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1619 VS 1776, History and Focus

By Richard Myers
Posted: 10/26/2020

The discussion began with a continuation on the 1619/1776 discussion from the last meeting. New points included:


1.   The community broadly involved in the discussion are not engaging in robust detail checking.  The feeling was this fed the negative views of those who are uncomfortable with the 1619 Project and it's challenging of historical narratives.


2.   There were concerns about school discussions involving the 1619 material.  There was a sense of the edited history on the United States being taught versus more recent knowledge about historical facts being incorporated allowing a broader understanding of history from multiple views.


3.   A comment was made that knowledge evolves over time and facts are uncovered which increase knowledge framed in past and current context.


4.   Several members indicated they viewed the Project as a starting point to ensure the history of the United States was viewed through the lens of slavery thereby enriching the understanding of our history.


5.   It was acknowledged that some national associations, foundations, think tanks do not like "settled history" being questioned.  It was noted that these views need to be considered and acknowledged.


6.   The current questioning of facts and the lack of data being confirmed was mentioned as part of this process. As was the influence of conservative religious groups.


7.     It was noted that students were not being taught the skills to determine what was a fact and how to mitigate the effects of social media.


8.   Bret Stephens' Op Ed  in the New York Times regarding 1619 was discussed.


9.  The discussion broadened to focus on various aspects of European mistreatment of native peoples noting similarities and differences.


Finally, the group discussed the recent decision by the Glendale City Council to apologize for sunset laws and other practices which limited access for peoples of color.

Thanks to  Sharon Jarrett for this summary,




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