Friday, February 27, 2009

“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Fredrick Douglass

LR#4 came through again. She gave a heads up to a very special event that went down last night to a sold out, Mission High School Auditorium, crowd. Not a big place, but a beautiful venue, they were sitting in the aisles and standing in the doorways. There were representatives from the MHS student body seated on stage.

Howard Zinn, socialist, activist, and all around supersmart guy, and his editor Anthony Arnove narrated Voices of a People's History.
Voices of a People’s History of the United States brings to life the extraordinary history of ordinary people who built the movements that made the United States what it is today, ending slavery and Jim Crow, protesting war and the genocide of Native Americans, creating unions and the eight hour work day, advancing women's rights and gay liberation, and struggling to right wrongs of the day.
By giving public expression to rebels, dissenters, and visionaries from our past—and present—VOICES seeks to educate and inspire a new generation working for social justice. 
It was truly amazing. Talented actors, orators, and a hip-hop artist performed speeches and writings exerted from history.
A people's history is the history of the world that is the story of mass movements and of the outsiders. Individuals not included in the past in other type of writing about history are part of this theory's primary focus, which includes the disenfranchised, the oppressed, the poor, the nonconformists, and the otherwise forgotten people. This theory also usually focuses on events occurring in the fullness of time, or when an overwhelming wave of smaller events cause certain developments to occur. wiki
Historic Powerful Speeches performed by talented people who truly believed in the words. 

It went down like this:
  • Bartolome de Las Casas, from The Devastation of the Indies (1542) - Benjamin Bratt
  • Tecumseh, Speech to the Osages (Winter, 1811-1812) - Boots Riley
  • North Star Editorial, "The War with Mexico" (January 21, 1848) - Renee Saucedo
  • Sojourner Truth, "Ain't I A Woman?" (1851) - Kerry Washington
  • The United States v. Susan B. Anthony (June 19, 1873) - Diane Lane, Josh Brolin
  • Eugene Debs, Canton, Ohio Speech (June 16, 1918) - Josh Brolin
  • Mary Ellen Lease, "Wall Street Owns the Country" (c. 1890) - Diane Lane
  • Langston Hughe, "The Ballad of Roosevelt" (1934) - Clarence Thomas
  • Woody Guthrie, "Hard Travelin'" (1945) -  The  Stairwell Sisters
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" (April 4, 1967) - Clarence Thomas
  • Muhammad Ali Speaks Out Against the Vietnam War (1966) - Boots Riley
  • Vito Russo, Why We Fight (1988) - Josh Brolin
  • Bruce Springsteen, "Youngstown" (1995) - The Stairwell Sisters
  • Elizabeth ("Betita") Martinez, Be Down with the Brown! (1998) - Renee Saucedo
  • Camilo Mejia, Statement on GI Resistance to the Iraq War (2005) - Benjamin Bratt
  • Margie Piercy, "the low road" (1980) - Kerry Washington
I cannot say enough how amazing this was. Every speech. Wow.

This was a one time event, although, Mr. Zinn and Mr. Arnove, who narrated throughout the night, are on tour. In the few cities they are stopping, it will be a different show, with different performances and cast.

Thanks LR#4.


Francesca said...

Isn't this a great project?

Just a point. You posted the link to my Benjamin Bratt site, whose domain name changed to

Jonny Hamachi said...


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