- - Monday, February 3, 2020

Despite top historians decrying what they call its falsehoods and distortions, a race-conscious New York Times rewrite of American history is being adopted in classrooms across the country, John Murawski reports for RealClearInvestigations. The 1619 Project is teaching tens of thousands of American schoolchildren that the United States was founded not in liberty in 1776 but in the bondage of slaves arriving in Virginia in 1619.

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Murawski reports:

  • Since publication in the New York Times Magazine last summer, the 1619 Project has been adapted for more than 3,500 classrooms in all 50 states.
  • Five school systems, including Chicago and Washington DC, have adopted it district-wide.
  • School systems are largely doing this by administrative fiat, not through a public textbook review process.
  • The 1619 Project is part of the ongoing “ethnic studies” or “woke history” movement sweeping the nation’s schools, which proponents say corrects a version of history distorted by “whiteness.”
  • Random House plans four 1619-themed books for young readers, including a special illustrated edition. Ten Speed Press has a “graphic novelization” in the works.
  • As journalism, the Times project is a bold departure from traditional news aiming to provide readers with impartial information and a range of perspectives.
  • The project’s leader, Nikole Hannah-Jones, says her goal for the project is a “reparations bill” – financial reparations for slavery and subsequent racial discrimination.
  • There’s no such thing as objective history, she says.
  • A school official in minority-heavy Buffalo, N.Y. calls the effort a godsend, “a curriculum of emancipation, a pedagogy of liberation, for freeing the minds of young people.”
  • Henry Louis Gates Jr., the black Harvard academic, took issue with Hannah-Jones for ignoring the role of African chieftains who kidnapped blacks for the slave trade.
  • Gordon Wood, a leading historian of the American Revolution, says that without corrections, the only way to use the 1619 project for education would be “as a way of showing how history can be distorted and perverted.”

 

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