Howard Zinn: Our Favorite Teacher Series: Howard Zinn taught at Spelman College and Boston University where he had an extraordinary influence on his students’ understanding of history and their role in the world.  This series highlights Zinn’s lasting impact as a professor. Read more stories and submit your own.

“Howard’s calm, quiet insistence on doing what was right and taking a stand are lessons that have stayed with me for a lifetime.”

Howard Zinn: Our Favorite Teacher - Suzanne Baker | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Suzanne with Adely, taken in Isiqui, Nicaragua, where Suzanne was doing her dissertation research in anthropology.

I never actually had Howard as a teacher INSIDE a classroom. I was a graduate student in Anthropology and he and I were in the same “affinity group”—a group of like-minded students, staff, and professors who got together to participate in protests and civil disobedience during the 1980s in Boston.

It was part of the Pledge of Resistance, and we were arrested together in Boston in May 1985. Some of us refused to cooperate or give our names, and remained in custody, while others left to make arrangements for us.

When Howard left, he brought out an apple from deep within this long coat he wore and gave it to me. I can’t tell you how often I think of that apple.

Howard’s calm, quiet insistence on doing what was right and taking a stand for those in Central America who were being damaged by our government’s policies are lessons that have stayed with me for a lifetime. I still miss him. My daughter wants to study history in college, and the first history book she owned was A People’s History of the United States.

Howard Zinn, Our Favorite Teacher — Suzanne Baker | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Newsclippings of May 7, 1985, protests from the Galveston Daily News and Indianapolis Star. Protesters in Boston, including Howard Zinn, were charged with “Failure to Quit the Premises,” from where Zinn drew his book title, “Failure to Quit.”

 

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