A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

Product Code: 9398
ISBN: 9780593230596
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: One World
Pages: 624
Published Date: 06/04/2024
Availability:In stock
Price: $25.00

In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.

The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning “1619 Project” issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself.

This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction - and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life.

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Origins by Nikole Hannah-Jones
1619 The White Lion
Poem by Claudia Rankine

Chapter 1
Democracy by Nicole Hannah-Jones
1662 Daughters of Azimuth
Poem by Nikky Finney
1682 Loving Me
Poem by Vievee Francis

Chapter 2
Race by Dorothy Roberts
1731 Conjured
Poem by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
1740 A Ghazalled Sentence After “My People…Hold On” by Eddie Kendricks and the Negro Act of 1790
Poem by Terrance Hayes

Chapter 3
Sugar by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
1770 First to Rise
Poem by Yusef Komunyakaa
1773 Proof [dear Phyllis]
Poem by Eve L. Ewing

Chapter 4
Fear by Leslie Alexander and Michelle Alexander
1775 Freedom Is Not for Myself Alone
Fiction by Robert Jones JR.
1791 Other Persons
Poem by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Chapter 5
Dispossession by Tiya Miles
1800 Trouble the Water
Fiction by Barry Jenkins
1808 Sold South
Fiction by Jesmyn Ward

Chapter 6
Capitalism by Matthew Desmond
1816 Fort Mose
Poem by Tyehumba Jess
1822 Before His Execution
Poem by Tim Seibles

Chapter 7
Politics by Jamelle Bouie 1830 We as People
Poem by Cornelius Eady
1850 A Letter to Harriet Hayden
Monologue by Lynn Nottage

Chapter 8
Citizenship by Martha S. Jones
1863 The Camp
Fiction by Darryl Pinckney
1866 An Absolute Massacre
Fiction by ZZ Packer

Chapter 9
1870 Self Defense by Carol Anderson
Poem by Tracy K. Smith
1883 no care for colored [+] ladies (or, miss wells goes off [on] the rails)
Poem by Evie Shockley

Chapter 10
Punishment by Bryan Stevenson
1898 Race Riot
Poem by Forrest Hamer
1921 Greenwood
Poem by Jasmine Mans

Chapter 11
Inheritance by Trymaine Lee
1925 The New Negro
Poem by A. Van Jordan
1932 Bad Blood
Fiction by Yaa Gyasi
Chapter 12
Medicine by Linda Villarosa
1955 1955
Poem by Danez Smith
1960 From Behind the Counter
Fiction by Terry Mcmillan

Chapter 13
Church by Anthea Butler
1963 Youth Sunday
Poem by Rita Dove

Chapter 14
Music by Wesley Morris
1965 Quotidian
Poem by Joshua Bennett
1966 The Panther Is a Virtual Animal

Chapter 15
Healthcare by Jeneen Interlandi
1972 Unbought, Unbossed, Unbothered
Fiction by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
1974 Crazy When You Smile
Poem by Patricia Smith

Chapter 16
Traffic by Kevin M. Kruse
1984 Rainbows Aren’t Real, Are They?
Fiction by Kiese Laymon
1985 A Surname to Honor Their Mother Poem by Gregory Pardlo

Chapter 17
Progress by Ibram X. Kendi
2005 At the Superdome After the Storm Has Passed Poem by Clint Smith
2008 Mother and Son
Fiction by Jason Reynolds

Chapter 18
Justice by Nikole Hannah-Jones
2020 Progress Report
Poem by Sonia Sanchez


“Hannah-Jones and colleagues consider a nation still wrestling with the outcomes of slavery, an incomplete Reconstruction, and a subsequent history of Jim Crow laws and current legal efforts to disenfranchise Black voters . . . Those readers open to fresh and startling interpretations of history will find this book a comprehensive education. A much-needed book that stakes a solid place in a battlefield of ideas over America’s past and present.” - Kirkus Reviews,starred review

“Powerful . . . Based on the landmark 1619 Project, this collection . . . expands on the groundbreaking work with added nuance and new contributions by poets like Tracy K. Smith, writers including Kiese Laymon, and historians such as Anthea Butler. . . . This work asks readers to deeply consider who is allowed to shape the collective memory. Like the magazine version of the 1619 Project, this invaluable book sets itself apart by reframing readers’ understanding of U.S. history, past and present.” - Library Journal, starred review

“Pulitzer winner Hannah-Jones . . . and an impressive cast of historians, journalists, poets, novelists, and cultural critics deliver a sweeping study of the ‘unparalleled impact’ of African slavery on American society. . . . Stories and poems by Claudia Rankine, Terry McMillan, Darryl Pinckney, and others bring to vivid life historical moments. . . . The result is a bracing and vital reconsideration of American history.” - Publishers Weekly, starred review

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