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Voices of a People's History of the United States in the 21st Century

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May 09, 2023 | ISBN 9781644212974

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“Howard Zinn made a unique contribution to civilizing the country. This collection of inspiring voices from the struggles is a fitting complement to his incomparable legacy.” —Noam Chomsky

“A profound collection. I bounded back and forth through the book, proud to see my peers, shocked by many of the new voices, comforted by old ones. This bracing and essential edition of Voices slices through the blare of the demagogues and disinformation merchants with their clear-ringing words of truth, power, and clarity. This new century, with its clamorous dangers, horrors, and threats, has also brought us so many fresh new voices of hope. Let this radiant multitude ground you, renew you, and rouse you to making the expansive world we all want.” —Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

“Documenting two decades of activism from Occupy Wall Street to the #MeToo movement to the uprisings for Black lives and a resurgent labor movement, these urgent, vibrant voices are a bulwark against hopelessness and a reminder that always and everywhere, even under the harshest conditions, people organize collectively on behalf a more just world. Facing state-sanctioned murder, Troy Davis calls on supporters to keep pushing for an end to the death penalty. When COVID-19 plunges the planet into a public health crisis, Christian Smalls demands stronger workplace protections and a union for Amazon’s ‘essential workers.’ In the wake of ongoing and intensifying police violence, Mariame Kaba pushes for abolition. In gathering the words of these and dozens more activists and authors, Arnove and Pessin offer a crucial contribution to a historical record and an essential antidote to despair.” —Emily Drabinski, American Library Association President 2023–24

“Howard Zinn challenged us to see history as near and everyday; Anthony Arnove and Haley Pessin now tenderly extend this proximity. Their collection helps us to see the ordinary extraordinariness in people around us: the world-making of our very own time.” —E. Tammy Kim, The New Yorker

“What a marvelous resource. A follow-up to the original Voices of a People’s History of the United States, edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, this volume collects short poems, stories, speeches, news articles, and testimonies from people working to make this a better world — a “radiant multitude” of voices, as Jeff Chang says in his supportive blurb for the book. This is the “people’s history” that Howard Zinn celebrated — a festival of resistance since the turn of the century. The book features rebels and prophets from the movements organizing for a different country: antiwar, solidarity, immigrant rights, Black Lives Matter, feminist, LGBTQ, workers’ rights, and more. Rachel Corrie describes her solidarity work in Gaza; Bree Newsome explains why she ripped down the Confederate flag outside the South Carolina State Capitol building; Winona La Duke denounces the repression of Water Protectors in Minnesota and around the world; disability justice activist, Luticha Doucette, talks back to the daily indignities she encounters in “If You’re in a Wheelchair, Segregation Lives”; and Rethinking Schools’ own Jesse Hagopian delivers a powerful speech at a 2021 #TeachTruth rally. At a moment when the right wing seeks to crush any act or idea that leans toward equality and inclusion, this book offers teachers a thrilling compendium of classroom-friendly social justice readings.” —Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Schools

“Continuing the pioneering work of Howard Zinn begun in 1980 with A People’s History of the United States, this volume gives voice to those who have challenged oppression, exploitation, and injustice by participating in social-justice movements in the twenty-first century, covering a wide variety of topics in 12 chapters. Among the topics are fighting war and injustice, Occupy Wall Street, the Ferguson uprising, Black Lives Matter, dismantling white supremacy, resisting Trumpism and the far right, working for trans and gay rights, and climate change. The entries are all primary sources—letters or texts of speeches or addresses, for example—and are generally short, impassioned, often colloquial, but always clear and eloquent. From Troy Davis’ impactful letter to his lawyers just prior to his execution for a crime he did not commit, to Ursula LeGuin’s moving acceptance speech for the Distinguished Contribution to American Letters award, the pieces included here provide a necessary corrective to our generally whitewashed history. Finishing with detailed permissions by chapter and an unseen index, this is a must-purchase for public, university and college, and high-school libraries.
      “YA/C:Student researchers will find primary sources from those who have challenged injustice by participating in social justice movements in the twenty-first century.”Kirkus Reviews

Table Of Contents

Prologue: Howard Zinn, “Against Discouragement” (May 15, 2005)
Anita Cameron, “And the Steps Came Tumbling Down—ADAPT’s Battle with the HBA” (2000)
Manning Marable, “Race, Class, and Globalization: The Global Struggle for Democracy” (April 13, 2001)
Kenny Riley, “We Won’t Rest Until They’re Vindicated” (July 4, 2001)
Orlando Rodriguez and Phyllis Rodriguez, “Not in Our Son’s Name” (September 15, 2001)
Monami Maulik, “Organizing in Our Communities Post–September 11th” (2001)
Boots Riley, “Heven Tonite” (November 6, 2001)
Rita Lasar, “To Avoid Another September 11, United States Must Join the World” (September 5, 2002)
Rachel Corrie, Letter from Palestine (February 7, 2003)
Danny Glover, Speech During the World Day of Protest Against the War (February 15, 2003)

Amy Goodman, “Independent Media in a Time of War” (April 21, 2003)
Arundhati Roy, “Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (Buy One, Get One Free)” (May 13, 2003)
Robin D. G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams (June 15, 2003)
Toni Smith-Thompson, “If They Don’t Want Politics in Sports Then They Need to Take the National Anthem Out” (March 12, 2004)
Camilo Mejía, “I Pledge My Allegiance to the Poor and Oppressed” (July 3, 2005)
Cindy Sheehan, “It’s Time the Antiwar Choir Started Singing” (August 5, 2005)
Patricia Thompson, Kalamu Ya Salaam, and Father Jerome Ledoux, Voices from the Storm (Fall 2005)
Howard Zinn, “Don’t Despair about the Supreme Court” (October 21, 2005)
Elvira Arellano, Statement of Elvira Arellano in Sanctuary (August 15, 2006).
Evann Orleck-Jetter, Statement on Marriage Equality (March 18, 2009)
Moustafa Bayoumi, “My Arab Problem” (October 24, 2010)
Gustavo Madrigal-Piña, “Undocumented and Unafraid” (August 22, 2011)
Troy Davis, Letter Given to His Lawyers Before His Execution (September 21, 2011)

Occupy NYC General Assembly, Declaration of the Occupation of New York City (September 29, 2011)
Manissa Maharawal, “So Real it Hurts—Notes on Occupy Wall Street” (October 4, 2011)
Naomi Klein, “Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now” (October 6, 2011)
Kirstin Roberts, “We Stood Up to the Bullies” (October 6, 2012)
Farea Al-Muslimi, “Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing” (April 23, 2013)
Roberto Meneses Marquez, “A Day Laborer” (April 30, 2013)
Amber Kudla, “518-455-4767” (June 23, 2013)
Chelsea E. Manning, “Sometimes You Have to Pay a Heavy Price to Live in a Free Society” (August 21, 2013)
Phillip Agnew, “#OurMarch” (August 28, 2013)
Airickca Gordon-Taylor, “No Justice, No Peace: Families of Police Brutality Victims Speak Out” (June 28, 2014)
Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald, “Standing Up for Each Other” (March 10, 2014)
Michelle Farber, “We All Have to Be Brave” (May 14, 2014)
Michelle Alexander, “How to Dismantle the ‘New Jim Crow’” (July 2014)
Ursula K. Le Guin, Speech in Acceptance of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (November 19, 2014)
Tef Poe, “Dear Mr. President” (December 1, 2014)
Ferguson Action, “About This Movement” (December 15, 2014)
Amanda Blackhorse, “This Is What Dehumanization Looks Like” (March 21, 2015)
Ross Gay, “A Small Needful Fact” (April 30, 2015)
Bree Newsome, “Now Is the Time for True Courage” (June 30, 2015)
Sins Invalid, “10 Principles of Disability Justice” (September 17, 2015)
Dream Defenders, “Social Media Blackout” (September 21, 2015)
Lindy West, “I Set Up #ShoutYourAbortion Because I Am Not Sorry, and I Will Not Whisper” (September 22, 2015)
Samaria Rice, “Why I Have Not Endorsed Any Candidate: Reflections from a Mom of the Movement” (March 15, 2016)
Alicia Garza, “Why Black Lives Matter” (March 18, 2016)
Chanel Miller, “Impact Statement” (June 3, 2016)
Nick Estes, “Native Liberation: The Way Forward” (August 13, 2016)
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, “The Urgency of Intersectionality” (October 27, 2016)
Leonard Peltier, “Our Day of Mourning” (November 30, 2016)
Angela Y. Davis, Speech to the Women’s March on Washington (January 21, 2017)
Addie Bean, “Dear Donald Trump” (January 21, 2017)
Rebecca Solnit, The Mother of All Questions (2017)
Bhairavi Desai, “A Moment of Urgency” (February 16, 2017)

Julian Brave NoiseCat, “Standing Rock Is Burning But Our Resistance Isn’t Over” (February 23, 2017)
Luticha Doucette, “If You’re in a Wheelchair, Segregation Lives” (May 17, 2017)
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Keynote at Hampshire College’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony (May 20, 2017)
Linda Sarsour, “Islamophobes Are Attacking Me Because I’m Their Worst Nightmare” (July 9, 2017)
Steven Salaita, “Don’t Let Fear Be the Lesson” (July 25, 2017)
Victoria-Lola M. Leon Guerrero, “An Open Letter from Guam to America” (August 10, 2017)
Jack Christian and Warren Christian, “The Monuments Must Go” (August 16, 2017)
Susan Bro, “They Tried to Kill My Child to Shut Her Up” (August 16, 2017)
Khury Petersen-Smith, Speech at the Fight Supremacy! Boston Counter-Protest and Resistance Rally (August 19, 2017)
V, “Even with a Misogynist Predator-in-Chief, We Will Not Be Silenced” (August 23, 2017)
Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, “How We Can Organize the South to Save the Country” (September 1, 2017)
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, “700,000 Female Farmworkers Say They Stand with Hollywood Actors Against Sexual Assault” (November 10, 2017)
Naseem Johnson Byah, “I Need My Mom, My Family, and My Home” (December 14, 2017)
X González, “We Call BS” (February 17, 2018)
Katie Endicott, “How the Spark Became a Flame in West Virginia” (March 12, 2018)

Naomi Wadler, “I Speak for Black Girls Victimized by Guns Whose Stories Don’t Make the Front Page” (March 24, 2018)
Colin Kaepernick, Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award Speech (April 21, 2018)
Malinda Limberhand, “A Mother’s Walk for Justice” (May 5, 2018)
Carol Anderson, “Voting While Black” (June 7, 2018)
Mercedes Martínez, “Hurricane Maria Just Uncovered What’s Been Happening in Puerto Rico for Decades” (June 12, 2018)
Victor Ricardo Plua, “Don’t Put Children in Cages! Reunite Families Now!” (June 28, 2018)
Winona LaDuke, “Militarizing Minnesota over Line 3” (October 3, 2018)
African American Policy Forum, “Our Fights Are Connected; Our Resistance Must Be Intersectional” (November 2, 2018)
Marc Lamont Hill, “Our Solidarity Must Be a Verb” (November 28, 2018)
aja monet, Smoke Signals Studio Artists Manifesto (February 1, 2019)
Microsoft Workers 4 Good, “We Did Not Sign Up to Develop Weapons” (February 22, 2019)
Isra Hirsi, Haven Coleman, and Alexandria Villaseñor, “Adults Won’t Take Climate Change Seriously. So We, the Youth, Are Forced to Strike” (March 7, 2019)
Lenny Sanchez, “Why I’m Striking Against Uber” (May 8, 2019)
Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Testimony to the House on Reparations” (June 19, 2019)
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, et al., “Pastoral Letter on the El Paso Shootings” (August 8, 2019)
Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Martinez, “To Fight for a Just Climate Is to Fight for Everything That We Love” (September 9, 2019)
Stacey Park Milbern, “We Need Power to Live” (October 10, 2019)
Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, “For All the Aunties, but Especially for Mary Maxine Lani Kahaulelio” (October 28, 2019).
Tarana J. Burke, “The #MeToo Movement’s Success Took a Decade of Work, Not Just a Hashtag. And There’s More to Do” (December 31, 2019)
Antonia Crane, “Dispatch from the California Stripper Strike” (February 8, 2021)
Maggie Trinkle, “I (Don’t) Want a Wife” (April 16, 2020)
Astra Taylor, “The Real Pandemic Here Is Capitalism” (March 26, 2020)
Christian Smalls, “Dear Jeff Bezos, Instead of Firing Me, Protect Your Workers from Coronavirus” (April 2, 2020)
Adam Kaszynski, “You Could Start Making Parts for Ventilators within Twenty-four Hours” (April 9, 2020)
Emily Pierskalla, “I Want My Death to Make You Angry” (April 13, 2020)
Stacy Davis Gates, “They’re Not Going to Save Us. We Are Going to Save Us” (May 1, 2020)
Sujatha Gidla, “‘We Are Not Essential. We Are Sacrificial’” (May 5, 2020)
Lateef McLeod, “Disability Justice and COVID-19” (May 8, 2020)
Jill Nelson, “Trump = Plague” (May 11, 2020)
Natasha Cloud, “Your Silence Is a Knee on My Neck” (May 30, 2020)
Olivia Olson, “This Is What’s Really Happening in Minneapolis” (June 3, 2020)

8toAbolition, “#8toAbolition: Abolition Can’t Wait” (June 7, 2020)
Mariame Kaba, “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police: Because Reform Won’t Happen” (June 12, 2020)
Ianne Fields Stewart, “Today Is the Last Day of Trans Oppression” (June 14, 2020)
Imani Perry, “Racism Is Terrible. Blackness Is Not.” (June 15, 2020)

Viet Thanh Nguyen, “Asian Americans Are Still Caught in the Trap of the ‘Model Minority’ Stereotype. And It Creates Inequality for All” (June 25, 2020)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “I Could Not Allow That to Stand” (July 23, 2020)
Melania Brown, “My Sister Layleen Polanco Died Alone in Rikers. Solitary Confinement Is Torture” (July 23, 2020)
Barbara Smith, “How to Dismantle White Supremacy” (August 21, 2020)
Anna Kuperman, “The Emperor Has No Clothes” (September 8, 2020)
Mumia Abu-Jamal, “Inside the Inside of Lockdown America” (September 14, 2020)
Barbara Ransby, “Trumpism Can’t Be Voted Away. We Need Radical Social Transformation.” (November 18, 2020)
Hakeem Jefferson, “Storming the US Capitol Was about Maintaining White Power in America” (January 8, 2021)

Jesse Hagopian, “I’m Not Alone in Pledging to #TeachTruth” (June 12, 2021)
Cheri Renfro, “Dear Frito-Lay” (July 2, 2021)

Red Canary Song, “Radical Healing from State and Community Violence: Mourning with Asian Massage Workers in the Americas” (August 17, 2021)
H. Melt, “I Don’t Want a Trans President” (August 23, 2021)
Haley Pessin, “What it Will Take to Defend Abortion Rights” (September 12, 2021)
Leta Hirschmann-Levy, “Never Again—Not for Anyone, Not Just the Jews” (February 24, 2022)
Dissenters, “Dissenters Opposes Imperialist Violence Everywhere” (February 25, 2022)
Dorothy Roberts, “Abolish Family Policing, Too” (June 2022)
Michelle Eisen, “No Contract, No Coffee!” (June 17, 2022)
Melissa Gira Grant, “The Fight for Abortion Rights Must Break the Law to Win” (June 24, 2022)

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