[Howard Zinn raw #51]

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Interview with Alice Walker about Howard Zinn.

0:15 Alice Walker talks about her time as a student at Spelman College and her travels to Russia. Upon her return from Russia, she enrolled in a Russian Literature class being taught by Howard Zinn. “And I did a paper on Dostoevsky and Tolstoy and he really really appreciated it and I think that was the foundation of our friendship.”

3:31 Alice Walker explains why Zinn was such a great teacher. She says that he was funny and a skilled spontaneous speaker.

5:57 Walker talks about how Zinn’s strength as a teacher was rooted in his passion for literature and his ability to be moved by it.

7:36 Walker says that Zinn embodied the essence of the revolutionary spirit.

9:15 Walker details the conflict between Zinn and the Spelman College administration.

10:12 Alice Walker talks about how the Zinn home was always open to students when Howard and Ros were living in Atlanta.

12:33 Walker talks about Roslyn Zinn. “I can’t imagine him without Ros.” She says Ros was a very kind, generous, thoughtful person.

16:33 Walker discusses Zinn as a teacher. “Part of the way that he brought in the real world was that he brought in a real Howard Zinn.” She wishes all teachers were as honest with their students as Howard was.

19:21 Alice Walker says that Zinn was committed and connected to his family, his community, and his origins throughout his life and that gave him strength.

21:17 Walker responds to academic criticism of Zinn’s writing style.

23:15 Walker says that “in the Buddhist way of looking at this, we would say that Howie is empty.” She says he’s not attached to how other perceive him.

26:26 Walker praises Brian Jones’s portrayal of Marx in Zinn’s play “Marx in Soho.” She says the play shows Ros’s influence on Howard.

 

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