Arts & Leisure

Book review: The 1619 Project — created by Nikole Hannah-Jones & The New York Times Magazine

(One World)

1619, a year that isn’t well known in the annals of American history, is the starting point for this fresh and exacting examination of the history of slavery in this country, first published in The New York Times Magazine and now expanded into a book. When a young Nikole Hannah-Jones first read that enslaved peoples, taken against their will from their homes in Africa and were sold as slave on American soil in 1619, a year before the Mayflower arrived, she was stunned; these facts were nonexistent in her textbooks and from that, this project was born. Now this Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and some of the most outstanding journalists, thinkers, and scholars of American history and culture have collected essays and historical vignettes that argue we all suffer for the poor quality of education we have received and these myths of American exceptionalism seek to deny the contributions of Black people to the wealth of this country as well as their dedication and contributions to the fight for civil rights in this country. This is a book for everyone, and as James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  

— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons. Connect with her on Instagram @jennysbookshop to find more great book reviews and recommendations. Look for these titles and more at your local bookstore.

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