Robert Woodson, founder of the Woodson Center, an organization that seeks to strengthen and uplift black communities, strongly disagrees with the ‘1619 Project’ and says it hurts Black Americans by casting them as perpetual victims while ignoring Black America’s long history of success and achievement.
Woodson says, “What is happening is that a group of blacks have gotten together and they have hijacked the rich legacy of the civil rights movement by demeaning, uh, assuming that America is defined by race.”
“Well, since they are using the black issue, we have organized black scholars and activists all over the country to push back against this false narrative.”
“We’re not doing so by offering a counter debate. We’re offering a counter narrative. An inspirational and aspirational alternative.”
“We’re developing a curriculum K through 12 that celebrates America. It recognizes that America’s birth defect was slavery. But America is defined by its promise.”
“And so we are celebrating it.”
“How black’s achieved in the face of oppression. We’re telling success stories. We’re telling the real story of America.”
“Black and brown people are risking their lives to come to this country. And so we are going to be celebrating our rich legacy and showing America that that 1619 Project, they don’t speak for Black America”
As protestors continue to talk about racism in America, many point to something called “The 1619 Project.” It’s presented by the New York Times as a more truthful beginning of the United States than what many of us learned about our country’s founding.
“The 1619 Project” is an ongoing narrative first published in the New York Times Magazine last August, marking the anniversary of the arrival of African slaves to the shores of America 400 years ago, in 1619.
It aims to reframe history by placing the consequences of slavery as the center of America’s legacy. As project director, Nikole Hannah-Jones put it, “The fight here is about who gets to control the national narrative, and therefore, the nation’s shared memory of itself.”
Jones goes on to say The 1619 Project “never pretended to be history,” which begs the question as to why it has been packaged as a curriculum for K-12 students, with many school districts planning to adopt it.
Among its claims are the idea that the American Revolution was launched “in order to ensure slavery would continue”… and that modern American capitalism has its roots in plantation slavery.
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