To clarify I read and write simultaneously. I am reading this project and creating a case for the 1619 project by writing every time I get inspired to write while reading this book, so it may take a while. That being said. These books. that share you matter more to me than anything in the world, so understand if I’m writing about this it’s important. Also, it’s super fun, because holy shit is this a great book.

Anyways Onto The LMBG Case for the 1619 Project Part One of Many

I know, and you know, that it is going to take many years for the door to the 1619 Project to close, but in the interim, I’m starting to notice how triggered American white folk are by such talk.

Forget the fact that this project is about Black folk for one moment, because in order to see what I’m seeing, you need to focus not on what the project is about, but who it in fact pisses the fuck off. And here’s why.

American white folk has had power in America for a very long time. I remember reading a romance novel once, and in it, the main characters weren’t even in the house yet, but the maid staff – read that again maid – staff – were sent ahead to prepare the house the family would be staying in.

This is where much of the drama would take place, and so in order to describe why this place was so important, she got to build great detail around each of the supporting characters, who were the maid staff. Who unironically become the main characters, by being the ones from the story is being told from the perspective of.

ANYWAYS. The point is, that this story that I read is identical to the story I just read in the 1619 Project book by Nikole Hannah Jones.

The folks who actually came to America, in 1619, a year before the Mayflower landed in American waters, were mostly Black folk, whose job it was to prepare the country – literally – for the arrival of those who would govern the early days of Americanhood.

Sound familiar? This is a tradition that all white people do – they can afford to hire staff, so they send people ahead of time to make sure everything is the way the rich folk wants it and that’s all well and fine, but the problem is that it’s literally a cycle of white supremacy that is being perpetuated, repeated, and recycled repeatedly over generations, and no one’s paying attention to it.

I’m not angry at rich folk though – I’m angry at the system of repetitiveness that brings us comfort.

We enjoy doing things because they bring us comfort, and normally there’s nothing wrong with that, but when someone like Jones comes out and writes a book about Black history and the world loses its collective mind, we need to take a moment to remember this section of our history.

I want it on the record that thousands of scholars around the world are currently trying to rip apart the work of Jones, to defeat her argument for Black History to be taught in schools in a more thought-out and honest way, specifically, to make white people – and only white people – feel more comfortable.

Because here’s what Black history in schools across the globe leads to:

  • Honest Education.

Period. That’s it, nothing else. More people are now aware of the fact that for generations the reason we didn’t know about 1619, or what happened that year is that there were LITERALLY people FORCING us not to know by lying to us, for fucking centuries.

Must Be Terrifying to be a proven Liar.

There are days I sit here and I marvel at my own brilliance, and that’s not because I’m arrogant, it’s because I’m genuinely shocked that I am aware of what I see, as I am. With the amount of gaslighting that the Canadian and American governments have colluded in when it comes to our education, it’s a genuine shock to me that I’m as smart as I am.

It’s Not that I don’t test well, it’s not that they don’t know how to grade me, it’s that the system has deliberately gone out of its way to make very smart people feel very dumb, so that we can be controlled and so that we can easily be manipulated.

THIS PART IS TRUE. But here’s what’s not entirely correct:

  • Wearing a mask will not kill you
  • horse tranqs are not going to heal you
  • Aliens probably do exist but if they wanted us dead, we’d surpass anything they can do to us
  • Yes, we are being lied to but ironically unironically, not by the people you think.

There’s so much gaslighting from both sides that it’s hard to figure out what’s true and what’s not, and that’s the part. I think this project scares people the most. It means that we have to start looking into our past and seeing the truth, all the truth, the whole ugly nasty truth so that we can actually start to heal, and I think too many people are afraid to do that.

No. I will not get over the fact that my ancestors were enslaved in Barbados when that was their original home, no I will not get over the lost opportunities, the economic dissolution of my family, I will not get over the lack of education, and the ignorance that allowed the abuse I experienced and the abuse that countless other youth and children experienced due to racism, to continue for decades.

When we discuss the 1619 Project of course we’re talking about America, but I’m curious has anyone asked what happened in Canada during those years? There was Black folk here too, from the first days of the Underground Railroad, there was Black folk being welcomed into Canada, but they weren’t being treated much better.

Sure they were promised better, but like the travelers who were recently lied to by Desanto’s, those Black folk did not fare that well in the first days of migration into Canada. They had to trust white people, after being abused by white people, and that knowledge was not lost on Canadian white folk.

We have one-tenth of the documentation that America has on Black folk in Canada, so what I’m saying is that now that we understand why white folk is scared, it’s time to remind them we no longer care, and to continue doing the work of N. Hannah Jones.

The work being done in America has inspired Canada to start including Black history in schools, but what about those of us who are longer in school? We have to work 10x harder to catch up to the educational standards that would allow us to go to school and get graded on what we know because it’s 12 times harder for us to go back to school.

Each of us has to decide, whether are we going to say that Black lives Matter, or whether are we going to make them matter because those are two different actions. One is speaking, and two is actually acting on that promise and making sure that little black kids everywhere see themselves in books while learning at school, without feeling ashamed for wanting to.

I had the privilege to sit on several conversations hosted by the group I’m a part of called WEOC, or WOKE, or Writers and Editors of Color. Each week they dissected. different chapter and I got to ask questions and learn from scholars and actual doctors about why this project mattered. And to hear their voices as some of them cried, as they shared their stories, their connection to the stories and the articles and the facts in the book was mindblowing.

“Sitting in That Class each day, I felt as if I had spent my entire life struggling to breathe and someone had finally given me oxygen.” – Nikole Hannah Brown, The 1619 Project

These words matter to me probably more than any words in this book, because when you actually crack the pages of this book you see that the story that NHB is telling is universal. Picture a moment in life when you wanted to be Captain America, or a Fireman, picture a moment when you felt like you FINALLY got to the place you’ve been looking for that you didn’t know you needed.

Exactly why we need more work like this in the world and in our libraries.

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