THE 1619 PROJECT
By Florence Field
[Parts of the following are based on an article in the August 18, 2019 issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine. To read the entire article:
“In August 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived at a coastal port in the British colony of Virginia. The [African slaves] on board were sold to colonists, marking the beginning of a more than two-century-long institution that would radically alter and continue to inform the identity of a young nation.”
“August is the 400th anniversary of that ship’s arrival. To commemorate this historic moment and its legacy, The New York Times Magazine has dedicated an entire issue and special broadsheet section, out this Sunday [August 18, 2019], to exploring the history of slavery and mapping the ways in which it has touched nearly every aspect of contemporary life in the United States; …. its legacy continues to shape our country. “
“Almost every contributor in the magazine and special section – writers, photographers and artists – is black.” The idea for the Project came from Nicole Hannah-Jones, a NY Times reporter who won a MacArthur Grant in 2017 for her work on American segregation. The 1619 team felt that the Project should stand as a “constant reminder that even though slavery was formally abolished more than 150 years ago, its legacy has remained insidious,” and to explore and explain “the nuances of what it means to be a black person in America.”
“The 1619 Project also includes a multipart audio series, a page dedicated to understanding the significance of 1619 in the upcoming issues of the New York Times for Kids, and a partnership with the Pulitzer Center to create a curriculum that will be distributed in schools across the country.” The Project will be distributed for free at libraries, museums and schools nationally.
[For those interested in delving further, links can be found by Googling “1619 Project.”]