Book review – 1620: a critical response to the 1619 project
A must-read book by Peter W. Wood
By: Danusha V. Goska
The last few years have seen eruptions of violence and hatred in America: riots, looting, demolition of statues. Often these riots are privileged young whites. One wonders why self-proclaimed “anti-racist” riots are currently taking place? African Americans today have a power and a wealth that would have been unimaginable to their ancestors. Americans elected a black president, a black vice president, and there are many former and current black governors, senators, congressmen and women, SCOTUS judges, professors, journalists, entrepreneurs, millionaires and billionaires, writers at successes, top movie stars, influencers, trend setters and beloved artists and athletes. Interracial marriage is an accepted feature of American life; indeed, Prince Harry, Kim Kardashian, John Legend, Tiger Woods, Candace Owens, Clarence Thomas, George Lucas, Robert DeNiro, Serena Williams and Heidi Klum are just a few of the celebrities in today’s interracial love matches and old. Why then has racial rage inflamed so many people?
An excellent guide through America’s agonizing spasms is “1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project” by Peter W. Wood. Peter W. Wood holds a doctorate. in Anthropology and was a Full Professor at Boston University. He is president of the National Association of Researchers. He wrote an easy-to-read guide to the 1619 Project. Almost like a pop-up book, “1620” develops into an anthology if one follows the many references to the online essays that Wood provides.
Wood is never anything other than courteous and calm, but it also refuses to walk on eggshells. His prose is direct and without excuse. For example, Wood writes that Project 1619 is “an effort to destroy America by teaching children that America never really existed, except as a lie told by whites in an effort to control blacks. It eradicates American history and American values in one fell swoop. This effort to destroy America by distorting American history is of great importance. “American history is important because… We Americans have so little proof of our common identity.” Likewise, Wood cites many scholars who are also speaking. Allen Guelzo, for example, said: “Project 1619 is not history; it is ignorance. Gordon S. Wood called the project “perverse and twisted.”
At the same time, Wood recognizes that tackling Project 1619 is a quixotic quest. “Critics of Project 1619 seem as futile as moths flapping their wings against the light of a porch.” Nikole Hannah-Jones is a celebrity and is “exempt from ordinary forms of liability”. Regarding the mischievously produced advertisement for Project 1619, which aired during the Oscars, Wood wrote: “Historians who publish articles that detail the many inaccuracies in the Times pseudo-story come up against a famous, popular singer-actress. and distinctive and to a soundtrack that dictates what your feelings should be. It is not a contest.
The New York Times created Project 1619 in August 2019. The project consists of, among other things, newspaper and magazine articles, school programs, live events, and a podcast. Project 1619, Wood notes, has, in a precious touch, its own typeface. The goal of Project 1619 is to “reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the national narrative of the United States.” Project 1619 is promoted by the National Education Association, the Zinn Education Project / Rethinking Schools, and the Pulitzer Center, among others.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, 45, born in Iowa, the daughter of a black father and a Czech-American mother, is the driving force behind Project 1619. Hannah-Jones worked as a reporter for the Oregonian, the Raleigh News and Observer and ProPublica before joining The New York Times in 2015. Hannah-Jones said it would be “an honor” for her to accept responsibility for the riots and looting. in the summer of 2020, and to accept the name “Les 1619 riots”. As Wood records in her book, Hannah-Jones has repeatedly contradicted herself, made comments that she later denied making, and deleted extreme tweets, including one that accused her scholarly black critics of not showing off. worry about children enslaved. Responding to these black criticisms, Hannah-Jones expressed her contempt for them by tweeting a photo of her showing off her golden teeth. Hannah-Jones won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her introductory essay on Project 1619.
Wood sums up the main points of Project 1619: America began, supports Project 1619, not with the traditionally celebrated date of July 4, 1776, commemorating the Declaration of Independence. America instead began when the White Lion, a pirate ship, brought “slaves” to Virginia in August 1619. Moreover, “the main purpose of the settlers who declared independence from Great Britain in 1776 was to to preserve American slavery from the danger of the prohibition of Great Britain. he; the southern plantation system of cotton cultivation with slaves is the foundation of modern American capitalism; Lincoln was a racist who had no interest in bestowing true citizenship on those who were enslaved … The history of the nation is best understood as a struggle of black Americans against white supremacy … Black Americans fought alone against discrimination … without this fight [by blacks] America would have no democracy at all. Wood says entire books could be written in opposition to any of these main points. “Project 1619 simply ignores the abolitionist movement… It also ignores the enormous role of white Americans in post-Civil War constitutional amendments and in the civil rights movement. Another claim of Project 1619 is that slavery was ignored by American historians. In fact, Wood writes: “It would be difficult to find another historical subject that produced a greater volume of research.”
1619 The rhetoric of the project implies that slavery was an American invention; in fact, slavery has existed around the world for thousands of years. This implies that 12.5 million Africans have been shipped to America. In fact, the actual number is 388,000. The rest were shipped to the Caribbean and Central and South America. The arrival of the Africans in 1619 “inaugurated a barbaric system of slavery of goods which will last 250 years … it is the very origin of the country”. Wrong on two counts, says Wood. The Africans who arrived in 1619 landed in a colony that was not comparable to the pre-war era, during the plantation days of the South. Rather, they landed in a colony where indentured laborers could earn their way to freedom and buy their own slaves.