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Why Highlight the 1619 Project?

When the 1619 Project was published by the New York Times in August 2019, it coincided with a call from our community to do more programming that directly addressed race. Our Adult Services Programming Committee decided to use the 1619 Project as a jumping off point for these monthly programs since it meets the criteria described in our Materials Evaluation and Selection Policy and has been extremely popular within our community.

The primary purpose of this 1619 Project Discussion group is to explore with our neighbors and community members the sometimes difficult issue of race in America, and to explore it through the lens of law, history, and sociology.

As the original 1619 essays are now several years old, Heights Libraries staff now do their own research relating to the issue of race, and create reading packets that serve as discussion starters and reference texts for the ongoing program series. These packets contain current news articles, legal and historical research papers, and essays focusing on specific topics. The purpose of these articles is to spark conversation and debate.

We also provide supplemental information in the form of interviews with academics who specialize in the study of race, available on our website and our YouTube channel.

The library neither endorses nor supports any opinion or cause. Our goal is to open a forum for community interaction, conversation, and debate. Past discussions have addressed the controversy and criticisms of the 1619 Project, and sources are chosen on academic merit, not adherence to any particular belief or conclusion.

If you have thoughts you would like to share about the project, please fill out our feedback form here: