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To dismantle the ecology of inequality, many voices must unite, men and women, young and old—past and present.

In 2016, with coalition building front of mind, the 400 Years collective sought out and fostered meaningful partnerships with other radical, historically minded organizations. One of them was Voices of a People’s History, a curated set of inspiring timeless speeches and writings, all excerpted from Zinn and Arnove’s Voices of a People’s History and read by some of today’s most talented performing artists, like Staceyann Chen, Wallace Shawn, Kendrick Samson, and more. The undeniable synergy between Voices defiant events and the 400 Years’ timeline of inequality sparked a series of bold programming spotlighting marginalized communities—all across America.

Joining the Voices coalition, The New School’s College of Performing Arts, and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, produced Shining Lights in the Lingering Night, an evening of historical political readings and live music observing the struggle for equality in the United States.

Featuring readings from Voices of a People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, students from the School of Drama performed along with special guests Kathleen Chalfant, John Douglas Thompson, David Beach, and Sanjit De Silva, as well as musical performances by students from the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. The event took place in The Cooper Union's Great Hall, where President Lincoln once spoke, as projections of the historical figures back-dropped the performers, giving voice to their words—and historical power to their observance.

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There is such power
in the mosaic of voices.

Molly Kaufman

Founding Member, 400 Years of Inequality

October 14, 2019

The Cooper Union, New York, NY

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Shining Lights

in the Lingering Night