Activist Scholars Discuss “History From Below”

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Famed scholar and activist Staughton Lynd joins University of Pittsburgh historian and author Marcus Rediker on Wednesday to discuss history told from the perspective not of presidents and generals, but of ordinary people.

Lynd and Rediker will address the origins, significance and future of the kind of history Rediker has practiced in critically acclaimed books like last year’s The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom. In the book, Rediker argues that the Africans who famously took over that slave ship in 1839 played a key role in gaining their eventual freedom, and were not solely indebted to the white activists usually credited with the victory.

Lynd, 83, is a long-time civil-rights and labor activist. In 1964, he served as director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s Freedom School of Mississippi. He was also a leading voice against the Vietnam War, and in the 1970s fought to keep open the steel mills of Youngstown, Ohio. He and his wife, Alice, remain active in the Youngstown-Warren area.

Lynd and Rediker will speak at 4 p.m. in 3703 Posvar Hall, on Pitt’s Oakland campus on Forbes Avenue. The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, email marcusrediker@yahoo.com.

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