Posted in Seeing Race and Racism

The Difficult Truth of 1619 — #2

A blog category examining the difficult truth found in The 1619 Project.

In late August, 1619, 20-30 enslaved Africans landed at Point Comfort, today’s Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., aboard the English privateer ship White Lion. In Virginia, these Africans were traded in exchange for supplies. Several days later, a second ship (Treasurer) arrived in Virginia with additional enslaved Africans. Both groups had been captured by English privateers from the Spanish slave ship San Juan Bautista. They are the first recorded Africans to arrive in England’s mainland American colonies.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed unless it is faced.” James Baldwin

Why do we (white Americans) have such a difficult time acknowledging the difficult truth that our nation was founded on the backs of the enslaved?

From The 1619 Project‘s first chapter:

“The United States is a nation founded on both an ideal and a lie. Our Declaration of Independence, approved on July 4, 1776, proclaims that ‘all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.’ But the white men who drafted those words did not believe them to be true for the hundreds of thousands of Black people in their midst. A right to ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness did not include fully one-fifth of the new country.’” p.11

Truth can hurt. But Truth can also lead to change.

12 thoughts on “The Difficult Truth of 1619 — #2

  1. We here in Canada do not have the same history of slavery but that has not protected us from all forms of racism and white superiority shite! Just today the chief of Police in Toronto publicly apologized for racism in the Toronto Police force.His apology was interrupted by a woman who said she did not believe him as he had the information for years and nothing had been done . Why should she believe something would change now.I agreed with her . We have racism here even without a history of slavery.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The first step in healing is learning and acknowledging the truth. Denial doesn’t help anything. There is great savagery to our countries origins. We must understand that and use it as the impetus to be a better, more just people.

    Liked by 1 person

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