In honor of Black History Month, the Health Sciences Library is showcasing excerpts from “The 1619 Project” published by the New York Times. The goal of this project is to re-examine the legacy of slavery in the United States, timed for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia. The project aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.
In 1619, a ship arrived at Point Comfort in the British colony of Virginia, bearing a cargo of 20 to 30 enslaved Africans. Their arrival inaugurated a barbaric system of considering people as property that would last for the next 250 years.
There is gruesome material in these stories, material that readers will find disturbing. That is, unfortunately, as it must be. American history cannot be told truthfully without a clear vision of how inhuman and immoral the treatment of black Americans has been. By acknowledging this shameful history, by trying hard to understand its powerful influence on the present, perhaps we can prepare for a more just future.
Please stop by the library to see the exhibit, it will be up through the end of the month.