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Black / African-American History Month

Book: The 1619 Project by Hannah Nikole-Jones

The 1619 Project - series of discussions

Three discussion sessions on Monday and Wednesday afternoons (1:30-2:30) in February:

Each of the three discussion sessions will focus on a particular idea of the book, as opposed to specific essays or works.  This allows for more people to participate in the discussion, regardless of whether or not they have read the whole book.

Proposed Discussion Topics:

  • Session 1: What is The 1619 Project?  Looking at the introduction/original NYT project, discuss purpose and goals of the project. 
          1. How has reading the books/articles/listening to the podcast changed how you think of American history?
          2. What does it mean when we reframe our view of history to see 1619 as America’s beginning?
          3. How is history written/who gets to tell the story?  How does that context shape and/or limit or historical narratives?
          4. How can we use the stated aims of the project to work through reconciliation and understanding?
  • Session 2: The 1619 Project through the lens of art.  How do the photos/poems/stories change or enhance your understanding of the book?
          1. Since there are so many different pieces, which ones stand out to you?
          2. How do the authors use creative writing to address historical events?
          3. What new information do you learn about the lasting impact of slavery through the stories and poems featured in The 1619 Project?
          4. What purpose do the photographs serve in enriching understanding of the individual essays and the book as a whole? 
          5. How do the fictional stories and poems connect to the essays and photos in the book?
  • Session 3: The aftermath of The 1619 Project.  Discuss how The 1619 Project has impacted the current discussions of race in America. 
          1. Look at the backlash to the project.  How have readers who disagree responded to the project?
          2. How can we use the book/project to open avenues of dialogue or facilitate discussion?
          3. How does The 1619 Project impact how we learn and teach history?

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