I’ve now read the book. Unlike the commentator over on LinkedIn who responded to my post a couple of weeks ago that I had started to read 1619 with his comment, “I don’t read fiction very often.”
And his reply to my reply “What do you find to be fictional about this?” with “It starts with a faulty premise and builds a racist narrative on top of it. History books should tell history not make it up to support political ends (ala 1984s Ministry of Truth).”
My reply – which he didn’t respond to further: “That is quite vague. What faulty premise is that exactly? So far it’s related a history of laws that were passed in favor of establishing and perpetuating slavery since 1619. It seems thus far to actually be a history book. Perhaps just one sharing a history you’d prefer not to be told. Unless you care to be specific, please don’t waste my time with generalities on my posts.”
And that exchange ended there.
EVERY time I think about this – which was often as I read “1619” – I got mad.
To myself, “I swore like a sailor,” mad about the racist clown on LinkedIn and his comments, and what I was reading in 1619.
It’s not the first time this crap, “racial prejudice,” has gotten me into such an angry place. I faced it in grade school, high school, working in construction, in the US Navy, as an employee, as a consultant with an equity stake in three consulting firms – with both my staff and my subcontractors, and some of my clients and some my client’s staff.
It’s F’n everywhere.
Oh, and I didn’t learn any new swear words or phrases when I entered the Navy as a 20-year-old, as I had been working construction in the Kansas City area every summer since I was 12.
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story is a 2021 anthology of essays and poetry, published by Random House’s One World imprint on November 16, 2021. It is a book-length expansion of the essays presented in the 1619 Project issue of The New York Times Magazine in August 2019.
I would encourage everyone to read this. It gave me details, historical facts (not fiction), about the enslavers and the enslaved, and our history of twisted laws – twisted from our English-law sources as a set of colonies and then states and newly formed country – used to establish and maintain the institution of slavery, from which much of America’s early wealth derived. It’s the old greed and prejudice story in black and white.
People like Daniel the consultant won’t read it – for their minds are already closed. For whatever reason initially, and continued. They can deny its historical accuracy – made much easier when they haven’t read it themselves and rely on someone else’s critique to “make up” their own.
Video from Good Morning America
Nikole Hannah Jones talks new book, ‘The 1619 Project’