The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

“Powerful . . . Based on the landmark 1619 Project, this collection . . . expands on the groundbreaking work with added nuance and new contributions by poets like Tracy K. Smith, writers including Kiese Laymon, and historians such as Anthea Butler. . . . This work asks readers to deeply consider who is allowed to shape the collective memory. Like the magazine version of the 1619 Project, this invaluable book sets itself apart by reframing readers’ understanding of U.S. history, past and present.” Library Journal (starred review)



A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.


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 new 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 is a 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.

Featuring contributions from: Leslie Alexander – Michelle Alexander – Carol Anderson – Joshua Bennett – Reginald Dwayne Betts – Jamelle Bouie – Anthea Butler – Matthew Desmond – Rita Dove – Camille T. Dungy – Cornelius Eady – Eve L. Ewing – Nikky Finney – Vievee Francis – Yaa Gyasi – Forrest Hamer – Terrance Hayes – Kimberly Annece Henderson – Jeneen Interlandi – Honorée Fanonne Jeffers – Barry Jenkins – Tyehimba Jess – Martha S. Jones – Robert Jones, Jr. – A. Van Jordan – Ibram X. Kendi – Eddie Kendricks – Yusef Komunyakaa – Kevin M. Kruse – Kiese Laymon – Trymaine Lee – Jasmine Mans – Terry McMillan – Tiya Miles – Wesley Morris – Khalil Gibran Muhammad – Lynn Nottage – ZZ Packer – Gregory Pardlo – Darryl Pinckney – Claudia Rankine – Jason Reynolds – Dorothy Roberts – Sonia Sanchez – Tim Seibles – Evie Shockley – Clint Smith – Danez Smith – Patricia Smith – Tracy K. Smith – Bryan Stevenson – Nafissa Thompson-Spires – Natasha Trethewey – Linda Villarosa – Jesmyn Ward

Table of Contents:

PREFACE by Nikole Hannah-JonesCHAPTER ONE: Democracy by Nikole Hannah-Jones

CHAPTER TWO: The Creation of Race by Dorothy Roberts

CHAPTER THREE: Uprisings, Fear and Policing by Michelle and Leslie Alexander

CHAPTER FOUR: Second Amendment by Carol Anderson

CHAPTER FIVE: Native Americans and Slavery by Tiya Miles

CHAPTER SIX: The Roots of Capitalism by Matthew Desmond

CHAPTER SEVEN: Rule by Political Minority by Jamelle Bouie

CHAPTER SEVEN: Black Activism and Birthright Citizenship by Martha Jones

CHAPTER EIGHT: Mass Incarceration by Bryan Stevenson

CHAPTER NINE: The Sugar Trade by Khalil Muhammad

CHAPTER TEN: The Wealth Gap by Trymaine Lee

CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Roots of Racial Health Disparities by Linda Villarosa

CHAPTER TWELVE: Music by Wesley Morris

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: The Black Church by Anthea Butler

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Health Care by Jeneen Interlandi

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Traffic by Kevin Kruse

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: The Myth of Progress by Ibram Kendi

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Economic Justice by Nikole Hannah-Jones


624 pages



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story”