The People Speak

Earlier this year, Benjamin was involved in the making of the documentary “The People Speak”, inspired by a Howard Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States”, and from a book he co-authored with Anthony Arnove, “Voices of a People’s History”.

The project – that had been discussed for over a decade before finally getting off the ground – includes four one-hour programs featuring music, readings based on America’s struggles with race, class, war and women’s rights, archival footage, photos, and supplementary interviews. Shooting took place in front of live audiences at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston, MA, on January 8 and 9, 2008.

The documentary brought together accomplished performers that read up to eight selections.

Benjamin reads

  • Jermain Wesley Loguen, Letter to Sarah Logue (March 28, 1860)
  • Daniel Ellsberg, from Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (2003)
  • Camilo Mejia antiwar statement in Chicago (June 2005).

I uploaded a picture of Benjamin taken while he was recording one of his selections in the gallery (publicity shots).

For more information about the project, please see

The People Speak

Edited to add:

It was pointed out to me that there are terrific videos of Benjamin Bratt reading in earlier performances of “Voices of a People’s History of the United States” (the text that serves, in part, as the basis for “The People Speak” documentary) online at

One thought on “The People Speak”

  1. A short note to add that the videos to be found at the “Voices of a People’s History” site are from a public reading held at All Saints Church Pasadena in Pasadena, CA, on February 1, 2007, and benefitting for the Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP). Benjamin joined Elizabeth Peña, Rosie Perez, Mark Ruffalo, Alfre Woodard, Q’Orianka Kilcher, Josh Brolin and Members of Ozomatli in reading excerpts from the book “Voices of a People’s History of the United States”, written by historian Howard Zinn and edited by Anthony Arnold, collecting speeches, letters, songs, petitions, etc. of people throughout U.S. history who struggled against slavery, war, racism, war and exploitation.

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