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The 1619 Project

The goal of The 1619 Project is to reframe American history by making explicit how slavery is the foundation on which the United States of America is built, and by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as the nation's birth year. By placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the story citizens tell of themselves and about who they are as a country, the hope is to paint a fuller picture of the institution that shaped the nation. The project consists of essays on different aspects of contemporary American life, from mass incarceration to rush-hour traffic, that have their roots in slavery and its aftermath. Alongside the essays are 17 original literary works that bring to life key moments in African-American history over the past 400 years, and a special section from the New York Times newspaper on the history of slavery made in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.