to honor Howard Zinn's life and work

Folk Plus is a blend of contemporary and older singer songwriters with perhaps spoken word or Broadway tunes, or whatever may be relevant to the theme.  The station's website and stream are online at WWW.WJFFRADIO.ORG

Angela thanks the staff of WJFF for making it possioble for her to volunteer Saturday mornings by
accommodating her health issues and maintaining a chemical and fragrance free environment,

Intro Music by Terry Tufts - Mary Lou in Burgendy

I wanted to musically honor Howard Zinn, bit I couldn't just put "songs that would honor Howard Zinn" into google. So I listened to his own words, grabbed bits from his cd releases and interviews and matched them with the music I know from the folk world.  Today's show is what resulted.

Howard Zinn was a champion of the average person doing extraordinary things. He believed in group organization toward goals of equality and freedom.

4.00 min
Howard Zinn- "Just ordinary people, you know, people who are not famous if they get together, if they persist, if they defy the authorities they can defeat the largetst corporation in the world."

Rebel Voices - One 324 - A Piece of the Wall -

Just before he died, Bill Moyers interviewed Howard Zinn. Here he is quoting Zinn from his famous book People's History of the United States, which he wrote when he thought his own educational upbriing was lacking in the information on the people who played huge roles in changes in  america.

2- Bill Moyers quoting Zinn
"...educating, organizing agitating, striking, boycotting, demonstrating
threatening those in power with disruption of the stability they needed."

James Keelaghan - Never Gonna Stop This Train 316 - A Recent Future - Green Linnet

BIll Moyers: "This son of a working class family got a job in the Brooklyn  Ship Yards and then flew as a bomber in WW II. He went to NYU onthe GI bill, taught history at Spelman College in Atlanta where he was first active in the civil rights movement and then became a professor of political science at Boston University. There he and his students sought a more down to earth way of looking at American History and when no book could provide it, Zinn decided to write one. Since its publication in 1980 The People's History of the United Statests sold more than 2 million copies."

Zinn Said: if you look through high school textbooks and elementary school textbooks in American history, you will find Andrew Jackson the frontiersman, soldier, democrat, man of the people — not Jackson the slaveholder, land speculator, executioner of dissident soldiers, exterminator of Indians. — Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States

Matt Daemon: Well I grew up next door to Howard . He gave my mom one of the very first copies of the first edition which we still have. It came out around 1980 and that was when I was in the fifth grade and I remember taking it to calss and reading excerpts to the class. IT very much shaped the way that I think about  the world. So its had a huge impact on my life.

What Matt read to his fifth grade class to read the missing information about columbus, and the  hundreds of thousands of indians killed because of columbus and his men. .

Victoria Parks - Conquistador 624 - Sure Feels Like Home -

Howard Zinn: WE've had films on Columbus but I don't know of any film that showed Columbus as what he was, moved by the capitalists ethic. Is  Hollywood going to make a film that puts down the capitalist ethic of killing people for gold which is what Columbus and the other Spaniards were doing. A great film could be made and one fo the figures in it could be Bartolome de Las Casas who exposed what columbus did in volumes. He was an eye witness to all that was going on. There could be this scene of a great debate in 1650 in Spain, between
Las Casas and Sepo veda who argued Indians were not human, so you could anything to them you wanted.

This piece of fact has been ommitted in most educational history classes. There have been other ommitted voices from history , and zinn worked on his book to give voice to  these silent voices

Burns sisters - No More Silence 214 - In this world - Philo   [fade out]

Zinn speaks of being class concisous by reading on his own the history of labor in the country. Then he realized these things were not in history books of the public education system. Lies are not told he said... its that things are ommitted. He bacame consious of the fact that there were omissions and always asks himself "what has been left out?" I became aware of ommisons and thats what I was determined to remedy.

Burns sisters - No More Silence 214 - In this world - Philo [fade back int]

Zinn chastizes the NYTimes for their "smart " quizz that was published asking  "Who is the pres during the Mexican War... intead of "what started the war, what was at stake, what lies were told, how much discussion was there in Congress before there was a ceclaration of war, how much dessertion in the american army"
...."knowing about the Mexican War, knowing about Spanish American War, knowing about  WWI, ... well people who knew their history would not accept blandy what we were being told."  He was an advocate of asking the right questions.

Jack Hardy - Ask Questions 428 - Rye Grass - Great Divide Records

Zinn: Thank you for those good questions

                  Zinn's first teaching job was at a school for african american woman in Atlanta

Zinn speaks about his 7 years  in the late 50's and early 60's at Spelman college which he claims
most educational years, He said that he learned more from his students than they learned from me.
He learned history from a black point of view.
"Democracy came alive, finally,  when black people took to the streets, demonstrated and sat in and got arrested by the tens of thousands, and created a commotion that was heard around the world"

David Massengill - Number One in America 745 - Coming Up For Air - Flying Fish
1963 Bristol, Tennessee

He addressed hollywood  filmakers once about make movies representing the civil rights struggle from the balc point of view

Zinn says that we have had the story of the blacks from their point of view and cited a move about the murder of Civil Rights workers in Mississippi  from standpoint of the FBI when everyone knew that the FBI was silent when people needed protection when they were being murdered.

48:18 - 49:18
Phil Ochs - Mississippi 552 - There But For Fortune - Elektra
"Find yourself another country to be part of"

Zinn asks audience how many know about the case of Saco and Vanzetti

They were morally guilty because they were emenies of our existing institutions.

Betty and Baby Boomers -  Two Good Arms [Charlie King} 437 - Tumbling Through Stream of Days - BB

Sacco and Vanzetti were eletrocuted August 23 1927. Here are the words Sacco wrote to his son, Dante, the day before he was executed.

56:16- 60:00
Magpie - Sacco's Letter to His Son 412 - Seeds : The Songs Of Pete Seeger, Volume 3

Zinn speaks of textile mill strikes.

Robin Greenstein - Cotton Mill Girls - Images of women  Volume 1.- Windy River

Bobby McGee - Bread and Roses 213 - Classic Labor Songs- Smithsonian Folkways

Zinn speaks about the Ludlow Massacre
"We want time to play"

Woody Guthrie - Ludlow Massacre 332 - My Dusty Road - Rounder

Zinn speaks about Mother Jones
arrested by the national guard in her eighties...

Utah Phillips with Ani DeFranco - Most dangerous Woman 343 [Mother Jones] - Fellow Workers - Righteous Babe
mount olive, Illinois is the burial site of mother Jones in a Union Miners Cemetary. "Mary Harris Jones"

Zinn speaks about Emma Goldman and getting lost in the enjoyment of history. 1877 -  1914 in history books is described as the industrial revolution and the U.S. as a powerful economic force, but difficult for the people who worked.  In the mid 1880s there was great class conflict.

Joe Jencks - We Do the Work [Jon Fromer] 247  - Rise as One - Live Solidarity Concert

Zinn speaks about the Chicago Haymarket Affair of 1886 and the fight for the eight hour day.

Pete Seeger - Eight Hour Day - American Industrial Ballads - Smithsonian Folkways

Zinn gives Zinn's speech before a jury on one of hte times she was arrested... after agents went into the offices of Mother Earth and arrested her.

" We say that if America has entered the war to make the world safe for democracy, she must first make democracy safe in America. How else is the world to take America seriously, when democracy at home is daily being outraged, free speech suppressed, peaceable assemblies broken up by overbearing and brutal gangsters in uniform; when free press is curtailed and every independent opinion gagged. Verily, poor as we are in democracy, how can we give of it to the world? We further say that a democracy conceived in the military servitude of the masses, in their economic enslavement, and nurtured in their tears and blood, is not democracy at all. It is despotism--the cumulative result of a chain of abuses which, according to that dangerous document, the Declaration of Independence, the people have the right to overthrow.
Gentlemen of the jury, whatever your verdict will be, as far as we are concerned, nothing will be changed. I have held ideas all my life. I have publicly held my ideas for twenty-seven years. Nothing on earth would ever make me change my ideas except one thing; and that is, if you will prove to me that our position is wrong, untenable, or lacking in historic fact. But never would I change my ideas because I am found guilty."

1:32:06 - 1:34:35
Anne Feeney - Have you Been to Jail for Justice - Have You Been To Jail for Justice -
Zinn: "Its a sad commentary that it requires a lot of courage to simply speak your mind "  Being jailed or risking a salary cut or dissmissal is pitiful to whats happening to people in the world.
Emma Golman believed you need to use direct action. You can't await for legislation if folks are starving. She addressed a crowd in Union Square in 1893 as part of the anarchist philosophy, to just take the food. Direct action is needed, not the slow process of legislation for justice. Do it yourself, directly, now.

Zinn thought that some of people in history.

Along with Matt Daemon, howard zinn produced a theatrical documentary with famous actors such as Morgan freeman, giving us the words of the people, to make up for the lack of history in many of our educational institutions.  .Giving voice to some in history who have not had exposure

Zinn: We didn't want to hear the words of the people in the White House, we wnted to hear the voices of the people picketing the white house. Agistators: anit war protestors; avergage person     socialists, anarchists, people who gave us whatever liberty and democracy that we have.
Hopefully people will look at this and say wow, i didnt know this, i went thro a whole educational system and these are things I didnt know. Is it possible that I must now think for myself?

Holly Near and Emma's Revolution - Listen to the Voices - We Came to Sing! - Calico Tracks

Zinn says that these voices in his production The People Speak tell us that government wont make the changes we have to make.

Zinn speaks of his involvement in WWII as a bomber. He was an enthusiastic volunteer. He went willingly believing in the mission. After coming home and reading, he changed his views on War.

Rod MacDonald - Stop the war - After the War - Blue Flute Music
"what if everyone thought like you?"

Zinn addresses his legacy hoping to be known as " introducing a different way of thinking about the world, about war, human rights, eqaulity, and getting more poeople to realize that the power that rests so far in the hands of the people with wealth and guns that the power ultimately rests in the power of people themselves"

Pat Humphries - Bound for Freedom - Hands - Appleseed

Howard Zinn- "Just ordinary people, you know, people who are not famous if they get together, if they persist, if they defy the authorities they can defeat the largest corporation in the world."

Pat Humphries - [Bev Grant] We Were There - Home - Appleseed

end 2: 2 :01

Thanks to staff and station management for accommodating Angle'a health issues and maintaining a chemical and fragrance free environment. Complying with these accommodations allow her to continue to volunteer Saturday mornings


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