In celebration of Black History Month, let’s talk about something historical but kept in the dark. White people want to hide the truth of what really happened before and during slavery. I am here to help spread awareness of the truth. A book called “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” by Nikole Hannah-Jones, is the story of enslaved Africans, the truth of slavery and how the cause of slavery affects black Americans now and back then. “The 1619 project” is The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning books and article.
To quote a section from the book: “It’s about learning the history and basically where they came from before Africans were enslaved, where they had “a home, a land and a language.” (Hannah-Jones). The book includes information on the real history of how Africans lived before in Africa, their own community and culture.”
In 1619, a ship of enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia; keep in mind this was 157 years before the English colonist, even before the thought of forming a country. Enslaved Africans were kidnapped and taken to this country. 400,000 African slaves were sold into America, where they did 99% of the building and helped English colonists learn how to survive. For example, they taught the colonists to grow rice and built plantations for “key” people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. They were treated horribly, bought like items and were raped and killed. The murderers and rapists (English Colonists) were not punished because there were no laws against it. English Colonists killed them for various reasons- just because, like walking by a white girl.
Black people were treated like the lower race. They were forced to do things that no one should have to do. They were expected to treat white people with the utmost respect. Black people were “expected” to jump off the sidewalk for white people to pass and call all white people by an honorable appellation.
Everyone, African American and non-African American, should read the book “1619 Project,” which gives you more information about the truth. More awareness should be spread and learned because white people think the truth shouldn’t be told. They continue to lie about history and leave out the truth about their horrible treatment of slaves and their thievery. While this is ugly, history needs to be told as it is. To leave out the hard and ugly parts of history is a lie. I can go deeper with critical race theory being removed from school learning because white people do not want to feel “sorry or guilty” for what their ancestors did. They are also removing existing history lessons like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech. Why is the truth being hidden? Why is it a White America?
Let’s talk about the present, people protest about their lives and still, there is controversy about what is right and wrong. As Black Americans, we have the ability to have freedom of speech, allowing us to protest, and I think that if we use this ability to get the truth out and continue to try to make more of a change for the future.
Sometimes it feels like we are going in the wrong direction. As Lincoln said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equally,” with that being stated why after all these years and abuse, we are still fighting for equality and truth. In honor of black history month, I wanted to recognize the change that has happened in these decades, but it is still a white America and you can be part of the change just by learning the real history and truth in the “1619 project.” After reading this I want you to sit back and ask yourself, what side of history do you want to be on?