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Contact: Mike Sabo 
August 10, 2020

Real Clear’s American Civics Portal Engages The 1619 Project

New “Engaging The 1619 Project” portal aggregates resources assessing the claim that America was founded upon slavery

Washington, D.C. – RealClearFoundation announced today the publication of a new portal at RealClear’s American Civics portal that explores the claims of The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project.

Engaging The 1619 Project” provides a library of commentary by historians and scholars, primary sources from the American founders on race and slavery, multimedia resources, curricula, and more. The portal is a one-stop shop for visitors interested in learning about race, slavery, and their relation to the principles that informed the American founding.

The 1619 Project’s stated goal is “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.” As Nikole Hannah-Jones argued in her lead essay, America’s “founding ideals” of equality and liberty “were false when they were written.”

Since the publication of The 1619 Project, celebrated American historians and scholars such as Gordon Wood, Wilfred McClay, Sean Wilentz, William B. Allen, Michael Burlingame, James McPherson, Lucas Morel, Diana Schaub, and James Oakes have challenged key claims, citing inaccuracies and findings that are at odds with the bulk of historical scholarship on early American history.

1776 Unites, a group of mostly black scholars and intellectuals led by the civil rights leader and entrepreneur Robert L. Woodson, has published a series of essays, and eventually a curriculum and multimedia resources, that challenge 1619’s narrative.

"Time and again, the achievements of American heroes such as Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. serve as empowering examples that the most powerful response to oppression is not resentment but resilience," said Woodson. "This is the message that will empower young people to achieve and succeed – this is the message of the new 1619 Project portal at RealClear American Civics."

RealClearPolitics Publisher David DesRosiers said, “Our new ‘Engaging The 1619 Project’ page brings together the best scholarship on the relationship between slavery and the American founding. With much of the discourse on these issues having been one-sided, through this portal RealClear seeks to offer much-needed balance."

Is America fundamentally a racist and oppressive country? Or should slavery, Jim Crow, and discrimination be seen as contradictions to the principles of the American founding – on the basis of which those abhorrent practices have been addressed? These are the pivotal questions that our “Engaging The 1619 Project” portal intends to answer.