Showing posts from December, 2020

1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project

“If the 1619 Project were a term paper, any knowledgeable, fair-minded teacher would give it an F and be done with it.  It demonstrates not only incompetence in handling basic facts, but also a total disregard for the importance of using reliable sources.” [1] This is the conclusion of Peter W. Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, after an examination of the central claims of The New York Times’ widely celebrated initiative to reframe American history around slavery.  The initiative is the brainchild of Nikole Hannah-Jones, a staff writer for the Times .  The project was launched in the August 18, 2019 special issue of The New York Times Magazine. [2]   Its basic premise is that the true founding of America was not 1776 with the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence, [3] but 1619 with the arrival of the first African slaves brought to Virginia.  It was this event, Hannah-Jones argues, that expressed the real founding ideals of America.  “America was