THE ALTERNATIVE READING GUIDE FOR THE 1619 PROJECT ESSAYS
The 1619 Project, while being accused of some historically fallacious claims, created a groundswell of conversation in the United States. In fact, the response was so monumental that many schools began to use the 1619 Project in their curriculum. This adds a necessary richness to American classrooms where too often the voices and experiences of black Americans, who were instrumental in helping to shape and define America’s place in history, have often been downplayed or even ignored. We welcome the new discussion and hope that it continues.
The danger in using only the 1619 Project as a guide to race relations and black American history is that it drowns out some of the voices of black resilience, strength and true heroism. Much of the 1619 Project focuses on oppression and grievance as the collective voice of the black American experience. The Alternative Reading Guide for The 1619 Project Essays offers supplemental essays to be read in tandem with each 1619 Project essay for a more complete picture of the black American experience and contribution to American society.
Mirroring the Pulitzer Center designed reading guide and 1619 curriculum, each alternative essay includes an excerpt with a link to the larger essay, guiding questions, and a short explanation on why the two essays are paired, with the purpose to promote critical thinking on Critical Race Theory.
We encourage all classrooms using the 1619 Project to consider adding these or other supplemental readings to expand their curriculum, promote robust dialogue and discussion, and add further dimension to the nuance and complexity of the building of America.