Social Justice Team

Summer Reading: The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

The Social Justice Team has selected The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones (2021) for their summer reading book. The Zoom discussion will take place later in the fall, date to be announced. 

From the Pengiun Random House website:

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 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 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.

Shop local. You can purchase this book from Roslindale’s worker-owned bookstore, Rozzie Bound Co-Op, across from Wall Paper City. You can order your book online and pick it up in the store, or you can have it delivered directly to your home.


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