Our Busboys and Poets Book Club meets monthly in the Howard Zinn Room at the BB&P restaurant in Hyattsville under a remarkable mural painted by BB&P owner Andy Shallal. The mural was inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”. Four bodies of water converge at the center, where Howard Zinn is prominently featured. Hughes was a busboy in the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., where he was “discovered” by poet Vachel Lindsey who thereafter called him “that busboy poet.”
Each month over the past year, our book club has discussed two chapters of Zinn’s classic, A People’s History of the United States, for thirty minutes, before moving on to our selection of the month. Unfortunately, the history ends in the year 2000. At our next club meeting, I asked that we try to envision what Zinn would have included in a sequel covering the years 2000 to 2014. In preparation for the meeting, I have done a table of events that Zinn might have considered important enough to people to include in the history: politics, war, employment, strikes, economic struggles, popular movements, disasters, demonstrations, etc. The table is below.