The Pulitzer Center

Responses to the 1619 Project

Posted on January 28, 2020

The New York Times Magazine has published a letter to the editor online by five historians who take issue with certain aspects of The 1619 Project. The magazine has also published a robust response by its editor, Jake Silverstein. We urge you and your students to read both The 1619 Project and these responses.

The 1619 Project: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html

Read the letter to the editor: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/20/magazine/we-respond-to-the-historians-who-critiqued-the-1619-project.html

The Pulitzer Center welcomes good-faith debate around the issues raised in The 1619 Project, which we have embraced as a vital contribution to a conversation around the legacy of slavery. Our guides have been designed to help students and educators engage with the essays, and to spark further inquiry, research and creative expression. And our student workshops and teacher trainings have likewise been framed around inclusive discussion.

View the guides here: https://pulitzercenter.org/lesson-plan-grouping/1619-project-curriculum

Silverstein says that The 1619 Project seeks, above all, to “expand the reader’s sense of the American past.” Educators and students have embraced that spirit of expansion and inclusion in a host of lively, powerful events this past fall, with more to come in 2020. We’re energized by the myriad ways the project has resonated with teachers and students, and we encourage you to read about them in this blog post: https://pulitzercenter.org/blog/1619-project-sparks-dialogue-and-reflection-schools-nationwide.


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