The 1619 Project: Marsha’s Thoughts

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Hello hello!
I hope all is well, book friends.
I took some time off, got a new job, and am currently trying to get back to a regular posting groove.
I did manage to finish reading #The1619Project finally, and wow. While reading this book, I dove headfirst into discussions about critical race theory (CRT), and my final feelings and thoughts are: Ignorance is bliss.

I’m not sure what other readers felt while reading this book. It made me angry. Some critics claimed it would “make people [Blk] feel like victims” or cause unnecessary racial tensions. As a Blk American, that was far from the case. The Disney-fication of American History does a disservice to us all. With knowledge comes the responsibility to do better, but shying away from “these truths” keeps us in limbo, and it keeps us from correcting past mistakes and moving forward with dignity. 

I must also share that I dove into rabbit holes, finding more information and reading backstories and newspaper articles with every new piece of knowledge gained while reading #The1619Project. I was shooketh. I grew up on the privileged side of things and went to private school most of my life: I can assure you, I never learned a smidgen of what I gained while reading this book. 

In the book “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi, a chapter covers descendants of enslaved Africans, I believe in Alabama, during the 40s/50s (please do not quote me). During this particular time, the Blk men in chain gangs were forced to work the same fields their ancestors tilled. One particular character, a mere boy of 13 or 14, so scared, tried to make a run and was shot in the back. Dead. The overseers, or officers, made no fuss over the killing. Just another Blk boy gone. I think about this scene often. How, over the years, in some areas of the county, Blk boys/men just disappear, never to be seen again. Reading the #The1619Project confirmed that, yes, sometimes these poor souls are never seen again.

I don’t rate classics, but this book is far beyond my 5-star capabilities. It’s unbelievable yet true. If you have not read #The1619Project yet, please do so, but prepare yourself for an emotional rollercoaster. I’m warning you.

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