This weekend is a national holiday commemorating July 4th when American colonies declared their independence from England in 1776. While many in the US hang flags, attend parades and watch fireworks, Independence Day is not a cause of celebration for everyone.
For Native Americans it is a bitter reminder of colonialism, which brought disease, genocide and the destruction of their culture and way of life.
For African Americans Independence Day did not extend to them. While white colonists were declaring their freedom from the crown, that liberation was not shared with millions of Africans who were captured, beaten, separated from their families and forced into slavery thousands of miles from home.
Today we’ll hear excerpts of Howard Zinn’s classic work: A People’s History of the United States. It was first published 24 years ago. The millionth copy of the book was recently sold.
To celebrate this feat, the great historian gathered with a group of actors, writers and editors for a public reading of the book at the 92nd Street Y in New York. The cast included Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut, Danny Glover and James Earl Jones.