Nikole-Hannah Jones Explores the Legacy of Slavery in a New Project with the New York Times
August 20th, 1619 is an important date, but few know its historical significance: on this day, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown. Though America did not yet exist, this day marked “the beginning of the system of slavery on which the country was built.” Lavin speaker Nikole-Hannah Jones is spearheading a new project at The New York Times to observe the 400th anniversary.
The 1619 Project was originally pitched to the magazine by staff writer Nikole-Hannah Jones as an issue to commemorate the tragic anniversary of slavery. What evolved was an unprecedented project, including an entire issue of the magazine, a section of the kids section, and a full digital package, all dedicated to examining “a date as important to this country as the year 1776.”
The project, which will examine the legacy of slavery and how it continues to impact modern-day America, will feature works by artists such as Wesley Morris, Jammele Bouie, and Tyehimba Jess. A live event will take place at The Times Center on August 13th to celebrate the launch.
“Just as nothing about this country has been left untouched by this country's decision to purchase that first group of 20 human beings, we hope this project will reframe the way we view our nation, the black people who built in the society we live in, and where we go from here,” said Hannah-Jones.
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