Letter to the Editor: On Project 1619, New York Times

Dear editor,

The objections to the 1619 Project by the prominent seemed granular, a poor example of wider held discomfort many historians hold with the project. The 1619 Project, for all its vital import in bringing light to dark spaces in American history, exchanges one master narrative for another. It seems a great shame not to replace the master narrative with a mix, a mess of multi-determinism. A creole history. Not a white, not a black founding. Not a great white or stranglehold of black protagonists. For there is a violence of one replacing the other.

Douglass stood on the shoulders of Payne; Lincoln on Somerset. Their ideas, their cultures, their ways of understanding the world can not be segregated. For we are not so immaculately conceived as a singular master narrative purports. The US is a creole stew of joy through violence through rights through hate through joy and liberty.

The 1619 Project vitally adds and challenges our thoughts to break more bonds of ignorance. But hopefully not to stamp on history, not as a stamp but as a part of a great and messy historical dialogue that began neither in 1776 nor 1619. For there was not one founding but a multiplicity.


Zachary Jonathan Jacobson

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