[Howard Zinn raw #33]

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Oscar Chase discusses Howard Zinn and their activities with SNCC.

0:23 NYU law professor Oscar Chase discusses his friendship with Marian Wright Edelman, his classmate at Yale Law School. He describes the atmosphere at Yale Law School at the beginning of the 1960s as a transition between the acquiescence of the 1950s and the upheaval of the 1960s.

5:25 Chase talks about traveling to Mississippi with future California governor Jerry Brown. “Bringing it back to Mississippi, it was an example of how brutal and how vicious the power structure was.”

8:37 Oscar Chase discusses the voter-registration project he developed with Bob Moses, Howard Zinn, and SNCC in association with Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi. He talks about the importance of Zinn in SNCC as a builder and maintainer of bridges, somebody who alleviated some of the tension that emerged in building up SNCC as an organization.

16:47 Chase talks about Zinn’s working class background and the ways in which it informed his career and his commitments.

19:19 Chase discusses Zinn’s detractors in the Boston University administration.

21:56 Oscar Chase recounts getting beat up during a SNCC campaign to register voters in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He says he was arrested while attempting to purchase a bus ticket at the black counter; while sitting in his jail cell, the jailer told a drunk prisoner about Chase’s political affiliations and the drunk prisoner beat him up and knocked him out.

28:12 Chase discusses how SNCC members and supporters integrated the Hattiesburg court room during Bob Moses’s trial. “It was one of those marvelous moments when authority and tradition of a bad kind is challenged and just because of firmness and willingness to risk what could’ve been a bloodbath in the wrong hands, there was at least that moment of change and acceptance of change.

31:21 Oscar Chase says that, throughout the anti-war movement and beyond, Zinn served as an inspiration to a lot of activists. He says he’s just a great guy in general. He praises Zinn’s sense of humor and talks about Zinn’s wife, Roslyn.

34:59 Chase and filmmaker Denis Mueller discuss Zinn’s ability to connect with different groups of people.

 

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