The 1619 Project

Two Books Based on ‘1619 Project’ Coming Out in November


In November, two books based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning “1619 Project” will be released.

According to The Associated Press, the books feature contributions from Jesmyn Ward, Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi, and a host of other authors and journalists.

“The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story,” “a bold expansion” of the New York Times Magazine publication from 2019 that centers the country’s history around slavery and led to a Pulitzer for commentary for the project’s creator, Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Nikole Hannah-Jones. “Born On the Water” is a volume for young people, based on a student’s family tree assignment, with Hannah-Jones and Renee Watson’s words and illustrations by Nikkolas Smith.

“When we published ‘The 1619 Project’ in 2019, none of us could have imagined all that it would become,” Hannah-Jones said in a statement. “The historic events that have since taken place in our country have only affirmed the thesis of, and necessity for, a project that grapples with how slavery, oppression and the struggle for Black liberation created the country we live in today.”

Both works will come out on Nov. 16. in hardcover and digital formats through Penguin Random House. Audiobooks will be simultaneously released by Penguin Random House Audio.

What is “The 1619 Project?”

The NY Times describes it as an “ongoing initiative” from the publication “that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery,” and that the project “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”

The project was so much esteemed that schools started to roll out the teaching of the project in its classrooms– something the Republican Party has actively been fighting against.

Last year, then-president Donald Trump signed an executive order to create the “1776 Commission” to promote a “patriotic education,” as a rebuttal to the project.

“By viewing every issue through the lens of race, they want to impose a new segregation, and we must not allow that to happen,” he said at the White House Conference on American History last September. “Critical race theory, the 1619 Project and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison, that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together, will destroy our country.”

Republican lawmakers in at least five states — Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri and South Dakota — recently introduced legislation that would ban the “1619 Project” in schools or cut funding for those that use the project. The Arkansas and Mississippi bills called the project “a racially divisive and revisionist account.” The bill introduced in Iowa insists that it “attempts to deny or obfuscate the fundamental principles upon which the United States was founded.”

However, the more the GOP protests, the more others are working hard to thwart the project’s momentum.

Earlier this month, Hulu announced it would be producing a documentary series based on the “1619 Project.” The documentary is being developed and produced by Oprah Winfrey, who is working with Lionsgate to turn the “1619 Project” into a portfolio of films, television series and additional content.

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