1619 Project Unit: Creating Communities

Posted by Pulitzer Center on February 6, 2024

Students discover how the experience of enslavement informed culture and community for Black Americans in this unit created by a 1619 Project Education Network team in New York.

Our project focuses on the creation of communities. Our elementary-level study of community focuses on defining what a community is and exploring different types of communities. This unit will expand on our learning by exploring why and how people create communities. Using the text Born on the Water, we will explore how communities have formed throughout history.

Students will understand that complex societies and civilizations persevere by adapting to and modifying their environments. Students will discover the common characteristics of communities, applying their learning to analyze the history of African people who were captured, brought to the Americas through the Middle Passage, and enslaved. As a result of being taken forcibly from their homes and families, the African people had to create their own community to survive – a new community “born on the water.” They were the people “who refused to die.” They created a legacy of resistance to brutality and oppression, a legacy that continued throughout history and lives on today.

Explore the unit.

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