Staughton Lynd’s Tribute to Howard Zinn

Staughton Lynd, noted historian, lawyer, labor activist and Quaker pacifist, was the featured speaker at the Organization of American Historians (OAH) Remembering Howard Zinn session. Staughton Lynd had taught history at Spelman College alongside Howard Zinn in the early 1960s and is well respected for his work in the anti-war movement, labor movement, and for prisoner rights.

Hosted by the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA) and Historians Against the War (HAW), the remembrance for Howard Zinn at the OAH opened and closed with a song led by Staughton Lynd and Michael Honey (author of Going Down Jericho Road The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign.)

Staughton Lynd wrote his speech in direct response to those who have questoned Howard Zinn’s scholarship as a historian. He opened his talk with: “It may seem a strange form of grieving:  To remember a  friend, who happens to have been an historian, by seeking to discern what kind of historian he was, what vision of history he sought to present, what in the way of history we might wish to carry forward from what he accomplished.  Nonetheless that is the project in which I invite you to join me.”  Staughton Lynd has allowed us to publish his full speech here at the Zinn Education Project website for public access.

Other noted historians and activists also shared their remembrances. Following the event, there was a book signing for Staughton Lynd for the new collection of his own work, From Here to There: The Staughton Lynd Reader.

Full speech by Staughton Lynd: Howard Zinn, Historian.