Staged Readings from Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States To Be Performed by Campus and Community

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — "Voices for Social Justice," an evening of dramatic readings from radical historian Howard Zinn's classic work, A People's History Of The United States: 1492-Present, and its companion volume, Voices Of A People's History, will be performed by faculty, students, staff and administrators of Vassar College, as well as members of the Poughkeepsie community, on Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. in the Vassar College Chapel. Zinn, also a prominent social activist and playwright, and Anthony Amove, who co-edited Voices Of A People's History, will introduce the event, which is free and open to the public.

Howard Zinn's acclaimed research focuses on groups often overlooked by popular histories, including women, people of color, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. HarperCollins originally published A People's History in 1980, and the 2005 edition has been updated to cover the Clinton presidency, the 2000 election, and the war on terrorism.

The first public reading of excerpts from Voices of a People's History was held in New York City in October 2004. Actors John Sayles, Brian Jones, Sarah Jones, Wallace Shawn, Paul Robeson Jr., Lily Taylor, and Leslie Silva dramatized the experiences of historical figures such as Tecumseh, Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, Silvia Woods, and Cesar Chavez. Since that first performance, the show has toured the nation, each time with different participants and different selections from Zinn's and Amove's volumes.

Veteran local actor Rodney Douglas and members of his Poughkeepsie New Day Repertory Company will join in "Voices for Social Justice," to dramatize the words, thoughts, and emotions of marginalized voices from 500 years of American history.

Zinn was a shipyard worker and WWII Air Force bombardier before he went to college under the GI Bill®, and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has taught at Spelman College and Boston University, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Paris and the University of Bologna. He has received the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the Upton Sinclair Award, and the Lannan Literary Award.

"Voices for Social Justice" is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the Departments of Geography, History, Hispanic Studies, Political Science, and Sociology, the Programs in Africana Studies, American Culture, Latin American Studies, Women's Studies; and the ALANA Center/Campus Life Office, Poder Latino and MEChA. For more information, please call Eva Woods, assistant professor of Hispanic Studies, at (845) 437-5620.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Cathy Jennings in the Office of Campus Activities, at (845) 437-5370.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, September 2, 2005