Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #1619Project

Most recents (24)

It’s hard to believe, but one year ago today we launched the #1619project. When I pitched it, my editors asked what I hoped for the project. I said simply: That most Americans will know the year 1619 & that it will force us to acknowledge & confront the ongoing legacy of slavery. ImageImageImageImage
The project excited passions and debate, discussion and reckoning, in ways both exhilarating and hurtful, but I really want to take the time to think of how transformative this last year has been and to thank everyone who has engaged with the project and whom found it meaningful. ImageImageImageImage
I was so afraid the day this project published. We’re a country that’s wanted to run from our racist history, to downplay and justify slavery and its legacy. Would this collosal effort that used so many resources to produce land in the world without anyone caring? Y’all cared❤️ ImageImageImageImage
Read 6 tweets
I have to say it is excruciating listening to @ClayborneCarson speak about the #1619Project. We never pretended we “discovered” unknown history. The 1619 Project relies heavily on and cites the work of dozens of historians and is written in part by actual historians.
He just said the project had an “arrogance” by people who “have not spent their lives studying history,” but I don’t understand why historians write works of history if they do not want lay people to read those histories, incorporate those histories in their work & understanding.
Read 8 tweets
"The stories of men and women for whom oppression triggered resilience and success have been redacted from politically correct, grievance-based histories such as The #1619Project..."   @bobwoodson writes in @wsj #OpEd   1/11
"The mission of @WoodsonCenter and @1776Unites is to rescue those inspiring examples of achievement against the odds—both historical and current..." 2/
"If you asked young black students today who the Golden 13 were, few would be able to identify the group of determined African-American servicemen who won a noble victory in an era in which blacks were prohibited from becoming naval officers..." 3/
Read 11 tweets
Have been trying to stay out of the Sean Wilentz/Tom Cotton debate about the supposedly antislavery potential of the Constitution, but a ton of people have emailed me this week so (deep breath) here are some thoughts on Wilentz's piece in @NYRDaily.…
Wilentz is queasy after Tom Cotton claimed him as an ally in the fight against the #1619Project and “radical historical revisionism” which seeks to argue that America was “founded on racism.”…
You can see why Cotton would think Wilentz was a fellow traveller. Cotton insists that America was founded “on the natural equality of mankind and the freedom that flows from that”; SW argues that the Constitution “contained powerful antislavery potential.”
Read 28 tweets
“This is a break-the-glass moment for the U.S. #Census. If they stop counting at the end of next month like the Administration plans, it would lock in extra political power and federal funding for whites in the suburbs for a decade. 1/5
It would deprive whites in rural areas, everyone in cities, Native Americans, Blacks, LatinX and renters of that same power and money. 2/5…
The effects go well beyond political manipulation to strike at who counts as an American. Since 1790 the #Census has been a building block to our democracy. 3/5…
Read 5 tweets
This was such a great Q&A with ⁦@CC_Rosenthal⁩ about an area of tension and at times vicious disagreement amongst economists and economic historians— particularly NHC scholars — that the #1619Project perhaps naively stepped right into.…
I used to be perplexed when people would come in my timeline arguing that slavery *cannot* of been foundational to US economy because free labor systems could have been just as or more profitable. I didn’t get this, as my interest is what DID happen, not what could’ve happened.
I also didn’t understand that economists and economic historians were using different vocabulary and different understandings and I learned that the hard way.
Read 6 tweets
When white Evangelical leaders discredit Christian support for #BLM with "Jesus came to save individuals from sin, not political change," this is #TheologyOfPrivilege. It's a dominant theology and long est. strategy for marginalizing critiques of the status quo's injustice 1/ Image
What is #TheologyOfPrivilege? If the status quo is comfortable for you; if you benefit from the current relations of exploitation in society, you have the #Privilege of feeling non-political. You can label calls for change as political and treat your theology as pure. 2/
There is a history of #TheologyOfPrivilege in Christianity. Think of Luther’s ultimate response to exploited, starving German (Christian) peasants and their theological critiques of the feudal status quo: slaughter them, they’re not real Christians! 3/…
Read 18 tweets
If you want to understand why boomer accusations of millenial "entitlement" are so enraging, take a look at this chart. (if it was just a matter of investments rising in value over time, then the Silent gen would be wealthier than Boomers; but they're not)
Gross generalization alert, but: people are biased towards the belief that they deserve what they have. Boomers present their own freakish generational luck as the result of individual striving and hard work because it avoids psychically painful status-costing self-recognition.
This "méconaissance" (misrecognition) preserves an egoic defense against feeling devalued. People want to be able to like themselves and the feeling that one has earned what one has is, for many, crucial to sustaining that feeling But . . .
Read 12 tweets
A good thread about how/ why history is selective in public memory. But I'd offer this: it's not just history/ memory. The debate is about what history is and what it is for. 1/ #VastEarlyAmerica
Seth notes that we select parts of the past to bring into the present. Yes, that's public commemoration. That's statues. But "how we tell the story of the nation to our children" is about "the history." History as a crucially important, knowable thing. 2/
When history is understood as knowledge it means people can investigate it, assess it --not just be told it. The narrative Seth references & the #1619Project has provoked, the one that let slavery be in the past, that's actionable knowledge. It can be assessed, evaluated. 3/
Read 5 tweets
Contra Sen. Cotton, slavery was neither a "necessary" evil nor destined for "ultimate extinction." Slavery was a choice defended or accepted by most white Americans for generations, and it expanded dramatically between the Revolution and the Civil War.…
The whiggish take on America's history with slavery just doesn't stand up even to casual scrutiny, no matter how many times people offer it and no matter how badly people want to believe it.
Also worth noting that Cotton explicitly says here that "the union was built" on slavery. Which is precisely what the #1619Project and a fair amount of recent historiography argues.
Read 3 tweets
Two challenges are at the center of professional practice for me as an early Americanist.
First, this is a field that for reasons we should all understand has a particular prominence in American history writ large, and that, since its founding, has been implicitly if not always explicitly about the history of the nation. 2/
Second, as a community and as a profession, it really matters what we say about what we have been and done, and what we want to be and do. But it really, really matters what we do, who is consulted about that work, and who is asked to carry out what. 3/
Read 15 tweets
Since @nhannahjones keeps claiming that the #1619Project used experts in the history of slavery, Am Revolution, & Civil War, let's see how that stacks up. Here's the feature article list from the project with associated professions. How many experts in those subjects do you see?
There are a handful of Civil War era experts who wrote short vignettes for the 1619 Project, such as Tiya Miles. But these are few and far between, and their essays have not attracted any controversy.
I'll also offer a theory of what really happened. NHJ took the bulk of the project's material about slavery and the crucial 1776-1865 period upon herself, then outsourced the economic dimensions of that period to sociologist and fellow MacArthur grant recipient Matthew Desmond.
Read 7 tweets
In 1793 the U.S. Congress enacted their first fugitive slave law which required every state to forcibly return slaves who had escaped from other states to their owners. It included a $500 penalty levied against rescuers.
Alexander von Humboldt: "One often sees men with their mouths full of beautiful philosophical maxims, who nevertheless violate the first principles of philosophy with their conduct...”
”...abusing slaves with a copy of Raynal in their hand, and speaking enthusiastically of the cause of freedom while selling the children of Negroes only a few months after their birth."
Read 25 tweets
Black Slavery Myths Debunked

Claim: Every civilization had slavery.

FACT: “Slaves were NEVER chattel until the 19th century — NEVER in world history were slaves considered chattel until modern times.”

— Dr. David Neiman


African Americans were enslaved for a much longer time than the Bible says the Jews ( 250 vs. 210 ) years were.

Of course, followed by more years of legal aparthied.…
Many scholars say the Jews weren't slaves. But, that they were actually paid. Anyway, if it didn't happen. It's still interesting. Why? Because that's the story African Americans clung to during slavery in America.
Read 3 tweets
The Pulitzer Prize winning #1619Project. Phase II commences with the toppling of slave owner George Washington.

Let’s skip to the end shall we: what are you going to do with all us black & white people on Native American Land? Mass national suicide, self-murder or deportation?
Of course, not all whites are so backward as slavers. Years ago, a civil rights leader and white preacher emerged to lead an integrated black majority movement. Strong on race issues, he deeply moved and inspired his flock with his progressive vision of a “Mixed Race Utopia”.
But this isn’t about these two men, the Reverend & the Slave Owning President. It’s about their legacies and a black woman named Hyacinth Thrash. You see Ms Thrash is the hope for us all: she was attracted & deeply committed to progress on racial issues. But with a difference.
Read 11 tweets
I’ve seen a few tweets today where “Irish Slavery” is once again having to be debunked.
People are trying use the myth of Irish slaves to dilute the African American experience and, by extension, #BlackLivesMatter. There was no such thing as Irish slaves. But there are racists and disingenuous people who try to co-opt the Irish experience
to try and bolster their own disturbed beliefs. It’s a common used method to try and denigrate or weaken the immense and lasting impact of the institution of Slavery in the U.S. It’s a racist trope and should be called out every time.
Read 24 tweets
I don't have an audience, so this tweet is more of a diary entry than anything else - but tonight, I'm sad. I'm sad because of the incoherence and confusion of what is going on in my country right now, and I'm sad that I fear it won't lead to real solutions.
I'm sad that racial prejudice still exists in my country. I'm also sad that a parasitic, virulent ideology (Critical Theory) is attaching itself to the efforts to address lingering effects of past racist policy in the USA, and derailing those efforts.
I'm sad that left-wing extremists are hijacking the necessary conversation and effort to remediate the effects of past racism to the ends of anarchy and destruction. I'm sad that left-wing activists don't understand or care about the pain and havoc they will cause.
Read 13 tweets
Two+ months since I wrote this. Where are we now? A (long) thread about protest, statues, events as transformations of structures. Plus #MMT and regime change!!…
Thinking about the protests and two other things I saw on here last week:
1) huge marches didn’t prevent Iraq War;
2) Do we know what would satisfy the protesters?
(plus, of course, the French Revolution)
3/ Iraq (or Brexit) marches are not good analogies, I think. Those were attempts to sway small group of national lawmakers, get them to NOT do something planned. When invasion/Brexit happened anyway, protests had “failed.”
Read 24 tweets
It’s been extremely encouraging to witness surge of energy among Asians for #BlackLivesMatter. From media coverage to countless online+offline convos to solidarity statements to direct actions, I’m hopeful that this groundswell will last. 1/x

Love this graphic by @kalamendoza
Based on queries I’ve been fielding from journalists + DM’s from people ranging from high schoolers to retirees, rounding up some reflections, links, + suggestions for further reading + doing 2/
The fact that there there’s been sprinkling of media coverage on (US+Asia) is a hopeful sign , suggesting that people throughout our communities are truly receptive to understanding how anti-blackness operates in American life 3/
Read 27 tweets
I was asked to write this and I was emotional and angry. Tired, really. But I wanted to share my thought process when writing these 750+ words about the proximity of premature death/racism in Dallas and in this country. THREAD.…
I’m an artist & MC. I always think about ideas in song lyrics. No other song title conveys proximity to premature death better than 2Pac’s “Death Around The Corner”(especially since his best work, ME AGAINST THE WORLD, released when he was in prison):
I decided to start with Tupac’s words because, in his lyrics, he located how CLOSE death was in his lived experience. Racism has a way of making that easy for you. He understood a radical political framework, predicted his premature death in this country and was killed at 25.
Read 20 tweets
As cities across America burn and the militarised police continue to incite riots against righteous protestors, kill innocents and attack journalists, we’re witnessing a release of frustration on both the implements and the symbols of Black suppression.
Protests; peaceful and pleading, angry and distraught, rage against the Police Order that has since it’s very inception been used to repress black skin. We now see it every day in heart-rending videos of murder and assault by civilian and cop alike.

Buildings have been burned to the ground, police stations as well as historic places enured with our slave holding past. As these frustrations play out on both implement and symbol, and as justice for those murdered seems far from coming,
Read 36 tweets
Thread 👇🏾1/14
The books below may be available online at Black owned and Canadian bookstore @ADFRNTBooklist At this time, they are offering free shipping during COVID-19. 2/14
'The Hanging of Angelique' by @afuacooper
'They Call Me George..' by @cecilfosterca
'Policing Black Lives' by @policingblack
'Until We Are Free' by @rodneydiverlus
'The Skin We're In' by @DesmondCole 3/14
Read 14 tweets
1/ I see a lot of organizations & people highlighting the work of, or "standing with black ppl" in these hard times. Respectfully, if now is when you think to “highlight” or “check in on your black friend/coworker” you are apart of the problem.
2/If you’re an org, news, podcast, or otherwise and you don’t think about the disparities in American life in your daily work, don’t start now with the questions of how we got here? It’s in the statistics we live with, and ultimately are okay with.
3/And friends, don’t ask me if I’m okay. I’m not. Ask why you are okay with the disparities in American life cause if this one of the few times you’ve thought about it… then you are okay with it.
Read 10 tweets

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