I just finished The 1619 Project. As an old white guy, I consider myself woke when it comes to Black history. Woke, which means aware, btw. I’ve read DuBois, Foner, Marable, Coates, Critical Race Theory. I’ve long held that the “American Revolution” was in essence a slaveholders revolt: slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1831. But Nikole Hannah-Jones’ masterpiece blew me away.
The compilation of essays is so comprehensive. Each essay covers a critical aspect of racial oppression and resistance. Democracy. Race. Sugar. Fear. Dispossession. Capitalism. Politics. Citizenship. Self-Defense. Punishment. Inheritance. Medicine. Justice. And so on. Even Traffic, how the segregation of urban areas has led to horrific traffic jams.
There’s no question but the book is what set off the right in its desperate attempt to maintain the white version of history with its absurd attacks on Critical Race Theory. According to Wikipedia, “Florida governor [and presidential hopeful] Ron DeSantis passed a bill in July 2021 barring the teaching of critical race theory, including any materials from the 1619 Project.”
The final chapter is a poignant call for reparations, supported by the arguments in nearly all the essays — a subject dear to my heart, as shown in my blog, as well as the heart of many woke USers.
Hannah-Jones’ won the Pulitzer for her initial essay called “Origins.” The book was on the NYT Best Seller list for months, many weeks at number one. So many people have bought this book. Many have probably read it. I strongly urge anyone who hasn’t read it, please do so at your earliest convenience.