The 1619 Project and Its Detractors

The 1619 Project is a long-form journalism project developed by Nikole Hannah-Jones, from The New York Times, which “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative”.  The New York Times Magazine was published in August 2019 for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in colonial Virginia.

The Project was immediately controversial and inspired much discussion and critique from professional scholars and media pundits, alike. Ultimately, the 1619 Project became the target of the Trump Administration, which created the 1776 Commission in September 2020 to produce a counter-project. The resulting 1776 Report was published on January 18, 2021, two days before the end of Trump’s term. It, too, became the focal point of professional and pundit criticism.

Below is a list of news articles, opinion pieces, and summaries of the various debates, criticisms, and controversary.

1619 Project

The 1619 Project

We Respond to the Historians Who Critiqued The 1619 Project by Jake Silverstein, The New York Times, January 15, 2020

Factional warfare erupts in New York Times over the 1619 Project by Tom Mackaman, World Socialist Web Site, October 15. 2020.

I Helped Fact-Check the 1619 Project. The Times Ignored Me by Leslie Harris, Politico, March 3, 2020.

Fact Checking the 1619 Project and Its Critics by Phillip Magness, American Institute of Economic Research, December 23, 2019.

The Hopefulness and Hopelessness of 1619 by Ibram X. Kendi, The Atlantic, August 2o, 2019.

The Fight Over the 1619 Project Is Not About the Facts by Adam Serwer, The Atlantic, December 23, 2019.

American Slavery and ‘the Relentless Unforeseen by Sean Wilentz, New York Review, November 19, 2019.

An interview with historian James Oakes on the New York Times’ 1619 Project by Tom Mackaman, World Socialist Web Site, November 18, 2019.

An interview with historian James McPherson on the New York Times’ 1619 Project by Tom Mackaman, World Socialist Web Site, November 18, 2019.

Bad History and Worse Social Science Have Replaced Truth by Daryl Michael Scott, Chronical of Higher Education, March 10 ,2021.

How The New York Times Is Distorting American History by Wilfred McClay, Commentary, October 2019.

The Hidden Stakes of the 1619 Controversy by David Waldstreicher, Boston Review, January 24, 2020.

The 1619 Project’s Patriotic Work by Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone, August 21, 2019.

Project 1619 Revisited: Black Children, Racism, and Reparations by Sheila Flemming-Hunter, Phylon, Summer 2020.

Pulitzer Board Must Revoke Nikole Hannah-Jones’ Prize by Peter Wood, National Association of Scholars, National Association of Scholars, October 6, 2020.

8 More Big Takedowns Of The 1619 Project For Its One-Year Anniversary by By Krystina Skurk, The Federalist, August 11, 2020.

1776 Project / Commission

Executive Order on Establishing the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission 

Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government 

1776 Commission Report

Trump’s 1776 Commission Critiques Liberalism in Report Derided by Historians by Michael Crowley, New York Times, January 18, 2021.

1776 Honors America’s Diversity in a Way that 1619, Does Not by Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic,  January 6, 2020.

‘A hack job,’ ‘outright lies’: Trump Commission’s ‘1776 Report’ Outrages Historians by Gillian Brockwell, Washington Post, January 20, 2021.

Historians Rail Against Trump Administration’s 1776 Commission by Kenya Evelyn, The Guardian, January 22, 2021.

Serious historians are criticizing Trump’s 1776 report. It’s how most U.S. history is already taught by Matthew Nelsen, Washington Post, January 28, 2021.

The “1776 REPORT” is Trump’s Last Gasp of State-Sponsored Hate by Jeff Sharlet, Vanity Fair, January 19, 2021.

The 1776 Commission is Desperately Needed by Keisha Russell, The Hill, November 5, 2020.

Why the 1776 Commission is a bad idea by Diane Ravitch, The Hill, November 7, 202o.

Trump’s ‘1776 Commission’ Report Excuses Slavery, Condemns Legacy of Civil Rights Movement by Matthew Brown, USA Today, January 19, 2021.

The 1776 Project Is a Desperate Search for the Right Enemies by Konstantin McKenna, Foreign Policy, January 21, 2021.

The Trump Administration’s 1776 Report: The Far-Right Attempts to Seize Opening from the 1619 Project by Tom Carter, World Socialist Web Site, January 30, 2021.

The 1776 Commission Report Reinvigorates the American Mind by Mike Sabo, National Association of Scholars, January 21, 2021.

Trump Administration’s ‘1776 Report’ Justifies Slavery, Three-Fifths Compromise by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman, Huffington Post, January 18, 2021.

Sorry, New York Times, But America Began in 1776 by Wilfred Reilly, The Quillette, February 17, 2020.


Nikole Hannah-Jones in conversation with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. about the 1619 Project – Hutchins Center (12-04-19)

1619 vs. 1776: When Was America Founded? Conversation with Leslie Harris, Professor of History, Northwestern University John McWhorter, Associate Professor of English, Columbia University Conor Friedersdorf, Staff Writer, The Atlantic (Moderator)

The 1619 Project – Slavery and the American Revolution: A Historical Dialogue with Annette Gordon-Reed, Gerald Horne, Eliga Gould, Alan Taylor and Karin Wulf (moderator)

1619 Project A Misrepresentation Of History with Allen Guelzo of the Heritage Foundation on Ben Shapiro Show

The 1619 Project Contributors Dissect the Ways the Legacy of Slavery Lives On with Nikole Hannah-Jones, Linda Villarosa, Khalil Gilbran Muhammad, Deborah Douglas

1620 – A Critical Response to the 1619 Project C-SPAN discussion with Peter W. Wood, former professor of anthropology and college provost.

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