Video: 1776 v. 1619

Two Visions for American History

National Association of Scholars

This year, the 244th since America achieved independence, has seen numerous figures across the political and cultural landscape call for reflection on America's so-called "original sin"— slavery. While we ought to be mindful of that terrible history, being truly cognizant requires a commitment to accuracy and understanding of context. We are unfortunately in a moment when wildly inaccurate and de-contextualized claims about slavery are widespread.

The 1619 Project represents one such instance. This project presents a historical re-telling of the American story, one that places slavery as the essential element on which all of American history and progress ought to be centered. 1619 makes the case for a history rooted solely in the idea that America is a racist nation, founded on racist ideals and propped up by racist institutions and individuals.

In this webinar, the National Association of Scholars tries to answer: how does The 1619 Project's single-minded focus on racism and slavery misrepresent American history, and what does a thoughtful, historically-grounded alternative look like? How do we get from 1619 back to 1776?
This virtual event featured Dr. Robert Woodson, Founder and President of the Woodson Center and Dr. Wilfred McClay, Professor and G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma. The discussion was moderated by David Randall, Director of Research for the National Association of Scholars.

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