Understanding the 1619 Project

University of Oklahoma

Dr. Karlos K. Hill serves as Chair and Associate Professor of the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He founded the Tulsa Race Massacre Oklahoma Teachers Summer Institute to teach the history of the 1921 Race Massacre to middle and high school students. Hill has been a featured expert on Vox’s Juneteenth documentary short, as well as national media including Time, USA Today and CNN. Professor Hill is the author of three groundbreaking books: Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory, The Murder of Emmett Till: A Graphic History, and The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History.



In August 2019, The New York Times published a series of feature stories entitled the 1619 Project in order to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to British North America. Subsequently, the 1619 Project has gone viral and perhaps sparked the most important societal debate in a generation about the importance of American slavery to founding of the United States. In response to what many conservatives perceived as the 1619 Project’s unpatriotic and anti-America rhetoric, in January 2021 the Trump administration released the 1776 Report as a rebuttal to the 1619 Project’s overarching narrative and key claims. In this course, Professor Hill will provide a detailed overview of the project’s mission, goals, arguments, key advocates, and opponents. The presentation will contextualize the 1619 Project’s impact, as well as explain why it continues to spark controversy.



Professor Hill’s Recommended Reading:


“How the 1619 Project Came Together – The New York Times.” Accessed August 9, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/18/reader-center/1619-project-slavery-jamestown.html.


“The 1619 Project.” The New York Times, August 14, 2019, sec. Magazine. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html.


Pulitzer Center. “The 1619 Project Reading Guide: Quotes, Key Terms, and Questions.” Accessed August 9, 2021. https://pulitzercenter.org/builder/lesson/1619-project-reading-guide-quotes-key-terms-and-questions.


Schwartz, Sarah. “Lawmakers Push to Ban ‘1619 Project’ From Schools.” Education Week, February 3, 2021, sec. Social Studies. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/lawmakers-push-to-ban-1619-project-from-schools/2021/02.


Serwer, Adam. “The Fight Over the 1619 Project Is Not About the Facts.” The Atlantic, December 23, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/historians-clash-1619-project/604093/.


“We Respond to the Historians Who Critiqued The 1619 Project – The New York Times.” Accessed August 9, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/20/magazine/we-respond-to-the-historians-who-critiqued-the-1619-project.html.




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