The Zinn Education Project booth had a constant stream of visitors at the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) 2011 Conference in early December in Washington, D.C.
The booth became a gathering place for people to share stories about teaching people’s history, memories of Howard Zinn, and concerns about the obstacles to teaching outside the textbook.
Almost every visitor to the booth signed up for the Zinn Education Project website (if they weren’t already registered), voted for the Zinn Education Project on the CREDO/Working Assets donations ballot, and completed a survey to help us plan for 2012. We also had information about the project co-coordinators Teaching for Change and Rethinking Schools and our partners at Democracy Now! and StoryCorps’ National Teachers Initiative. Key people’s history titles were on display including Voices of a People’s History and A Young People’s History of the United States from Seven Stories Press and The People Speak DVD.
On Saturday afternoon we hosted a special information session called “Teaching a People’s History and Challenging Myths About the Civil War” with guest speaker James W. Loewen. Loewen, well-known for his best-selling Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong, offered an informative and engaging presentation called “Challenging Myths About the Civil War to a standing room only audience. Loewen’s latest book, The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The “Great Truths” about the “Lost Cause”, examines the original reasoning behind secession and subsequent myth-making in defense of slavery and white supremacy.